This Land Rover Discovery Sport has just towed the equivalent of 60 times its own weight – the 100-ton train could have been swapped for a Boeing 757 airplane with the same result.
And while the stunt itself from the get go looks crazy enough, Land Rover decided to up the ante by performing it 85 feet above the ground and on a bridge over water to not only demonstrate the vehicle’s impressive towing capacity, but also the latest in semi-autonomous driving technology and its 180 PS diesel engine. The Discovery Sport SUV kept its upscale credentials by pulling the stunt with a premium twist – the three carriages were also of the luxurious kind. The one-of-a kind feat was performed via a 10 km journey through the Rhine region of northern Switzerland.
The Discovery Sport has a certified maximum towing weight of 2,500kg (2.5 tones), but thanks to the Jaguar Land Rover’s 180PS Ingenium diesel engine good for 430Nm of torque it was able to pull 60 times its own weight. The vehicle also used the imbued technologies such as Terrain Response, Tow Assist, Tow Hitch Assist and All Terrain Progress Control. The latter is a semi-autonomous off-road driving system that automatically takes over the engine output and braking. “Towing is in Land Rover’s DNA, and Discovery Sport is no exception. Over the years, we have introduced game-changing towing technologies to take the stress out of towing for our customers. I’ve spent most of my career travelling to the most punishing parts of the world to test Land Rovers in grueling conditions, yet this is the most extreme towing test I’ve ever done,” said Karl Richards, Lead Engineer for Stability Control Systems at Jaguar Land Rover.
It appears the only modification on the vehicle was of course the use of rail wheels by specialists Aquarius Railroad Technologies. And it also pulled it off without low-range gears, instead making use of the onboard 9-speed automatic gearbox and Terrain Response technology. The stunt included the crossing of the River Rhine on the dramatic Hemishofen bridge – a historic steel span measuring 935 feet long and soaring 85 feet above the valley floor.