In the depths of an underground Finnish snow tunnel, Land Rover answers the age old question of horsepower vs. “dog power.” The contenders are the 2018 Land Rover Discovery Sport, and Finnish mid-distance dog sled champion Laura Kääriäinen, and her team of six husky sled dogs. Land Rover owners love dogs so the company has created a unique promotional video which combines their love of off-roading with man's best friend.
Land Rover claims that 50 percent of its customers own or travel with dogs in the car – making that evident by nicely transporting the dogs down to the Vesileppis Ski Tunnel. An incredible 114 feet (35 meters) underground, the competitors face an undulating, curvy, snow-covered course kept at a constant 28.4 °F (-2 °C). Back at sea level, Finland was in the middle of its summer weather. In the slightly overdramatic video, the 2018 Discovery Sport and dogs both start at a shared finish line, but set off in opposite directions. Before the Land Rover gets going, it’s put into snow mode, which locks four-wheel drive, dampens throttle response, and quickens gear shifts.
Although the Discovery Sport quickly secures a significant lead, unlike the dogs, the Land Rover is tasked with driving over a series of illuminated ice blocks to show off its 8.3-inch (211-millimeter) ground clearance, and fancy traction-control system. At this point of the race, the huskies whip by the Discovery Sport at a claimed 21 miles per hour (35 kilometers per hour) – allowing them to secure the lead for the first lap. But, principal engineer at Jaguar Land Rover, Karl Richards, doesn’t let the huskies stay in the lead much longer. As they both come around their respective last corners, the Discovery Sport edges slightly forward, and wins the suspiciously close race “by a nose.”