Larger and more lux­u­ri­ous than ever, but is there still a clear enough niche in the mod­ern Land Rover fam­ily for the new Dis­cov­ery?

Car (South Africa) - - TEST -

R1 323 918

A8,74 sec 190 kw/600 N.m 209 km/h n icon of Bri­tish mo­tor­ing, since its in­tro­duc­tion in 1989 the Land Rover Dis­cov­ery has thrived in its role as a lead­ing mem­ber of the Soli­hull fam­ily. The Disco’s role has al­ways been to bridge the di­vide be­tween the in­domitable (and only re­cently dis­con­tin­ued) De­fender and the su­perbly pol­ished Range Rover of­fer­ings. From the bru­tal­ity of the fa­mous Camel Tro­phy events, to un­for­giv­ing cross-con­ti­nen­tal ex­cur­sions, the Dis­cov­ery’s un­mis­tak­ably boxy, stepped-roof pro le has al­ways lent it­self to car­ry­ing its af­ter­mar­ket nudge bars and myr­iad roof-mounted re­galia straight from the wilder­ness to the school run. 9,36 L/100 km 207 g/km

While shared com­po­nents has al­ways char­ac­terised the evo­lu­tion­ary paths that both Dis­cov­ery and the Range Rover port­fo­lio have taken over the years – and de­spite how much de­vel­op­ment work has gone into steadily re ning the past two Dis­cov­ery gen­er­a­tions (through four mod­els) – that care­ful dis­tinc­tion be­tween the rugged­ness of a Land Rover against the so­phis­ti­ca­tion of a Range Rover has al­ways been clearly de ned. Un­til now.

Fore­told by the ex­ten­sion of this fa­mous name onto what was essen­tially the Free­lander re­place­ment, the Dis­cov­ery Sport’s in­tro­duc­tion in 2014 paved the way for the mod­ern styling cues sported by this new Dis­cov­ery … and a num­ber of us on the CAR team feel that’s some­thing of a pity. While the new car shares its plat­form (and thus iden­ti­cal wheel­base) with the cur­rent Range Rover Sport, it also shares much of the Range Rover’s styling – par­tic­u­larly from the front – and the more char­ac­ter­ful lines of the pre­vi­ous-gen­er­a­tion Disco are all but lost. Per­haps for its softer fam­ily-fa­mil­iar nose, the abun­dance of sheet metal aft of its B-pil­lar, or the failed at­tempt

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