Land Rover adds style to
New Discovery is a posh looking scrapper, writes KEVIN HEPWORTH
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.