Editor takes Land Rover’s Dis­cov­ery Sport to new heights in Outeni­qua Moun­tains

RISKSA Magazine - - International News - Andy Mark

The Free­lander 2 was much big­ger in­side than what the out­side di­men­sions would have us be­lieve. Its fuel econ­omy and off-road ca­pa­bil­i­ties put many hard­core, even mod­i­fied, 4x4s to shame. This Dis­cov­ery Sport, which Jaguar Land Rover in their wis­dom have cho­sen to re­place the Free­lander 2, would have to be some car to fill those big 235/65 R17 shoes. From Ge­orge Air­port, we were whisked away in the weird­est De­fender I’ve ever been in. It was very dis­con­cert­ing to get into a De­fender that was ab­so­lutely silent. You see, I scored a ride in one of JLR’s com­pletely-elec­tric test ve­hi­cles. We were taken to Ge­orge Trans­port Mu­seum, and if you ever get the op­por­tu­nity, you re­ally should visit this amaz­ing place, which ranks up there with the best I’ve ever seen. There was still no sign of a sin­gle Dis­cov­ery Sport any­where. In­stead, we were ush­ered into a diesel-pow­ered rail­road car, which left the mu­seum sta­tion on the train tracks built years ago by Ital­ian POWs (pris­on­ers of war). The ten­sion was pal­pa­ble as the rail car crammed with mo­tor­ing journos inched its way up the Outeni­qua Moun­tains close to where in­fa­mous South African cricket cap­tain, Han­sie Cronje, lost his life in an air­craft ac­ci­dent. When we reached the sum­mit, the view was sim­ply splen­did. I am fa­mil­iar with the area, but I had never seen Ge­orge, it’s botan­i­cal gar­dens and the In­dian Ocean in quite such fash­ion. A short climb up the slip­pery steps and there they were, a host of brand-spank­ing new Dis­cov­ery Sport mod­els, care­fully ar­ranged in a semi-cir­cle. It was as if the ve­hi­cles were brought in via a freight chop­per straight from the show­room floor. How they kept the ve­hi­cles in such im­mac­u­late con­di­tion is still a mys­tery to me. A kaleidoscope of dif­fer­ent coloured Dis­cov­ery Sport ve­hi­cles were there to choose from – a deep me­tal­lic red, sil­ver, and even G4 Chal­len­ge­o­r­ange ones. We were given the choice: grab a Dis­cov­ery Sport, or a moun­tain bike, and de­scend the moun­tain via a tech­ni­cal track to the lit­tle vil­lage of Herold. (If you ever visit this part of the world, it has an ex­cel­lent win­ery tucked away on the right, as you en­ter the vil­lage.) Nat­u­rally, I grabbed the first Disco Sport I could get my paws on – the deep-red me­tal­lic one.

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