THE NEW LAND ROVER DISCOVERY
Do you remember the confusion when singer Prince dropped his stage name and adopted that weird symbol as his moniker? No one knew what to call him – was it Mr. Symbol or Tafkap (The Artist Formerly Known as Prince)? The all-new Discovery is the fifth of its kind, but please don’t call it a Disco 5 – the people at Land Rover won’t approve. Instead they want you to drop the numeral and simply call it Discovery from now on – or “new” Discovery if you must. Physically the new Discovery is a clear departure from previous models. It now bears a strong resemblance to its little brother the Discovery Sport and the faddish Evoque.
At a glance
Gone are the assertive angles and squared panels. The new Disco has a fluid silhouette and softer curves. Beauty is subjective but we feel that the general shape is less distinctive than before. This is fine if you want to appeal to a wider audience and thereby increase sales – something that all manufacturers want – but unfortunately the new Discovery is arguably less iconic. Another controversial change is the redesigned rear end. The Discovery 3 and 4 both had a split rear hatch: After the top half flipped up, the lower part dropped down to convert into a bench. The new Discovery has a single hatch that flips upward, and the bench is now replaced by a wafer-thin flap suspended from cables – copied from Range Rover. Another rather interesting change is the offset number plate, which serves little purpose other than to pay homage to former Discoverys that had offset number plates to accommodate a spare wheel on the rear door. Gerry McGovern, Land Rover’s chief designer, acknowledges the controversy but insists that the jarring asymmetry will be lessened by replacing the standard number plate with a slimmer one. >