Land Rover adds style to

New Dis­cov­ery is a posh looking scrap­per, writes KEVIN HEP­WORTH

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Front Page -

DO NOT be fooled by Land Rover’s at­tempts to so­cially in­te­grate the new­est gen­er­a­tion of its Dis­cov­ery range. Un­der­neath the friendly face and be­hind the posh in­te­rior is a right lit­tle scrap­per ready to take on what­ever chal­lenges the bush may throw at it.

For the first three gen­er­a­tions of the Dis­cov­ery — lux­u­ri­ous com­pared with the De­fender yet still work­ing class when stood be­side the Range Rover — it was all about get­ting the job done and looking like a bit of a hard lad.

‘‘The styling on Dis­cov­ery 3 was award-winning and widely recog­nised . . . and the car was suc­cess­ful . . . but it was also di­vi­sive,’’ Land Rover di­rec­tor of de­sign Gerry McGovern says.

‘‘The front was some­what ... bru­tal. The styling of the new model is, per­haps, more friendly but it is cer­tainly more pre­mium.’’

Ex­pat Aussie Mur­ray Di­etsch, who left Ford Aus­tralia in search of wider ex­pe­ri­ence and now heads Land Rover’s prod­uct en­gi­neer­ing, says the tar­get for Dis­cov­ery 4 was to make the car per­form bet­ter against all cri­te­ria.

‘‘The goal was to ex­pand the breadth of the car’s ca­pa­bil­ity in all ar­eas,’’ Di­etsch says. ‘‘The Dis­cov- ery 4 now oc­cu­pies ground that once be­longed to the Range Rover.’’

Land Rover has spent big on the new­est gen­er­a­tion of the Disco. Though the ex­te­rior changes have been about eas­ing the vis­ual im­pact of the car — hor­i­zon­tal lines rather than vertical, less con­trast in colour tones, more bling and jew­ellery to sug­gest form rather than func­tion — the big ef­fort has gone into the plat­form en­gi­neer­ing and in­te­rior styling.

A long day spent bash­ing through a va­ri­ety of con­di­tions in Scot­land — rang­ing from mo­tor­way cruis­ing through ne­go­ti­at­ing twist­ing high­land back­roads to deep river ford­ing and claw­ing through some of the slick­est stick­i­est mud in cre­ation — gave the Dis­cov­ery 4 ev­ery chance

No non­sense: the new Dis­cov­ery has all the grunt of pre­vi­ous mod­els, without the rough edges.

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