We knew the Swedes had a knack for delivering extremely comfortable and safe Scandinavian luxury machines – but we weren’t aware the company’s models are also used as a proofing tool.
Apparently – though that sounds a little farfetched (Chinese are small, but then again) no less than eleven people were squeezed inside the seven-seat SUV as Chinese officials set out to prove the new bridge at the Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon in Hunan province is extremely safe. This is no ordinary bridge though – it has glass panels that allow those without vertigo to marvel at the dizzying beauties underneath. It appears reports are contradicting – some media outlets report 11 passengers (12 people if we count the driver) and others report only five people (all adults) in the XC90. And since there’s no footage with the people getting in and out, the latter case seems the most possible scenario.
Either way, the bridge itself is reportedly the longest glass bridge in the world (at 1,411 feet / 430 meters) and also the highest (at 984 feet / 300 meters above the ground). The engineers said it’s durable enough to cope with the weight of 800 people. Proving its durability, ahead of the SUV test Chinese officials gave 5.5-kg (about 12-pound) hammers to 20 people to swing them at the glass. The bridge has three layers of tempered glass and each is 0.6-inches (15-mm) thick. We can see in the footage the top layer was indeed cracked and afterwards the XC90 also passed, to prove the safety point.