With an estimated 50 percent of Land Rover customers globally owning or regularly traveling with a dog, Land Rover has put its canine capability to the test by transporting a team of sled dogs to an underground snow tunnel in Finland for a unique training challenge.
This year’s warm summer has left much of Northern Europe without snow. Land Rover took a team of husky dogs in need of training ahead of winter championships to the Vesileppis Ski Tunnel in Finland, for a much-needed sprint around a snow track.
The Discovery Sport SUV provided stiff competition for Finnish middle distance champion, Laura Kääriäinen and her team of six sled dogs. They went head-to-head in Vesileppis Ski Tunnel, Finland, in a unique 1km sprint around the dedicated underground tunnel.
The undulating tunnel is carved into the bedrock 115-ft below ground level and kept at constant 28.4°F to maintain a blanket of snow .8-in deep throughout the summer, making it the perfect place to put the Discovery Sport vehicle’s all-terrain capability to the test.
Setting off in opposite directions, the dogs had a straightforward task. Once they had negotiated the first incline they were able to pick up and maintain speed – typically around 22mph. In contrast, the path of the Discovery Sport was blocked by a set of ice blocks, which put its wheel articulation and traction control systems to the test, on one of its laps.
Over two laps of the tunnel, the sled team and Discovery Sport were closely matched but the Land Rover, which was forced to negotiate a set of unique ice obstacles along the way, won the challenge by a nose.
Driver Karl Richards, Lead Engineer for Stability Control Systems at Jaguar Land Rover, said, “Snow is one of the most demanding surfaces drivers will encounter during winter around the world and Discovery Sport proved to be as comfortable in these conditions as the dogs. Land Rover’s advanced Terrain Response® technology and intelligent four-wheel drive system ensure our premium compact SUV is in a class of its own when it comes to off-road driving – whether you’ve got two legs or four.1”
Before the race, the dedicated accessories in the Discovery Sport ensured that lead husky Jami was safely transported to the snow tunnel to join his snow-starved pack. An optional full height luggage divider from Land Rover prevents pets from accessing the passenger compartment and easily fits into anchor points inside the vehicle, while an available rubber trunk mat protects the trunk floor and even contains minor spills.
Available convenience features including Land Rover’s Gesture Tailgate made easy work of getting Jami in and out of the premium compact SUV while the surround camera system, accessed through the 10-inch central touchscreen1, allowed driver Richards to keep an eye on the dogs when maneuvering inside the tunnel.
1These systems are not a substitute for driving safely with due care and attention and will not function under all circumstances, speeds, weather and road conditions, etc. Driver should not assume that these systems will correct errors of judgment in driving. Please consult the owner’s manual or your local authorized Land Rover Retailer for more details.
2 Driving while distracted can result in loss of vehicle control. Do not operate, adjust or view the navigation or multimedia systems under conditions that will affect your safety or the safety of others. Only use mobile phones and other devices, even with voice commands, when it is safe to do so.
# # #
About Land Rover
Founded in 1948, Land Rover designs, engineers, and manufactures its vehicles in the United Kingdom. For almost 70 years the brand has built a reputation for providing its clientele with some of the most luxurious and capable vehicles in the world; whether driving through the heart of the city or traversing the countryside on- and off-road. Today’s Land Rover lineup includes the Discovery and Discovery Sport; Range Rover, Range Rover Sport, Range Rover Velar and Range Rover Evoque. Land Rover is fully engaged with sustainability initiatives and social concerns with continuous involvement in environmental and community programs. For more information, visit the official Land Rover website at www.landroverusa.com.
About Jaguar Land Rover
Jaguar Land Rover is the UK’s largest automotive manufacturer, built around two iconic British car brands: Land Rover, the world’s leading manufacturer of premium all-wheel-drive vehicles; and Jaguar, one of the world’s premier luxury sports sedan and sports car marques.
The company employs over 40,000 people globally, with 330 in the U.S. and supports around 275,000 more through our dealerships, suppliers and local businesses. Manufacturing is centered in the UK, with additional plants in China, Brazil, India and Slovakia.
At Jaguar Land Rover we are driven by a desire to create class-leading products that deliver great customer experiences. The largest investor in R&D in the UK manufacturing sector, we have invested £12 billion (USD$15.7 billion) in the last five years and in the current year alone will spend over £3.5 billion (USD$4.5 billion) on new product creation and capital expenditure. Last year Jaguar Land Rover sold over 583,000 vehicles in 136 countries, with nearly 80 percent of our vehicles produced in the UK being sold abroad.