The next-gen model is set to be based on the same platform as the Range Rover; expected to make its international debut later this year.
Aug 17, 2016
Test mules of the upcoming, new-generation Land Rover Discovery were spotted recently and pictures of the SUV have surfaced online ahead of its international debut scheduled for later this year.
The new model will be significantly lighter than its predecessor and will be equipped with new technology. It is said to be the largest in a family of three or more new Discovery models. Land Rover is also said to have left the door open for another model that will sit below the smaller Discovery Sport, as it looks to cash in on the growing global SUV market.
The new Discovery will be underpinned by the same bonded and riveted aluminium monocoque structure used in the Range Rover and Range Rover Sport, and will also be built alongside these models at Jaguar Land Rover’s Solihull plant.
The use of this platform should contribute to a significant weight saving when compared to the current car which is underpinned by the strong but heavy T5 ladder chassis.
The core engine for the next-gen Discovery in international markets is set to be an updated version of the current 3.0-litre SDV6 diesel. Despite JLR recently revealing hybrid and electric research projects, this technology is not expected to go into production until the next decade.
Later in the SUV’s life, engines from the Ingenium family could be introduced in the line-up, either in the current four-cylinder form with mild hybrid systems, or in the V6 guise, if JLR further develops the new modular engine family.
Land Rover previewed the next-generation Discovery at the New York motor show in April 2014 with the Discovery Vision concept. The production model, prototype versions of which are now regularly spied around JLR’s Midlands base, stays true to the concept on the exterior at least, with only detail changes at the front and rear ends. However, the concept’s radical, pared-back interior is not likely to be carried over as extensively as the exterior.
Talking about the SUV’s design, Gerry McGovern, design director for Land Rover, said there were “certain guidelines” in designing any Discovery. He said there would always be a stepped roof to accommodate the “stadium seating” for seven people, a visible pillar in the side to break up the mass and optimum proportions to maximise the volume inside the car.
He also added that the Discovery was being made more premium and would be brought “deliberately closer to Range Rover”.
McGovern also spoke of the ever closer ties between design and engineering and making sure the needs of both were met. He hinted that the Discovery would continue to have class-leading off-roading ability, but in a more stylish package.
In addition to its off-roading ability, the Discovery could also become home to new technology that’s in development at JLR. This includes a laser scanning system that can automatically adjust the suspension and transmission based on the road ahead, a ‘transparent bonnet’ that projects an image of what’s underneath the car onto the bonnet, and the ability to control the car remotely to park it in tight spaces.
On the subject of a model smaller than the Discovery Sport, McGovern said, “We’re not going to make cars any bigger.” He added that cars needed to be lighter and more sustainable with the use of lightweight composites and materials.
The new Discovery is expected to head to India shortly after its international launch.