By 19th Hole Staff | Sept 12, 2017
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.