World-first: Range Rover drives over paper bridge in China

A new Range Rover has crossed a five-metre long bridge made only from paper to celebrate the 45th anniversary of the innovative brand.

Land Rover says the latest Range Rover was up to the amazing feat because of its lightweight aluminium body and suite of high-tech all-terrain technologies.

The car was put into Terrain Response 2 mode. This automatically optimises a range of vehicle settings to enhance all-terrain ability, and in this case to preserve the delicate fabric of the bridge.

All-Terrain Progress Control was used during the bridge crossing. It allows the driver to concentrate purely on steering the vehicle, by helping the car to pull away on wet, slippery and other tricky surfaces, and then maintain a selected speed.

The bridge was created by British installation artist Steve Messam.

He said: “To make the bridge strong enough we needed to get seven tons of tension on every single sheet of paper in it, and we needed to create that tension evenly right across the bridge.”

It took three days for the paper bridge to be constructed by specialist British manufacturer James Cropper. It is made entirely out of paper with no bolts or glue to hold it in place.

The jaw-dropping drive took place in the ancient water city of Suzhou, which is known as the Venice of the East. It was part of Range Rover’s 45th anniversary celebrations, this one ahead of the Guangzhou Motor Show.

Jaguar Land Rover’s Director Group Engineering, Nick Rogers, 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.”