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