Land Rover SVR Beats Ferrari Tianmen Road

Land Rover Beats Ferrari in Road Race!

Weighing a ton more than the high-performance Italian auto, a Range Rover SVR axed an impressive 40 seconds off a Ferrari’s mountain course record.


The fastest production Land Rover of all time just bested a record set by a Ferrari – on pavement! The record is for fastest time up a 99-turn, 6.8-mile section of the Tianmen Road in China, an impressive feat for both man and machine.

Ho-Pin Tung, a Panasonic Jaguar Racing and 24-hour Le Mans class-winning driver, piloted a production Land Rover Range Rover SVR up the steep, winding mountain road in 9 minutes and 51 seconds, averaging 42.8 mph.

In a modified Ferrari 458 Italia, Fabio Barone in 2016 established the previous record of 10 minutes 31 seconds, averaging 39 mph. With weight-saving carbon fiber modifications, 180 pounds were shaved off the Ferrari’s build.

Range Rover SVR Beats Ferrari in Race

That 40-second time difference is hard to rationalize, as the Land Rover weighs 2,000 pounds more than the Ferrari, has nearly identical horsepower, and is 1.4 seconds slower from 0-60. Let’s also not forget that it’s an SUV with a much higher center of gravity and is considerably less aerodynamic.

Land Rover SVR Beats Ferrari Tianmen Road

The Land Rover offers 118 pound-feet of torque more than the Ferrari, which can mostly be attributed to its supercharger. The AWD system and all manner of electronic wizardry help the Rover put that power down to the ground extremely effectively.

Land Rover “Adaptive Dynamics” monitor vehicle movements up to 500 times per second, responding to driver inputs and road conditions. An additional setting on the Land Rover “Terrain Response 2” system, called “Dynamic Program,” tunes the suspension for even tighter body control, flatter handling, and sharper input response.

Land Rover SVR Beats Ferrari Tianmen Road

Range Rover vs. Ferrari

  • Tianmen Road (aka Heaven-Linking Avenue)
    • 6.8 miles
    • 99 turns
    • 3,600 ft. elevation gain
    • 4,200-ft. summit
  • Range Rover SVR
    • 5.0L supercharged V8
    • 575 hp / 516 lb-ft
    • 5,093 lbs
    • AWD
    • 8-speed auto
    • 0–60 in 4.3 sec
    • Top speed 174 mph
    • 14–19 mpg
    • $114,000+
  • Ferrari 458 Italia
    • 4.5L V8
    • 570 hp / 398 lb-ft
    • 3,094 lbs
    • RWD
    • 7-speed auto
    • 0–60 in 2.9 sec
    • Top speed 200+ mph
    • 13–17 mpg
    • $240,000+

That’s right, for half the price and about twice the comfort, you can buy a proper SUV that can beat a supercar in a road race. Besides being a great value – if you see a $100,000+ SUV as a bargain – the Range Rover SVR is also well suited for carrying a ton of adventure sports gear. Not to mention the ability to get you to your next adventure quickly.

Land Rover Beats Ferrari Tianmen Road

While the Range Rover SVR is certainly on-road focused, it is still a Land Rover, meaning it is plenty capable off road. Sure, the added lower body panels, low-profile tires, and big wheels aren’t going to help any.

But it still has proper low-range gearing, hill descent control, Terrain Response, and can drive through 3-foot-deep water without an issue. The air-ride suspension helps it stay low and fast on pavement while maintaining the clearance needed when off road.

The Ferrari video sure doesn’t make the car look fast, but sometimes slow is fast in racing, especially in tight corners. What we do know is that the Land Rover had a much better video crew, and time doesn’t lie. The Range Rover SVR is one extremely quick SUV!

Bryon Dorr

Bryon Dorr is the Motors Editor of GearJunkie. He has been writing about overland travel, off-road vehicles, whitewater kayaks, and outdoor and travel gear for 11+ years, with over 2-years of that at Lola Digital Media. Prior to his current role, he freelanced across a wide range of outdoor, automotive, and travel media outlets, both online and in print, as well as with a wide range of commercial clients as a photographer, social media marketer, and copy editor. Based in Portland, Oregon, Dorr is an avid kayaker, cyclist, skier/snowboarder, runner, and photographer. When not outdoors doing human-powered adventures you’ll find him behind the wheel or bars of something with a motor and wheels or enjoying a dark craft beer with friends.