Land Rover Takes on Championship Dog Sled Team in Battle of the Rovers

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Luxury auto manufacturer Land Rover recently took the term “four on the floor” to a whole new level when their Discovery Sport SUV took on the ultimate winter challenge: racing a team of six rough and ready sled dogs just itching to run.

These weren’t just any huskies, they were the Finnish middle distance sled dog champions led by Laura Kääriäinen.  You see with a warm European summer and not a heck of a lot of snow to practice on, these eager boys needed to kick start the training process before the winter championships. Land Rover had just the ticket; race against their Discovery Sport SUV in a 1 kilometre sprint around the snow track in Finland’s famed Vesileppis Ski tunnel.

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The tunnel is actually carved right into the bedrock, 115 feet below the surface and because it remains at a steady 28.4 degrees Fahrenheit, it is capable of maintaining a blanket of snow through the summer. The perfect setting for a battle of the brawniest – dog power over horsepower. While it may sound dangerous, the competition was carefully monitored with each team heading out in opposite directions.

Could the Land Rover’s 286HP Ingenium 4-cylinder engine possibly out-pace the team of doggedly determined pooches?

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Well, to even out the playing field criterion was modified a tad. The sled dogs had to negotiate the first incline, then run full out which would require they maintain a constant speed of around 22 miles per hour. The Discovery Sport on the other hand was required to not only beat the sled dog time but also showcase its agility and traction control when challenged by strategically placed blocks of ice. Sounds fair to me!

Of course lead sled dog Jami was ceremoniously delivered to the race in a Discovery Sport, where the vehicle’s full height luggage divider prevents pooches from working their way north into the passenger and driver compartment. If you’ve ever travelled with a pooch that wants to ride shot-gun and devotes the entire journey to working his way up front, you’ll know why this is an important feature.

So who won?  Watch and see!