Discovery Sport took on a dog sled team in Finland and won the head-to-head race showcasing its all-wheel-drive and Terrain Response capabilities
Land Rover estimates that about half of its owners would travel around with a dog and thus put its canine capability to the test, on a unique training challenge, by transporting a team of sled dogs to an underground snow tunnel in Finland. The 290 PS Ingenium powered Discovery Sport took on the dog sled team ‘dog power’ at the Vesileppis Ski Tunnel there.
The team of husky dogs was in need of sprint around a snow track ahead of winter championships. The Discovery Sport with its all-wheel drive technology, Terrain Response system and the Ingenium petrol engine provided stiff competition for Finnish middle distance champion, Laura Kääriäinen and her team of six sled dogs in the slippery arctic conditions.
They went head-to-head in the one kilometer sprint around the dedicated underground tunnel. The undulating tunnel was designed into the bedrock 35 m below ground level and maintained a constant -2°C to keep a blanket of snow 20 mm deep throughout the summer. It made for the perfect place to test the Discovery Sport’s all-terrain capability.
The dogs had a straightforward task by setting off in the opposite directions for two laps of the tunnel.
After negotiating the first incline they were able to pick up and maintain speed at around 35 kmph. In contrary, the Discovery Sport’s route was hampered by a set of ice blocks that tested the wheel articulation and traction control systems.
The sled team and Discovery Sport were evenly matched but the highly capable SUV was forced to deal with unique ice obstacles along the way and won the challenge by a whisker. Driver Karl Richards, Lead Engineer for Stability Control Systems at Jaguar Land Rover admitted that snow is one of the most demanding surfaces around the world and the Discovery Sport proved to be as comfortable in these conditions as the dogs.
The Discovery Sport’s dedicated accessories made sure the lead husky Jami was safely transported to the snow tunnel to join his snow-starved pack. Land Rover’s full height luggage divider prevents pets from accessing the passenger compartment and easily fits into anchor points inside the vehicle while a durable rubber boot mat protects the boot floor and even contains minor spills.
The Discovery Sport is now the British brand’s best-selling model with 75,000 customers taking delivery so far this year. The convenience features like Land Rover’s Gesture Tailgate ensured easy work of getting Jami in and out while the Surround Camera System allowed driver Richards to keep an eye on the dogs when manoeuvring inside the tunnel.