The 5th generation of the Land Rover Discovery has been officially unveiled on the eve of the 2016 Paris Motor Show. Here's the low down on this stylish, yet capable SUV.
The new Land Rover Discovery has been officially revealed, despite the Internet providing an assortment of teases and leaks. We got hold of a head-on teaser photograph of the LR Discovery here, but that image did little to satisfy our need to see the new product. It's finally here and the upgraded looks are fresh, yet unmistakably Land Rover. At first glance, it looks like a larger Discovery Sport/Range Rover Sport. Despite its fashionable looks, it's still going to feature the practicality of a 7-seat cabin as well serious off-road credentials.
Gerry McGovern, Land Rover's Chief Design Officer said: "The Discovery Vision Concept set the tone, alluding to a radical departure in design for the new Discovery family. Now, we have turned that concept into a production reality, this beautifully proportioned vehicle is a highly versatile family SUV that makes a compelling statement to our customers."
There'll be 17 different colours available for the new Discovery: Namib Orange, Silicon Silver, Fuji White, Santorini Black, Corris Grey, Indus Silver, Loire Blue, Aintree Green, Firenze Red, Scotia Grey, Kaikoura Stone, Montalcino Red, Yulong White, Farallon Black, Waitomo Grey, Carpathian Grey and Aruba. The option of a Santorini Black or Corris Grey contrast roof provides additional scope for personalisation. There are 12 alloy wheel designs to choose from and for the first time, 21- and 22-inch wheels are available.
Space, Comfort and Practicality
The new Land Rover Discovery is claiming loads more interior space and plenty of storage compartments. There's a hidden stowage area in the centre console (below the cup holders) that can accommodate four iPads or a pair of 2.0-litre drinks bottles. The central armrest can hold up to 5 iPad minis or accommodate an optional freezer/chiller compartment. Further storage solutions include double map pockets on the rear of the driver and front passenger seats, while 3rd-row occupants haven't been forgotten: individual storage areas on top of the rear side panels are available with a USB charging point.
Cupholders are located to the side of the seat cushions in row 3. You can spec up to four 12V sockets and as many as 9 USB charging points. Heated seats are available in the front, middle and, for the first time in the SUV sector, the 3rd row, while a total of 5 ISOfix mounting points (on SE models and above) make it possible to fit child seats in the rearmost row. Up front, heated and cooled climate seats with a massage function and 16-way adjustment are available.
In terms of dimensions, the new Land Rover Discovery measures 4 970 mm long, 2 220 mm wide (mirrors out) and 1 846 mm tall, making it 141 mm longer but both narrower and lower than before. The 2 923 mm wheelbase has been increased by 38 mm.
The 2nd-row seats slide forwards and backwards by 160 mm, allowing customers to optimise luggage space and rear legroom as required, as well as improving access to the third row. Land Rover is claiming a total load volume of 1 137 litres behind the second-row seats while the boot opening has been described as class-leading. If more space is required for even larger items, folding the row two seats provides up to 2 406-litres of carrying capacity. With all seven seats in place, the loadspace available is still a useful 258 litres – enough to accomodate a golf bag or as many as 3 cabin bags.
Derivatives and Trim
To celebrate the launch of the new Land Rover Discovery, a limited First Edition model comprising just 600 examples in the UK will showcase some of the key design and technology features. These First Edition units come in 3 colour combinations and 2 interior colourways. Bespoke details include aluminium interior trim on the facia and doors featuring an etched map motif in celebration of New Discovery's British design and engineering credentials.
Aside from the First Edition models, there will be an S model (available with SD4 engine only), SE, HSE and HSE Luxury derivatives, with an optional Black Design Pack available on all but S specification. The base-spec S derivatives feature air suspension, twin speed transfer box, 4-mode Terrain Response, 19-inch alloy wheels and dual-zone manual climate control, which is good for an entry-level model.
SE models feature leather upholstery, satellite navigation, automatic climate control and upgraded audio. HSE trim provides Windsor leather upholstery, upgraded Meridian branded audio, connected navigation, fixed panoramic roof 20-inch alloy wheels and LED headlamps with front and rear signature lights.
Finally, the top of the range HSE Luxury derivatives add extended application of Windsor leather, 21-inch alloy wheels, electrically operated sunroof with fixed rear panoramic sunroof and rear seat entertainment as standard (among a host of advanced convenience and safety features).
Engines & transmission
The new Land Rover Discovery will be powered by a wide array of Jaguar Land Rover powerplants. These are 4- and 6-cylinder units, with the 2.0-litre Ingenium turbodiesel kicking off the range. All engines are paired with a smooth-shifting eight-speed ZF automatic gearbox, which can be controlled manually by using the steering wheel-mounted gearshift paddles. With 177 kW and 500 Nm on tap, the new Discovery can do 0-100 kph in 8.3 seconds.
The next engine up is the 3.0-litre V6 turbodiesel engine, which is badged the Td6. It has 190 kW and 600 Nm on tap and it's claimed to propel the Discovery to 100 kph in 8.1 seconds. More importantly, Land Rover is claiming 7.2 L/100 km. Finally, for the petrol fans, there's a supercharged 3.0-litre V6 motor which packs a 250 kW and 450 Nm punch. It'll be the fastest Discovery and Land Rover claims 0-100 kph in 7.1 seconds.
The new Land Rover Discovery is still able to tackle the rough stuff. It features ground clearance of 283 mm, combined with an approach angle of up to 34 degrees, a break-over angle of 27.5 degrees and departure angle of 30 degrees. The wheel articulation is rated at 500 mm, thanks to the air suspension, while it can wade through 900 mm of water.
For those craving technical details, the Discovery features a 2-speed transfer box as standard, providing selectable high and low range gears for optimum on-road and off-road performance. The intelligent system provides a standard 50/50 torque split between front and rear wheels, but uses a range of sensors to distribute torque between the wheels depending on the conditions. Shifting can take place at speeds of up to 60 kph.
The comprehensive range of on- and off-road technologies also includes:
- Hill Descent Control (HDC), which maintains a set speed while tackling steep descents off-road.
- Gradient Release Control (GRC), which slowly releases the brake when moving from a standing start on an incline for greater control.
- Electronic Traction Control (ETC), which applies a braking force or reduces torque to individual wheels to stop wheelspin.
- Roll Stability Control (RSC), which detects the beginning of a rollover and applies the brakes to the outer wheels to stabilise the vehicle.
- A Wade Sensing system that provides real-time wading depth information in relation to the maximum wading depth on the infotainment screen.
- All-Terrain Progress Control technology (ATPC) allows the driver to set a crawl speed.
- Terrain Response 2 Auto automatically monitors the driving conditions to ensure the vehicle is primed to cope with a range of surfaces: General driving; Grass, Gravel and Snow; Mud and Ruts; Sand; and Rock Crawl.
- Advanced Tow Assist, which is semi-autonomous tech to make towing a trailer or horsebox as safe as possible.
Land Rover has made sure its Discovery is as safe as possible. A noteworthy advanced driver aid is Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB), which includes a new pedestrian detection system that recognises adult or child pedestrians, as well as other vehicles in the road and applies the brakes to stop the vehicle quickly and safely; hill Start Assist and Engine Drag torque Control. Meanwhile, advanced assistance programmes include:
- Adaptive Cruise Control maintains a preset speed and automatically adjusts to maintain a pre-determined distance from vehicles in front. It is also able to come to a complete stop when in traffic.
- Traffic Sign Recognition uses a forward-facing camera and satellite navigation information to inform the driver of speed limits.
- The Intelligent Speed Limiter uses the Traffic Sign Recognition and GPS systems to identify speed limits and reduce the vehicle's speed. The driver is not able to exceed this limit, unless they cancel the function, and the system will use engine braking to slow the vehicle appropriately.
- Automatic High Beam automatically dips the headlights between high and dipped beam when it identifies a vehicle in front (either from its rear or headlamps).
- Driver Condition Monitor is able to monitor driver behaviour through inputs of steering, brake and accelerator to detect that they are becoming tired and suggest they take a short break.
- HD Surround Camera System with 360-degree Surround View, Front Junction View, Rear Junction View, Tow Assist and Hitch Assist, including reversing camera system
- Lane Departure Warning warns the driver through a vibration in the steering wheel if the digital camera detects the vehicle drifting out of its lane.
- Lane Keep Assist applies gentle torque to the steering to keep the driver within their lane.
Discovery Manufactured in the United Kingdom
The Land Rover Discovery will be manufactured in Jaguar Land Rover's Solihull production facility in the West Midlands, UK, alongside the Range Rover and Range Rover Sport, while the advanced engines are assembled at the Engine Manufacturing Centre in Wolverhampton, UK. This new Land Rover Discovery will be going on sale internationally in early 2017 and we're likely to see it reach South African shores mid-2017.