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Motoring journalists are spoilt. When they’re not being whisked away to foreign destinations in order to check out the latest contribution to our clogged up motorways, they’re being handed branded flash-drives and the keys to a test car with a full tank of petrol.
At MH HQ we don’t only share offices with both TopGear and TopCar, but a parking deck as well – a platform of much envy. Well, the Range Rover Sport was one of those cars that had even the bicycle brigade from Bicycling leaning against the bodywork and misting up the windows…
Then, to make everyone that much greener, we heard how the petrol-heads got to put the vehicle through its paces: driving it through an aeroplane!
With a series of openings cut in the fuselage of a DC-10 aircraft, the motoring men were then able to drive the all-new Range Rover Sport along the main passenger compartment and then out through the belly, touching down just behind the nose landing gear, and then also at 90 degrees straight through the plane aft of the cockpit.
The four ramps were, in driving sequence, set at angles of 29, 34, 26 and 35 degrees. While the openings into the aircraft’s fuselage were approximately 5 metres above ground with the longest ramp being 10 metres in length.
Besides being “awesome” the petrol-heads told us that the Range Rover Sport is exceptionally rigid, but still has exceptional suspension travel. And then thanks to its revolutionary bonded and riveted all-aluminium construction, is virtually free of welds. Oh, and it’s also especially light, weighing in at just 2 115 kilograms in the case of the V6 diesel.
Our eyes began to glaze over when they went into the anorak stuff relating to RPMs and such, and our minds wandered, thinking whether or not this was the first time the keys to a Range Rover Sport have ever seen the back of the plane before?