Range Rover Sport Hybrid shows staying power in demanding Arctic test
Land Rover has joined forces with Airstream on an adventure to the Arctic Circle to demonstrate the capabilities of the new Range Rover Sport Hybrid.
The world’s first premium diesel hybrid towed the 2.5 tonne travel trailer 2,500 miles to Land Rover’s cold-weather test centre in Arjeplog, Sweden, then onto the Arctic Circle.
It was an intense real world test of the vehicle’s ability, the Range Rover was towing the 13.1m long rig through some of the worst winter weather Scandinavia has seen for decades. High winds, record snowfall and icy road conditions tested the car, crew and trailer to the absolute limit
More European Airstream owners now use Land Rover vehicles to tow their ‘silver bullets’ than cars from any other manufacturer so the Range Rover Sport Hybrid and Airstream made an excellent match.
Setting sail from Land Rover’s Design and Engineering Centre at Gaydon in the Midlands, the team headed to Mengerskirchen in Germany, where a specially adapted travel trailer was waiting for them at Airstream Europe’s HQ.
The Range Rover Sport Hybrid demonstrated its superior towing competence throughout the trip – Land Rover has in fact applied for 20 patents for the Vehicle Supervisory Control system that manages the operation of the hybrid powertrain and its complexity enables the electric motor’s 170Nm of torque to be combined effortlessly, and contributes to a might 700Nm of vehicle torque.
The teams treacherous route including crossing the five mile long Oresund Bridge, which was being lashed by the tail end of Hurricane Ole. Gale force side winds would have stopped most vehicles but the Range Rover Sport Hybrid benefits from the same Trailer Stability Assist than more conventionally powered stablemates do.
Off-road, the car proved its worth too, repeatedly pulling the trailer up and down snowy and often dangerously icy hills, and along forest tracks with little trouble.
Ben Samuelson, who was in charge of the team, added, “We were closely watching the long range weather forecasts before we set off but nothing prepared us for how bad it got. However, time after time, it was only as we got out of the car that we realised quite how treacherous it was outside.”
Phil Talboys, who manages the Arjeplog test facility, said, “The Range Rover Sport Hybrid has gone through the same gruelling test and development regime that all our cars do. This journey just goes to show that the Range Rover Sport Hybrid is pure hybrid – with all the capability and versatility that you’d expect from a Land Rover.”
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