04Designer Alan Mobberley coined the phrase ‘The Evolution that hides a Revolution’, which actually summed up the Discovery 2 pretty well. Underneath its familiar skin – maybe just a little bit too familiar – it was home to a plethora of advanced technology, each christened with its own three-letter acronym (TLA).
Chief among these was self-levelling suspension (SLS). This consisted of air springs fitted to the rear only, the reason being that – yes, you’ve guessed it – the budget wouldn’t stretch to fitting it to all four corners.
On the seven-seaters it was a necessity to keep the back end level. Other benefits included a ‘jack up’ feature to increase off-road clearance and a ‘kneeling’ position for ease of loading. It could also be controlled using a remote fob to aid hitching up a trailer, caravan or horsebox.
To improve handling, the back axle was located by a Watt’s linkage rather than the original A-frame and ball joint.
Other features included Hill Descent Control (HDC), which debuted the year before on the Freelander, and an electronic traction control (ETC) system that was intended to obviate the need for a locking centre differential.
This cutaway of a Discovery 2 V8 shows just what lay under the skin including the revised rear suspension layout and the front axle derived from the P38 Range Rover. Rear air suspension kept the Discovery 2 level under a variety of load conditions....