The third incarnation of Land Rover's Discovery will début at the New York motor show and features an integrated body-frame, new Terrain Response system and improved interior space.

The third incarnation of Land Rover's Discovery will début at the New York motor show and features an integrated body-frame, new Terrain Response system and improved interior space.


First fitted to the recent Range Stormer concept car, Land Rover's Terrain Response system is claimed to optimise the Discovery's "driveability and comfort, as well as maximising traction". To operate the system, the driver of the vehicle must select one of five terrain settings via a rotary switch on the centre console: a general driving programme, plus one for slippery conditions (known as 'grass/gravel/snow') and three special off-road modes (mud/ruts, sand, rock crawl).


Terrain Response then automatically selects the most appropriate settings for the vehicle's electronic controls and traction aids - including ride height, engine torque response, hill descent control, electronic traction control and transmission settings, a spokesman for the company said this week.


"The integrated body-frame structure allows Land Rover to deliver the comfort, refinement and on-road attributes of a monocoque, while continuing to set new standards in off-road performance," the spokesman added.


The range features full-time four-wheel drive and fully independent suspension (with air damping on most models). The suspension is height adjustable, to assist with entry and exit and boost or reduce ground clearance as required.


The top-of-the-range engine is a 4,4-litre version of Jaguar's V8 petrol engine. Changes for Land Rover include increased capacity (from 4,2 litres), more low-end torque, enhanced dust- and water-proofing, and revised air intake system.


The top-selling engine in Europe is likely to be Land Rover's new 2,7-litre V6 turbodiesel, a common rail unit that uses variable geometry turbocharging. The third engine in the line-up is a petrol-powered four-litre V6 based on the powerplant of the Explorer SUV.


Both petrol derivatives will be mated to a six-speed automatic 'intelligent shift' transmission, also available with the diesel though this is offered with a six-speed manual as standard.


The Discovery is instantly recognisable thanks to its bold, geometric vertical and horizontal design elements, stepped roof (to boost headroom), asymmetric rear tailgate (to reduce load height when the lower part of the tailgate is closed, and reduce 'reach in' distance when opened), air intake on only one side of the body (it's all that was needed) and its large glazed areas.


"The priority was to give the passengers and driver more headroom and greater comfort. It (the vehicle) has big, deep glazing, because that provides greater airiness and a better view," Land Rover design director Geoff Upex said.


The rear passengers are seated progressively higher than those in the front and the optional third row of seats are said to be "big enough to accommodate 95th percentile adults".


Both second and third rows area accessed from the centre doors and can be folded flat to increase the Discovery's load-carrying capacity.


"Like all new Land Rovers, the Discovery's great to drive on-road, as well as being best-in-class off-road," said Matthew Taylor, Land Rover's managing director.


Will Taylor's words ring true in the case of the new Discovery? We will have to wait until later this year, when the new vehicle goes on sale on world markets, to find out.

Original article from Car