Land Rover just unveiled its all-new Discovery SUV ahead of the 2016 Paris Motor Show. It’s the fifth iteration and the third all-new Discovery in the 27-year history of the square-jawed off-roader.
However, this time around, Land Rover design boss Gerry McGovern gave the Discovery a dose of the styling magic traditionally reserved for the company’s high-end Ranger Rovers.
The new Discovery draws heavily upon the Discovery Vision Concept the company unveiled at the 2014 New York Motor Show
“The Discovery Vision Concept set the tone, alluding to a radical departure in design for the new Discovery family,” McGovern said in a statement ahead of the unveiling.
“Now, we have turned that concept into a production reality, this beautifully proportioned vehicle is a highly versatile family SUV that makes a compelling statement to our customers.”
In a departure from the boxy look of previous generation models, McGovern rounded out the styling of the Discovery to give it a much classier presentation while improving aerodynamics.
Upfront, the new Discovery features jewel-like LED headlights, a raked windshield, and chiselled definition lines reminiscent of the company’s pricier Range Rover models.
Inside, the three-row Discovery features all of the accoutrements expected of a modern luxury SUV. This includes must haves like, rich leather, fine wood accents, a large panoramic glass roof, touchscreen infotainment system, and more electric charging ports than people in the car.
The Discovery gets large 10-inch touch screen running Jaguar Land Rover’s new InControl Touch Pro infotainment system.
Under the hood, US-bound Discovery will be available with either a 254 horsepower, 3.0 litre, turbodiesel engine or a 340 horsepower, 3.0 litre, supercharged gasoline burning V6 engine. Both engines send its power to the road through an advanced four-wheel-drive system and a quick-shifting ZF eight-speed transmission.
According to Land Rover, the diesel Disco is good for a 0-60 mph run in 7.7 seconds while the peppier gasoline-powered model reaches 60 mph in just 6.9 seconds. Instead of a stand-alone model, this time around, the mid-size SUV will join the Discovery Sport as part of a family of models.
Underneath the stylish sheet metal, the new Discovery’s construction is 85% aluminium. As a result, it’s about 1,000 pounds lighter than the outgoing model.
However, this lightweight design has not changed the Discovery’s rugged off-road capabilities. The adjustable air-suspension allows the Land Rover to have as much as 11.14 inches of ground clearance and 19.7 inches of wheel articulation in case the driver needs to take on a sometime bumpy. At the same time, its four-wheel-drive system features a two-speed transfer box as well as a host of electronic aids.
On the road, the Discovery gets a host of new tech features including adaptive cruise control, autonomous emergency braking, semi-autonomous parking, surround-view camera, traffic sign recognition, and lane keep assist.
The new Land Rover Discovery is expected to go on sale in mid-2017 with a starting price of $49,990. If you want something more special, Land Rover will also do a limited 500-car run of “First Edition” Discoveries. Those cars start at $73,950.
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