Pulling power

Rutherglen Reformer - - Drive Time Extra - Dis­cov­ery takes ti­tle

Land Rover’s Dis­cov­ery has been named the Tow Car of the Decade.

The Bri­tish- built 4x4 car­ried off the spe­cial hon­our in the an­nual Tow Car Awards which is cel­e­brat­ing its tenth an­niver­sary.

Judged by ex­perts from The Camp­ing and Car­a­van­ning Club, Prac­ti­cal Car­a­van mag­a­zine and What Car? this year’s top award went to the Skoda Su­perb hatch which beat off com­pe­ti­tion from 41 other mod­els.

And to mark the an­niver­sary, the judges hon­oured the Land Rover Dis­cov­ery 4 as the most ca­pa­ble tow car of the past 10 years for its un­ri­valled per­for­mance since the com­pe­ti­tion be­gan in 2007.

The Dis­cov­ery 4, which won the tow car ti­tle out­right in 2010, was also voted best in the over 1.9-tonnes cat­e­gory in this year’s awards which also saw the Dis­cov­ery Sport tak­ing the ti­tle in the 1.7-tonne sec­tion.

It came as a spe­cially mod­i­fied Dis­cov­ery Sport demon­strated its pulling power by tow­ing three train car­riages weigh­ing more than 100 tonnes along a seven mile sec­tion of rail­way in north­ern Switzer­land, cross­ing the River Rhine on the dra­matic Hem­ishofen bridge – a steel span mea­sur­ing 935 feet long and soar­ing 85 feet above the val­ley floor.

Though the Dis­cov­ery Sport has a cer­ti­fied max­i­mum tow­ing weight of 2.5 tonnes, it was able to pull 60 times its own weight, pow­ered by Jaguar Land Rover’s 180ps In­ge­nium diesel en­gine pro­vid­ing 430Nm of torque.

For the test, the ve­hi­cle’s driv­e­train re­mained un­changed, the only mod­i­fi­ca­tion be­ing the fit­ting of rail wheels by spe­cial­ists Aquar­ius Rail­road Tech­nolo­gies to act as sta­bilis­ers.

The Dis­cov­ery Sport com­pleted the pull with­out the aid of a low-range gear­box, in­stead us­ing its state-of-the-art nine-speed au­to­matic gear­box and Ter­rain Re­sponse tech­nol­ogy to gen­er­ate the trac­tion.

Aquar­ius Rail­road Tech­nolo­gies was set up in Ripon, York­shire in 1999 by en­gi­neer James Platt who iden­ti­fied a gap in the rail in­fra­struc­ture mar­ket for road- to- rail ve­hi­cles for main­te­nance pur­poses.

“For a ve­hi­cle of this size to pull a com­bined weight of more than 100 tonnes demon­strates real en­gi­neer­ing in­tegrity and no mod­i­fi­ca­tions were nec­es­sary,” said Mr Platt.

In the Tow Car Awards, David Mot­ton of Prac­ti­cal Car­a­van mag­a­zine, said: “When it came to choos­ing our first Tow Car of the Decade, we unan­i­mously chose the Land Rover Dis­cov­ery 4 as it had won more times than any other.”

Sen­sa­tional the Dis­cov­ery Sport in train ac­tion

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