A version of the new Discovery is expected to pick up the SVX badge, it will be created by the Special Vehicle Operations that also creates the performance SVR models for Land Rover Jaguar.
But rather than going faster, the fifth generation Discovery will be primed to tackle more challenging terrain and remote locations.
Reports say that the new car was being developed with 18 inch wheels, smaller than standard Discoverys, which range from 19 to 22 inch. Wearing all-terrain rubber the vehicle would require a smaller brake package, something made possible with the arrival of the four-cylinder Ingenium diesel engine which combined with an aluminium intensive body has seen weight drop by up to 480kg.
Australia is one of the key markets for the Discovery SVX, with the Middle East and South Africa following closely, where it is expected to compete with top-end Toyota Prados and Ford Everests, each of which has accomplished credentials in these harsh climates.
However, one area the Land Rover can’t compete with the Prado is with the fuel tank. With the spare wheel underslung it means a larger tank is problematic, leaving that solution to the aftermarket
The Discovery is available with an 89ltr tank when fitted with the supercharged V6 engine, a large increase on the 77ltr tank fitted to the four cylinder diesel models (the smaller tank allows for batteries for a future Discovery hybrid).
Other tweaks possible for the SVX include a snorkel, roof rack, wide arches, possibly a winch and extra lighting. The Discovery SVX would also be a logical place to showcase the latest in autonomous off-road tech, something that will continue to roll out in future generations.
A Land Rover spokesman stated “With each model year we put a little bit more semi-autonomous [tech]… and we’re going to just take a little bit more control into the car and away from the driver. At the moment it’s very much about enabling a novice to do stuff that they couldn’t possibly imagine previously.”
He highlighted the All-Terrain Coach function, an integrated program designed to educate drivers how to get out of difficult situations.
The company was looking at two options for its more off-road focused models. “We sometimes take inspiration from Camel Trophy and think about really hardcore expedition vehicles,” It was also hinted that SVO could blend performance with off-road capability.
“There’s another way of executing it which is to think about the kind of rally raid, if you like, where speed is more important. We’re exploring both of those dimensions.”
So we wait to see if something interesting will arrive from the new Discovery stables that has serious abilities for us adventure drivers and not just for the “soccer moms” school run.