The new fifth-generation Land Rover Discovery seven-seat SUV made its global premier last night in spectacular fashion. Long-term Land Rover fans will not be disappointed…
Sleek and tech-savvy
The new Land Rover Discovery 5 has been revealed at simultaneous events in its native Coventry, England and Paris, France on the eve of the French capital’s annual motor show. The seven-seater has a softer and more rounded design than its boxy predecessors and is filled with technology, including 4G internet, nine USB ports, and folding seats controlled by a smartphone app.
Land Rover’s mission with the 2017 Discovery is to treat each of its seven occupants equally.
The Discovery is sold as a seven-seater as standard in the UK. Each seat is full-size, meaning the third row is no longer exclusively for children. The company says 95% of the male population can fit in the third row, meaning the families the Discovery is aimed at should have no problems.
The windscreen has a ‘faster’ rake, the stepped roof is intact, and there are castellations round the wheel-arches. At the rear, the new Disco gets horizontal rear LEDs, signalling the end of the split tailgate. It’s more dynamic looking, says Land Rover design boss Gerry McGovern, but also increases the loading aperture, while a rear spoiler optimises aero and stops the rear end getting too mucky.
There’s also a new fold out inner section that can support 300kg, for hunting, shooting or fishing, and the new Disco has a best-in-class towing 3500kg towing capacity. It even keeps the offset rear numberplate, a Disco hallmark.
If it looks a touch heavy over the rear wheel-arches, there’s a good reason. The new Discovery stakes a bold claim as the most useful car in the world. It’s 4970mm long, 2220mm wide, and 1846mm tall, which makes it 141mm longer than the outgoing car, but narrower and lower. Its wheelbase is 38mm longer, which helps increase cabin space, and allows LR to keep its famous ‘stadium seating’ while fitting full-size adults in the third row (which can be folded/erected via the main touchscreen, switches in the luggage area near the C-pillar, or by using a smartphone app).
With row three folded, there’s 1137 litres of stowage space, enough to accommodate a washing machine. Stash row two as well, and you get over 2 000 litres. There’s a total of 172 litres of storage space spread between door-bins, glove-box and under-floor areas, with room in the centre console for four iPads or a pair of two litre water bottles.
The climate control panel even folds down to reveal a secret storage space, and up to four 12V sockets and nine USB charging points can be specified.
There’s also in-car 4G WiFi that can support up to eight devices. Upfront, the driver and passenger get JLR’s InControl Touch Pro multi-media set-up that includes a 10in touchscreen, dual-view, sat-nav with a new ‘commute mode’, and the full suite of connectivity. Hell, the new Disco probably has its own LinkedIn account.
Comfort and capability
Discovery retains renowned Land Rover all-terrain capability thanks to its combination of excellent off-road geometry and advanced technology, while improving its everyday usability.
Ground clearance is rated at 283mm (up 43mm) while a maximum wading depth of 900mm (an increase of 200mm) puts Discovery in a class of its own, providing unrivalled confidence when tackling both waterlogged tracks and flooded roads.
A comprehensive suite of off-road driving technologies ensures New Discovery’s supreme all-terrain capability is easy to access for even inexperienced drivers. Land Rover’s multi-mode Terrain Response 2 system optimises a range of settings, from throttle sensitivity to gear change characteristics, to suit the driving conditions at the turn of a rotary controller – and can even select the optimum setting automatically if drivers are unsure of the best choice.
When tackling particularly challenging terrain, All-Terrain Progress Control (ATPC) can be programmed to autonomously maintain a suitable crawl speed chosen by the driver. The clever technology allows the driver to concentrate solely on steering the vehicle as they negotiate obstacles, without the distraction of operating the throttle or brake pedals, and can also be used from a standstill to help when pulling away on slippery surfaces.
On-road performance is enhanced by Land Rover’s proven lightweight and durable aluminium monocoque architecture, which contributes to a 480kg weight saving compared to steel ladder construction. Land Rover’s advanced integral link rear suspension delivers superior handling characteristics without compromising the superb ride comfort that has defined successive generations of the Discovery family.
Land Rover’s trademark Command Driving Position also allows customers to enjoy New Discovery’s enhanced breadth of capability in complete confidence, irrespective of the road and weather conditions, by providing excellent visibility.
This confidence extends to towing capability, which has been a hallmark of every generation of Discovery since it was used to tow a train at its original launch in 1989. With a maximum towing capacity at a class-leading 3,500kg, Land Rover has developed clever technology to make the Discovery’s towing ability more accessible than ever.
Advanced Tow Assist is an ingenious development, which allows drivers to complete potentially difficult reversing manoeuvres when towing trailers, caravans and horseboxes with ease.
Even absolute novices will be able to park using the clever system as it takes care of the tricky counter-steering required to position trailers accurately when reversing. The driver can simply guide the trailer into the desired space using the rotary controller for the Terrain Response 2 system. To make the job even easier, responsive guidance lines overlaid on the feed from the rear-facing camera are displayed on the central touchscreen, taking the stress out of an otherwise tricky task.
New Discovery is equipped by Jaguar Land Rover’s efficient and powerful six cylinder petrol and diesel engines, all paired with a smooth and responsive ZF eight-speed automatic gearbox. They include:
- Six-cylinder diesel power comes from the 190kW Td6, which delivers 600Nm of torque for strong performance, pulling power and efficiency.
- For petrol customers, Land Rover’s advanced 250kW supercharged petrol 3.0-litre V6, the Si6, provides 450Nm of torque to deliver relaxed performance and capability.
Price and availability
Prices start at £43 495 (R570 000) for the Discovery S, and the 600-unit limited First Edition – which features a map etched into the aluminium on the doors and dash – costs £68 295 (R890 000). We hope to give it a good run before its on-sale date next Autumn 2017.
The Seven Wonders of Discovery:
- The Magnificent Seven: Every seat is the best seat in the house. Flexible interior provides seven full-sized adult seats, instantly configurable from your smartphone using the world-first remote Intelligent Seat Fold technology.
- A much loved member of the family: Keeping you safe for the last 26 years. Semi-autonomous safety technology provides the family peace of mind.Premium interior combines leading design with durable, high-quality materials and space for the whole family.
- King of the hill: Unstoppable on all surfaces, all terrains and in all weathers. Land Rover’s full-sized SUV architecture delivers world-beating all-terrain capability. Lightweight aluminium construction saves 480kg, delivering enhanced efficiency. Towing king: best-in-class 3,500kg towing capacity and semi-autonomous. Advanced Tow Assist take the stress out of difficult reversing manoeuvres.
- British creativity: Designed with charm and sophistication loved by the world. Design retains key Discovery family cues, adding optimised proportions and sophisticated surfaces.
- Storage addiction: Discover the space for everything. Up to 2 500-litres of luggage space and clever storage for 21st century family essentials.
- Connects every generation: Ingenious features that make life easier. Digital Discovery equipped with up to nine USB ports, six 12-volt charging points and an in-car 3G WiFi hotspot for up to eight devices.
- After the roads end: Reaching threatened habitats and vulnerable people. New Discovery will continue Land Rover’s work in humanitarian aid and conservation projects around the world.
Land Rover’s LEGO-brick road
New Land Rover Discovery shows its unrivalled capability on Guinness World Record-breaking LEGO structure
Land Rover has revealed the New Discovery seven-seat SUV by breaking a Guinness World Record for the largest LEGO structure ever built.
Long-term Land Rover Discovery owners Bear Grylls, Sir Ben Ainslie and Zara Phillips took part in the dynamic live reveal of Land Rover’s most versatile model around a 13-metre-high LEGO version of London’s Tower Bridge.
“New Discovery redefines the large SUV,” says Gerry McGovern, Land Rover’s Chief Design Officer. “Land Rover’s design and engineering teams have revolutionised the Discovery DNA to create a highly desirable, extremely versatile and hugely capable premium SUV.”
The reveal set was made from 5 805 846 individual LEGO bricks, breaking the previous Guinness World Record by 470 646 pieces. Laid end to end, the bricks would stretch for almost 200 miles, or from Tower Bridge in London to Paris.
Led by the UK’s only LEGO Certified Professional, Duncan Titmarsh, it took five months for expert LEGO Master Builders in the UK to construct the incredible Tower Bridge structure. It was erected in the grounds of Packington Hall, Warwickshire, UK – close to Land Rover’s Solihull plant, where New Discovery will be produced.
As part of the dramatic reveal sequence, British adventurer Bear Grylls appeared in typically exciting fashion by abseiling from the top of the huge Tower Bridge installation, through the open drawbridge and onto the stage beside the New Discovery.
The finale was Land Rover BAR Team Principal Sir Ben Ainslie driving his sailing team through 900mm-deep water under the bridge – demonstrating the unrivalled capability and versatility of Land Rover’s new SUV. Sir Ben towed a LEGO replica of the Land Rover BAR boat: a 186 500-brick meticulous model of the boat that will challenge for next year’s America’s Cup.
The model of Tower Bridge was flanked by two LEGO ‘Discovery Zones’ celebrating 27 years of Land Rover Discovery heritage. An Equestrian Zone, hosted by accomplished rider Zara Phillips, featured a typically British picnic scene made entirely from LEGO bricks. The Bear Grylls Adventure Zone included a LEGO fire and boulders to represent a scene from a typical mountain exploration.
New Discovery represents the next step in Land Rover’s journey of transformation from cogs to code and is designed, engineered and manufactured with the help of some of the 1,300 talented young engineers currently on the company’s leading training programmes. Jaguar Land Rover is one of UK’s leading recruiter of graduates and apprentices: 3,000 have joined in the past six years and 400 new recruits have just started on the 2016 intake.
“I have developed a powerful bond with Land Rover vehicles over the years and to me they embody that spirit of adventure coupled with a rugged reliability that also serves the needs of a young family,” says Bear Grylls. “The Land Rover Discovery is invaluable on expeditions, whether filming in deserts, jungles or mountains, yet it’s still the perfect vehicle for the family’s everyday use. It’s a proud moment to be here with Land Rover revealing the New Discovery to the world.”
“We are thrilled that Jaguar Land Rover has used LEGO bricks to add some Guinness World Record-breaking creativity to the launch of the latest Discovery,” says Emma Owen, LEGO UK and Ireland Spokeswoman. “This is an epic, outstanding build that absolutely captures the imagination in a way we haven’t seen before. With LEGO bricks and some imagination you really can build anything!”