June 24, 2004
Land Rover shows new Discovery 3
Solihull, England – Land Rover revealed details about its new Discovery 3 yesterday. “The Discovery 3 is a new generation Land Rover, a vehicle of great conviction that points the way forward for the company,” says managing director Matthew Taylor. “As you would expect from a Land Rover, it is awesome off-road. What may be more surprising to some is its great performance on-road too. The result is the widest breadth of capability in the class.”
It is the first vehicle wholly developed by the new management team that took over Land Rover from BMW in July 2000, following the purchase by Ford Motor Company.
Roomier yet externally not much bigger than the outgoing Discovery, the new Discovery 3 features a spacious cabin with either five or seven seats. The third-row seats in the seven-seat version are roomy enough for 95th percentile adults. All rear seats fold into the floor when not in use.
The top-of-the-range engine option is a 4.4-litre 295 horsepower V8, derived from Jaguar’s 4.2-litre V8. Developments for Land Rover include increased low-end torque (maximum of 315 lb ft), greater weather-proofing – especially against dust and water ingress – and revised breathing for wading in rivers. This is likely to be the most popular engine in the Discovery 3’s biggest market, the USA.
For Europe, the best-selling engine is expected to be the refined and flexible 2.7-litre TDV6 turbodiesel (not available in North America), a high pressure ‘common rail’ unit that uses variable geometry turbocharging. Another version of this new V6 recently made a debut in the Jaguar S-Type. The Land Rover engine has been extensively developed to suit the Discovery 3 and produces 190 horsepower and 325 lb ft of torque. Technical advances include its CGI (compacted graphite iron) block, which is lighter, stiffer and more durable than conventional cast iron.
Selected markets will also take a 4.0-litre 215 horsepower V6 engine with 265 lb ft.
The gas engines are mated to a six-speed ‘intelligent shift’ electronically controlled ZF automatic transmission. It offers a ‘sport’ mode which delivers more performance-oriented throttle response and gear shifts, and also features Land Rover’s Command Shift operation – which gives the driver full manual control of gear changing. The TDV6 is available either with this advanced automatic transmission, or with a six-speed ZF manual gearbox.
Drive goes to all four wheels. Electronic Traction Control and Dynamic Stability Control modulate power supply and braking, ensuring maximum grip in all conditions. Throttle response, gear change patterns and suspension settings are also computer controlled, determined by speed and road (or off-road) conditions. Low range is also available, for tough terrain. This can be easily selected, electronically, on the move. The central differential fully locks if conditions require greater traction.
The Discovery 3 goes on sale later in 2004, depending on the market.