New Range Rover Sport Vs The Spillway

29 Jun 2022

Epic Climb Up Flooded Spillway Marks Vehicle Premiere


Land Rover’s new Range Rover Sport made its global premiere with a dramatic world-first climb up a flooded dam spillway in Iceland.

The epic ascent saw the Range Rover Sport resist the surging torrent of water flowing down the ramp of the Karahnjukar Dam, the biggest of its kind in the world, at a rate of 750 tonnes per minute. A loss of traction risked plunging down the perilous 90m drop at the base of the spillway to the valley floor below.

The third generation of Land Rover’s luxury performance SUV is the most desirable, technologically advanced and capable yet, mixing an imposing road presence with instinctive driving responses using the most advanced combination of chassis technologies ever fitted to a Land Rover.

The successful spillway ascent was screened for the first time at an exclusive launch event at Jaguar Land Rover’s Advanced Product Creation Centre in Gaydon, UK. Official James Bond stunt driver Jessica Hawkins was behind the wheel as the New Range Rover Sport demonstrated its grip, traction, performance and composure, completing the latest in a series of challenges for Land Rover’s luxury performance SUV. Previous feats include a record-setting hill-climb at Pikes Peak, a first recorded crossing of the ‘Empty Quarter’ desert in the Arabian Peninsula and a first ascent of the 999 steps to Heaven’s Gate in China, in 2018.

The spillway climb was the final obstacle on the drive from the valley floor to the summit of the dam, taking in a flooded riverbed, long steep tunnels and the 40-degree rocky dam wall itself. The 294m stretch of spillway had water furiously cascading down its 90-metre drop, to provide the ultimate test of traction and driver confidence.

Jessica Hawkins, Stunt Driver, said: “The power of the water surging down the spillway was breath-taking from the side of the valley. Driving into it knowing that a 90-metre drop was waiting behind me at the bottom of the slope, if things went wrong, made this the most challenging drive I’ve ever undertaken. Despite the steep slope and rushing water, New Range Rover Sport made it look easy. Its traction, composure and commanding visibility inspired so much confidence I was able to enjoy the whole experience.”