4 x 4 Australia - - Contents -

LAND Rover’s fifth­gen­er­a­tion Dis­cov­ery is longer, wider, sleeker and the most ad­vanced ex­am­ple of the breed in its 27-year his­tory – plus it brings a new alu­mini­u­minten­sive body, mean­ing it’s al­most half a tonne lighter than the car it re­places.

Sport­ing a sleeker skin in line with what pre­viewed on the smaller Dis­cov­ery Sport, the new Dis­cov­ery – which drops the num­ber, to be known (again) sim­ply as Dis­cov­ery – ditches its lad­der-frame chas­sis for the Range Rover Sport’s mono­coque de­sign.

The alu­minium ar­chi­tec­ture and pre­dom­i­nantly alu­minium body – the doors are steel and the tail­gate is a plas­tic com­pos­ite – have re­duced weight by 480kg, paving the way for Land Rover’s in-housedesigned In­ge­nium four­cylin­der en­gine fam­ily, which will com­ple­ment the ex­ist­ing fam­ily of V6 diesels.

While the curvier body es­chews some of the visual mus­cle of the squarer Dis­cov­ery 4, the new Dis­cov­ery is 141mm longer, at 4970mm. At 2073mm wide it is also 20mm wider. How­ever, the 1846mm height of the new Dis­cov­ery means it is 41mm lower than the Dis­cov­ery 4. Shar­ing the Range Rover Sport’s 2923mm wheel­base, the new Dis­cov­ery is claimed to have more in­te­rior space – while still cater­ing for up to seven adults in its three rows of seats. Land Rover de­sign­ers have also tried to

ex­tend the Dis­cov­ery’s renowned stor­age bin­na­cles, while main­tain­ing the dual glove­boxes and nu­mer­ous other hidey holes; the most in­no­va­tive stor­age area is one hid­den be­hind the con­trols for the sound sys­tem, which elec­tron­i­cally flips down re­veal­ing a hid­den cav­ity.

Land Rover will of­fer the Dis­cov­ery with three en­gines (each with an eight-speed au­to­matic trans­mis­sion) and in three trim lev­els: SE, HSE and HSE Lux­ury (the base S model avail­able overseas will not be of­fered here), for nine vari­ants in to­tal.

For the first time the Dis­cov­ery won’t have a petrol en­gine op­tion in Aus­tralia, with the lo­cal Land Rover arm de­cid­ing to fo­cus on the diesel

en­gines, leav­ing the 250kw/450nm 3.0-litre supercharged V6 for the likes of Amer­ica and the Mid­dle East.

For the first time in Aus­tralia the Dis­cov­ery will be of­fered with a sin­gle-range 4WD sys­tem on the en­try-level Td4 diesel, which gets a 132kw/430nm 2.0-litre four­cylin­der diesel. While it will get air sus­pen­sion, its off-road smarts will come from the Ter­rain Re­sponse 2 trac­tion con­trol sys­tem that now has an “auto” func­tion de­signed to au­to­mat­i­cally de­tect what sort of ter­rain it is cov­er­ing, in turn tai­lor­ing the elec­tron­ics for added trac­tion.

All other Dis­cov­ery mod­els will get a dual-range trans­fer case. The Sd4 picks up a 177kw/500nm of the same In­ge­nium diesel en­gine; the flag­ship (for now) will be the TDV6, which gets a 190kw/600nm ver­sion of the fa­mil­iar 3.0-litre twin-turbo V6 diesel.

Land Rover claims su­pe­rior off-road cre­den­tials for the new Dis­cov­ery. With the air sus­pen­sion on its high­est set­ting it has 283mm of clear­ance and it can wade through 900mm of wa­ter cour­tesy of an in­no­va­tive air in­take sys­tem that utilises space on top of the un­der­bon­net as an in­take. How­ever, the ap­proach an­gle has dropped from the Disco 4’s ex­cel­lent 36.2 de­grees to a still-good 34 de­grees.

The ram­pover an­gle is 27.5 de­grees (ver­sus the 4’s 27.3 de­grees), while the de­par­ture an­gle is 30 de­grees (ver­sus the 4’s 29.6 de­grees).

Tyre sizes for the new Dis­cov­ery will range be­tween 19 and 22 inches; the com­pany is be­lieved to be work­ing on an 18-inch wheel-and-tyre pack­age for a fu­ture model and will also of­fer a 20-inch all-ter­rain tyre.

The fuel tank on the four-cylin­der mod­els likely to ac­count or most sales is a mod­est 77 litres, although en­gi­neers claim a range of more than 750km due to sig­nif­i­cant im­prove­ments to fuel econ­omy.

As with the Range Rover Sport it shares so much with un­der­neath, the Dis­cov­ery has in­de­pen­dent sus­pen­sion, with wheel ar­tic­u­la­tion claimed at up to 500mm, a slight im­prove­ment on the cur­rent car.

The Dis­cov­ery con­tin­ues with its class-lead­ing 3500kg tow ca­pac­ity and will in­tro­duce the soon-to-ar­rive Trailer As­sist sys­tem that semi-au­tonomously re­verses the car with per­fect counter steer­ing.

Pric­ing will start from $81,590 when the car goes on sale about July, 2017.

The new In­ge­nium en­gine range.

Ter­rain Re­sponse 2 trac­tion con­trol mon­i­tors changes in ter­rain.

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