Land Rover celebrates 45th anniversary by driving Range Rover SUV over a paper bridge
The paper bridge was built in partnership with world-renowned British artist Steve Messam and specialist British paper manufacturer James Cropper PLC to build unique installation.
Land Rover marked the 45th anniversary of its Range Rover family by driving its flagship Range Rover luxury SUV across a bridge made of paper. The freestanding structure in Suzhou, China, spanned five metres without glue or bolts to hold it in place. The highlight drive was accomplished ahead of the Guangzhou Motor Show in China.
The hand-built paper bridge took three days to construct in the ancient water city of Suzhou, which is famous for its bridges and nicknamed ‘Venice of the East’. The unique crossing was made of high quality paper supplied by specialist British manufacturer James Cropper PLC. Land Rover Experience chief instructor Chris Zhou was entrusted with negotiating the paper bridge, using a variety of all-terrain technologies to preserve the delicate fabric of the unique structure.
The latest fourth-generation model was the first all-aluminium SUV when it debuted in 2012. Its innovative lightweight aluminium body provides a total vehicle saving of up to 420kg compared to using traditional steel.
Nick Rogers, Director Group Engineering, Jaguar Land Rover, said, “China is an important market for Range Rover, so we have picked the perfect place to celebrate 45 years of our luxury SUV family. Range Rover’s advanced lightweight body and peerless all-terrain capability were crucial factors in making this unique drive possible.”
Construction of the bridge began with the assembly of a pair of specially designed wooden abutments. Paper was then stacked on these supports using a temporary framework to hold them in place. Once complete, this was removed leaving a freestanding 3.4-metre high paper arch spanning five metres.
Further, the sustainably sourced paper will be repurposed by Land Rover with the remainder recycled locally for reuse in China.
Commenting on the bridge construction, artist and paper bridge designer, Steve Messam, said, “Paper structures capable of supporting people have been built before but nothing on this scale has ever been attempted. It’s pushing engineering boundaries, just like the Range Rover, and the ease and composure with which the vehicle negotiated the arch was genuinely breathtaking.”
Range Rover terrain capabilities
Range Rover is available with a series of innovative features that provide all-terrain capabilities including Terrain Response 2 and All-Terrain Progress Control.
Terrain Response 2 features an auto mode which, when selected, optimises a range of vehicle settings to enhance all-terrain capability without any input from the driver.
All-Terrain Progress Control (ATPC) allows drivers to concentrate purely on steering the vehicle when negotiating difficult or slippery terrain by maintaining a set speed ranging from 1mph to 19mph without any pedal inputs. The intelligent technology enhances all-terrain capability and can be activated on the move or from a standstill, to help when pulling away on tricky surfaces, and even works in reverse gear.
The technology assists drivers while pulling away on slippery wet grass by ensuring minimal wheelspin, and even helps to drive the vehicle out of deep sand.
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