WELLHEELED WHEELS

THE NEW LAND ROVER DIS­COV­ERY

Go! Camp & Drive - - Contents - Cyril Klop­per

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. >

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