The new Land Rover Discovery is set to hit the market early next year after an extensive overhaul. The days when you could identify a car by it headlights, grill or shape are fading into the history books as most cars on the road today take on a generic aerodynamic shape and now this is that what’s happening to the new Discovery. Land Rover have moved over to the sleek shape of one look suits all, and so now we have a range of vehicles that all look like varying sizes of the Range Rover silhouette. Gone are the days you could identify at a glance the Capri, Cortina, Imp, etc. coming down the road towards you, today we wait to see it’s rear badge to confirm ‘what is it’?
Early this year saw a tearful goodbye to the production of the classic brick shaped Defender although with their sturdy build we suspect they will be seen on roads and tracks well into the next century. Now it the Discovery’s turn to be taken out of production and reintroduced as the LR5 with sleeker, curvaceously shaped lines. It’s been considered the luxury version of the Defender, all the capabilities but with carpets and finesse, an acceptable step up in comfort for those huntsmen and outdoors people alike. It’s even been labelled the ‘Chelsea Tractor’ for the school run to an award winning caravan towers dream as many societies and dare we say ‘classes’ took it to heart.
The Discovery led the way for many years in SUVs before the term was even invented as other manufacturers finally cottoned on to its popularity although I suspect those ‘others’ will never quite achieve the same broad spectrum of popularity or quite capability.
So from its leader of the pack position and distinctive outline we are almost afraid to look, to be forced begrudgingly into the 21st century. The first obvious difference to the 2017 Discovery is its larger exterior and the streamlined roof, with the identifying step reduced considerably although how this affects the interior height whilst keeping its seven seats is still yet unclear, rumours of more room and luxury are being teasingly whispered. We did manage to creep up and peer eagerly into a heavily disguised new model but sadly everything inside was cloaked.
The square practical ready for business shape has been smoothed, bonnet, edges all rounded for appeal and aerodynamics coupled with a lighter weight means a better performance and lower fuel consumption. Technology will be top of the range all easily controlled through an eight-inch touchscreen from the aircon to terrain controls. Four engines options will be available, two petrol a 3Ltr and 5Ltr, with diesel in a 3Ltr and 3.7L variant. Transmission options come in automatic and manual, but when can we get our hands on it is still unclear with some saying later this year but definitely early 2017.