Land Rover have been busy, beavering away in their head office, trying to come up with a new model of the Land Rover Discovery that isn’t painfully similar to the models released in the last few years past.
Last year, the fifth generation of the Discovery was on display at the Paris Motor Show, and it promised to reinvigorate the brand, taking design cues from another concept car showcased back in 2014, the Discovery Vision.
It certainly is good to see that the new Discovery is trying to fill the shoes of the ambition displayed in that early prototype presented in New York City by the head of design at the company, Gerry McGovern. That early model was super-sleek compared the Land Rovers we’re used to seeing prowling the street, ditching some of the overtly masculine lines formerly employed by the company, in favour of a more feminine look. With the new Discovery, it appears as if Land Rover is hell bent on catching the eye of mums who want something uber-capable for the school run.
According to McGovern, the newly designed Discovery represents an enormous shift in design for the company, but not in terms of capability. He says that the new discovery retains all of the versatility and practicality of the original, just in a different garb.
Part of the attraction of the new model is the fact that the gas-guzzling engine of older models has been replaced by a newer, better version. Land Rover, like so many other auto companies, is having to make its cars more fuel efficient, with the new Discovery using a 2.0 litre, Ingenium diesel engine that emits only around 170 g/km of CO2. Whether improvements in the engine will mean less maintenance remains to be seen. Companies like Swift Money made brisk business, thanks to the high maintenance costs on previous models.
Jaguar Land Rover claim that the new Discovery will make significant weight savings, a move that we have frequently seen from other car makers updating legacy lines over the last year or so. When Mercedes revealed their new 2017 SL, it was more than 400 lbs lighter than the previous model. Land Rover claim that the new Discovery will be 20 percent lighter than it’s predecessor, because of the company’s decision to get rid of the steel lattice that used to bind together the aluminium chassis. Now the body panels will be constructed from a single aluminium monocoque, a technique that Land Rover say will be applied across its entire range.
As far as practicality goes, the new Discovery could be a slam dunk. It will reportedly have space for seven passengers, but the new models will come with staggered seating, with the second and third rows of seats placed higher up than the first.
Auto Car is also reporting that the luggage space in the new Discovery will eclipse that of the old. Cars will come with a powered loading platform that slides out to provide owners with a table/seat, just in case they need to take off their muddy boots before getting back into the car.