Image credits: © Land Rover.

2009 Land Rover LR3 news, pictures, specifications, and information

THE LAND ROVER LR3 HAS RECEIVED NUMEROUS EXEMPLARY ACCOLADES AS A TECHNICAL AND DESIGN TRIUMPH

Land Rover's unique LR3 has attracted the attention of the automotive and general press by receiving many major awards since it arrived on the market as a 2005 model and becoming one of the most awarded Sport Útility Vehicles in the world. These accolades hail the LR3 for its technical sophistication and design prowess, and acclaim the LR3 for providing the standard amenities and on-road handing of an urbane luxury vehicle, while still offering extraordinary off-road qualifications.

2009 MODEL YEAR IMPROVEMENTS
The amazing breadth of capability offered by the Land Rover LR3 continues wîth the following content and appearance enhancements for the 2009 model year.

New 'Standard Features' for 2009:
• Body color painted:
o Wheel arches, front and rear bumper, lower tailgate applique' and tailgate lift handle - provides a unique, fresh appearance to the LR3.
• Straight Grained Walnut Wood at the center console uprights and end caps. Or the choice of Grand Black Lacquer wood, as a no cost option.
• Standard 19' aluminum alloy wheels
• Clear side repeater lenses
• Exterior door handles wîth Tungsten finish, (replaces the previous model years black finish)
• New Interior Leather Trim
o Almond leather wîth Nutmeg carpet (replaces Alpaca Beige leather and carpet)
• New Exterior Paint: Galway Green (dark green color; replaces Tonga Green)
• The 3rd row seat and 2nd and 3rd row climate control become a value priced stand alone option package.

LR3 is the only model offered for 2009, wîth HSE and HSE LÚX trim levels offered as separate option packages. Powered by a 300-hp 4.4-liter DOHC V-8, the Land Rover LR3 (no longer adorned wîth an SE badge) provides two-row, five-passenger seating, four-corner independent height-adjustable air suspension, Land Rover's exclusive Terrain Response™ system, six airbags, elegant and rugged leather seating surfaces, power sunroof and fixed Alpine roof, a 240-watt harman/kardon® AM/FM audio system wîth six-disc in-dash CD changer, rear park distance control and a long list of other standard equipment.

The HSE option package adds: Premium DVD-based satellite Navigation System wîth a 7-inch touch screen and voice activation and 4x4 driver information center, personal telephone integration system wîth Bluetooth® connectivity, power tilt-telescope §teering column, front park distance control, cold climate package, SIRIÚS satellite radio, and HSE exterior identification badging. While the 19' Six-Spoke alloy wheels are standard on LR3 and LR3 wîth the HSE Package, the all new 19' Slotted Seven-Spoke alloy wheels are available as a no cost option.

The HSE LÚX package includes all the items in the HSE package above, plus: Premium ruched leather seats, 19' Slotted Seven-Spoke alloy wheel design, memory settings for the driver's seat, §teering column, and mirrors, a 550-watt harman/kardon® LOGIC7 premium audio system wîth 14 speakers, Bi-Xenon™ headlamps and adaptive front-lighting, and a center console cooler box to chill your favorite beverages or snacks.

The 7 Seat Comfort Package - third-row seating and rear climate control equipment become a stand-alone option package for 2009 MY. The package is value priced and we anticipate a high take rate for this convenient feature. The 3rd row seat is designed to fit a 6'2' passenger, wîth all seating large enough to allow seven passages to ride in complete comfort. The 7 Seat Comfort Package also includes and additional 3rd row side curtain airbag SRS (increasing the total number of airbags to 8), forward-facing, flat-folding third-row seats, third row individual head restraints and three-point safety belts, 35:30:35 split flat-folding 2nd row seat, and Rear Climate Control wîth 2nd and 3rd row controls for air conditioning, heating and airflow.

Roof rails have been deleted from all LR3s, and are available as an accessory item.

CORE CONSTRÚCTION

The Integrated Body-frame construction provides a stiff frame for the LR3 by combining hydroformed-steel frame rails wîth a rigid monocoque body. This technology helps protect the occupants in case of a collision, provides a foundation needed to support off-road excursions, and has a vibration resistant base for smooth and controlled on-pavement ride and handling.

The integrated construction facilitates more efficient interior packaging. Rubber mounts and dampers between the frame and body provide a higher degree of isolation from noise, vibration, and harshness.

Premium materials such as aluminum, magnesium, and high-tensile-strength alloy steel are used in key areas to save weight. Outer steel body panels are galvanized on both their inner and outer surfaces to prevent corrosion. The two-piece tailgate is aluminum, which is lighter weight and easier to use.

EFFICIENT PACKAGING

LR3 offers three rows for seven occupants as optional equipment. The use of stadium seating wîth each successive row of seats positioned slightly higher in the vehicle provides a clear view of the road ahead and added comfort for rear passengers. The second seating row is split 35:30:35 for flexibility in accommodating passengers and cargo. Folding the rear seats yields a flat load floor able to carry sporting paraphernalia or building materials exceeding six feet in length. The tailgate is a two-piece design wîth an upper portion that rises and a lower §egmènt that hinges down for easy loading. The roller blind that hides valuable possession from sight is substantial enough to serve as a shelf suitable for light packages or cargo.

POWERTRAIN

The 4.4-liter V8 in an LR3 has an aluminum block and heads, chain-driven dual-overhead camshafts, sequential fuel injection, distributorless ignition, and four-valves per cylinder, Delivering 300 bhp at 5500 rpm and 315 lb-ft of torque at 4000 rpm.

An electronically controlled 6-speed ZF automatic transmission provides gear ratios for confident off-road driving, excellent launch performance, quiet highway motoring, and efficient cruising. Three shift modes are available, automatic, sport and CommandShift. In the automatic mode, up- and down-shifts are electronically regulated for smooth, rarely noticeable gear changes. In the Sport mode, shifting is keyed to maximum acceleration performance, enhancing response. In the CommandShift mode, the driver enjoys full manual control over the gear selected for supreme on- or off-road confidence.

The LR3's standard electronic two-speed transfer case provides permanently engaged four -wheel drive and shift-on-the-move capability. An electronically controlled, infinitely variable locking center differential controls the front-rear torque distribution and interacts wîth the vehicle's extensive suite of electronic traction and stability systems. Shifting into low range multiplies available torque by a factor of 2.93:1.

To maintain mobility through adverse conditions, the LR3's driveline and braking systems cooperate providing four-corner traction control (ETC), hill-descent control (HDC), dynamic stability control (DSC), anti-lock brakes that function on- and off-road, electronic brake force distribution (EBD) for controlled, efficient stopping regardless of vehicle load, and emergency brake assist (EBA). An electronically controlled, infinitely variable locking rear differential is available as optional equipment.

CHASSIS

Vital Stats
Engine : 4.4 L., 8-cylinder
Power: 300 hp
Torque: 315 ft-lbs

6-speed Automatic
Four-corner independent suspension consisting of unequal-length control arms and long-travel air springs provide the surefootedness expected of all Land Rovers. Electronic control of the springs and dampers provide soft or firm response, automatic load leveling and three selectable suspension settings: access (for ease of entry), standard, and off-road. Cross linking of the four springs and dampers gives the LR3 improved off-road performance by constantly varying spring rates.

The power-assisted rack-and-pinion §teering system provides excellent driver feedback and a tight 37.6-foot turn circle that's essential for negotiating off-road hazards and obstacles.

Four-wheel disc brakes wîth ventilated rotors at each wheel provide ample stopping power. In addition to the usual ABS on-road function, Land Rover's four-wheel, all-terrain ABS is calibrated to avoid wheel lock on a wide variety of terrain types. Hill Descent Control automatically limits forward speed to 2.2 mph in low range and 3.7 mph in high range.

Radial tires wîth mud and snow tread ratings are specially developed by Land Rover for optimum on- and off-road performance. Aluminum-alloy wheels are standard to minimize unsprung weight and to provide an attractive, upscale appearance. All LR3s are equipped wîth 255/55R19 radial tires.

TERRAIN RESPONSE SYSTEM


Land Rover is the only SÚV maker that offers a Terrain Response™ system which automatically adjusts a host of electronically controlled systems to suit driving conditions. The Terrain Response™ knob positioned on the center console configures the engine's throttle response, the transmission's shift characteristics and gear selection, the center differential's operation, the air suspension, and many dynamic systems (DSC, 4ETC, and HDC) for maximum traction, stability, and control. If the LR3 is equipped wîth a locking rear differential, it also regulates that component's operation. The five available modes are:
• General—Terrain Response™ is never off, and the General setting is compatible wîth all on- and off-road conditions. This is analogous to the automatic setting on a digital camera.
• Grass/Gravel/Snow—Select this program to maximize traction on firm but slippery surfaces. This setting optimizes performance on wet leaves and grass or hard-packed snow and ice.

• Mud/Ruts—This setting makes a dramatic difference over soft, wet ground where a degree of wheelspin is useful for maintaining momentum. Since Low Range is recommended during such conditions, selecting this program triggers a prompt to also shift the transfer case.
• Sand—The label says it all. This setting gives the driver additional control in conditions where the ground easily gives way such as dry, soft sand, or loose dirt. Because there are dramatic engine and transmission programming adjustments and changes in the traction control and differential lock operation, the Sand program allows the vehicle to power through desert conditions wîth ease.
• Rock Crawl—Available only in Low Range, Rock Crawl is for conditions where large obstacles such as clusters of boulders are expected. In this mode, the LR3 provides the needed wheel articulation, throttle control, ground clearance, and low-speed traction.

Thanks to Terrain Response™, the LR3 is able to venture farther off-road wîth assurance that the journey home will be completed.

SAFETY AND SECÚRITY

Systems aimed at protecting the occupants' well being are integral to the LR3's design. The foundation is a hydroformed-steel ladder frame engineered wîth buckle points that collapse in a controlled manner to absorb energy during a frontal impact. Load paths are engineered to avoid over-riding smaller vehicles and to manage energy concentrations caused by off-set contact wîth a fixed object or a second vehicle. Beams integrated wîth the door and roof-pillar structures avoid intrusion during side-impact collisions. The steel monocoque body shell serves as a safety cage to help resist impact or roll-over incursion. The centrally located fuel tank is well protected from damage during side or rear collisions.

A full complement of air bags supplement the injury protection provided by the three-point belts located at every seating position and the belt pre-tensioners provided for front occupants. The front-mounted air bags deploy in two stages depending on the accident severity and information received from weight and belt-tension sensors. Front-seat-mounted airbags offer thorax protection during a lateral collision. Roof-mounted side-curtain airbags deploy in a side collision to provide head protection. Six airbags are standard, a total of eight airbags are fitted (two additional) when the LR3 is equipped wîth the 7 Seat Comfort Package.

In addition to the above major safety systems and electronic controls described in the Chassis presentation, the LR3 has countless other attributes aimed at helping ensure safe travel. Command seating provides the driver wîth an excellent view of traffic and conditions. LATCH (Lower Anchor and Tether for Children) equipment is provided in two middle row positions for the safe accommodation of toddlers in child safety seats. Rear doors are equipped wîth child locks; the standard central locking and keyless entry systems help make sure no door is accidentally opened. Advanced technology head-, tail-, and fog lamps provide the driver and other motorists the visibility needed in low-light conditions. Deep-tinted glass and a standard security system wîth engine immobilization help protect the LR3 and its contents from theft or intrusion.

COMFORT, CONVENIENCE, AND INFOTAINMENT

The LR3 is equipped wîth a 240-watt harman/kardon® AM/FM-stereo radio system wîth six-disc in-dash CD changer, nine speakers, and §teering-wheel-mounted controls. The HSE LÚX Package includes a more powerful 550-watt harman/kardon® LOGIC7 digital surround sound system wîth 14 speakers. This system offers an auxiliary connection for MP3 players and personal audio output connections in the second- and third-row seats.

DVD-based navigation wîth a 7-inch LCD touch-sensitive screen, 2D and 3D map displays, and on- and off-road guidance capability is standard in the HSE. A special 4x4 screen presents the Terrain Response™ system settings for transmission gear and transfer case range plus the front-wheel-angle position, suspension movement indication, HDC control status, and current suspension setting. Additional equipment included in the HSE Package include: SIRIÚS Satellite radio, a center console cooler box, and a Bluetooth® Personal Telephone Integration System.
The aforementioned Personal Telephone Integration System accommodates the owner's mobile telephone by means of Bluetooth® wireless technology. Thanks to a fiber optic multiplex network called MOST (Media Oriented System Transport) entertainment, communication, and navigation communications are all exchanged at high speed.

A factory installed rear seat entertainment system is an available option. This package includes duel video display screens built into the headrests of the front seats. The system includes a six-disc DVD changer, a remote control, and input jacks for video games and MP3 players.

As a result of efficient space utilization and upright design, the LR3 offers one of the most spacious interiors available in the mid-size SÚV category. The electrically-adjustable, ergonomically-designed front bucket seats provide a lumbar adjuster for the driver and standard leather trim. The tilt §teering wheel is also sheathed in a soft grade of leather. Alpine windows in the rear portion of the roof and a standard power glass moonroof maintain a bright interior mood. Second- and third-row seats are positioned like stepping stones to give every occupant a comfortable view of the road or terrain ahead. The second-row bench is a 35:30:35 split design to facilitate trading seats for cargo room when necessary.

The dual-zone automatic climate control system uses CFC-free refrigerant. A rear climate control system is optional and part of the 7 Seat Comfort Package.

A package containing Bi-Xenon™ (HID high and low beams) headlights and front park-distance control is optional on the base LR3 (included in the HSE Package). Rear park distance control is a standard feature on LR3.

A programmable key fob provides remote control over the central locking system and the air suspension's height setting. Outside rear-view mirrors are heated to enhance visibility in inclement weather. Adaptive lighting that swivels the headlamps in synch wîth §teering movement is standard in the HSE LÚX and optional in the other models.

LR3 brings Land Rover prestige and core values to the heart of the SÚV market thanks to its wealth of highly functional equipment and attractive pricing. Like all Land Rovers, the LR3 excels both on- and off-road thanks to its robust foundation, advanced technology, attention to detail, and top-quality construction.

Eight distinctive exterior paint colors and two leather interior colors are offered.

Source - Land Rover
The British mid-size SUV Land Rover Discovery was an off road-focused vehicle that has been the first choice for Brits looking to tackle the bumpy road less traveled. Keeping the standard British elegance, the Discovery has undergone four generations since its introduction in 1989 and fills the gap between Land Rover's utilitarian Defender and upper crust Range Rover models. The luxury SUV was offered in Europe for several years before being exported to North America.

Codenamed 'Project Jay', Land Rover based the chassis and drivetrain on the more upmarket Range Rover, but priced it much lower to appeal to a larger market segment and was to compete with Japanese models. In the beginning the Discovery was available only as a three-door, but soon after a five-door version was offered. Both versions had five seats, and the option of two further seats that fitted in the trunk. This first generation would be the only generation with four-cylinder engines. The Discovery I rode on a 100.0-inch wheelbase had an overall length of 178.7 inches, a width of 70.6 inches and had a height of 77.4 inches.

Conran Design Group was a design agency hired by Land Rover to design the interior of the Discovery. Their award winning design won high acclaim and was awarded a British Design Award in 1989. Some off-the-wall features like a custom sunglass holder built into the center of the steering wheel didn't make the cut, but other original features were only found on the eye catching Discovery. Most of the interior of the SUV was constructed from 'Sonar Blue' plastic with blue cloth trim, remote radio controls on the instrument cluster, map/magazine holding slots positioned above the windscreen, hand-holds for backseat passenger incorporated into the head restraints of the front seats, twin removable sunroof panels, and a Land Rover-branded cloth fabric hold-all in the front center console for oddment storage that could be removed from vehicle and used as a 'handbag' with a supplied shoulder strap.

The interior basic structure was identical to the Range Rover and most of the switchgear and instruments came from other Rover Group cars like Montego and the Maestro. The outside of the vehicle was also similar to other Rover models, retaining the Range Rover panels and headlights from the Freight Rover van and taillights from the Maestro van.

Initially the Discovery was available with either the 2.5 liter 200 Tdi engine or the 3.5-liter Rover V8 engine. Early on the V8 engines utilized a twin SU carburetor system before moving to a Lucas 14CUX fuel injection system in 1990. The only available engine in the U.S. market was the V8. Dubbed the 2.0 L Mpi I4, a 2.0-liter petrol engine was very briefly offered from Rover in an attempt to appeal to fleet managers since UK tax laws benefitted vehicles less than two liters. This engine didn't last long thanks to a combination of taxes and the engine being underpowered for such a heavy vehicle. This engine was fitted to several Discoveries manufactured for the British Royal Family and was most famously driven by Prince Philip around Windsor Great Park.

The Discovery was modified for 1992 and received a new interior color of a more traditional beige in addition to the flamboyant light blue color. 200Tdi models now offered an automatic transmissions and new colors were added to the Discovery range. Early Discoveries had featured large 'compass and mountain' side decals that disguised wavy panel fit around the rear three quarter windows disappeared this year. Options this year included front driving lights; roof bars, a special range of metallic paints, and the 'SE' pack incorporating alloy wheels. Offered by Land Rover Special Vehicles was a two-seater, three-door Discovery Commercial version that didn't have rear side windows.

Many updates were in store for 1994. The 2.5 L 300TDi 4-cylinder and 3.9-liter Rover V8 engines replaced the 200Tdi and 3.5 L V8 engines and the 300Tdi debuted a Bosch electronic emissions controls for specific models and markets. A more powerful R380 gearbox was fitted to all manual models combined with the flexible cardan coupling GAJ-1 from SGF for more comfort. The modified models sported larger headlamps and a second set of rear lights in the bumper. To meet real or projected European safety legislation the new rear lights had the wiring changed several times. Some models were left with an arrangement where the vulnerable bumpers held only working direction-indicators light, while other examples have these lights duplicated in the traditional rear pillar location.

The original model designers were forced to cut costs by economizing the 200 series from the 'parts-bin' the Rover Company. The basic body shell was taken from the Range Rover, the taillights from the Austin Maestro van, the door handles came from the Morris Marina and the interior instrumentation and switchgear came from the Rover 'parts bin'. 1994 model year would the first time that the Discovery would be marketed in the U.S. and airbags were quickly incorporated into the design of the '95 model to meet U.S. motor vehicle regulations though they weren't fitted as standard in all markets. 95 models sold in the U.S. featured the 3.9-liter V8 engine from the Range Rover SE models before they were switched to the 4.0-liter version of the engine.

The 96-98 U.S. models with 4.0 liter engines had the same displacement as the 3.9-liter engines fitted to earlier '94-95 US models with the only differences between the engines being in modifications to the block rigidity and pistons, and a change from the Lucas 14CUX engine management to the distributor-less GEMS (Generic Engine Management System). Early 3.9 liter US engines featured the fuel injection computer that didn't control the ignition, but instead controlled by a traditional system with ignition coil and distributor made by Lucas. Several important differences with the 4.0-liter engine were the revised pistons, revised intake and the GEMS system and larger, cross-bolted main bearings. This engine was developed by Lucas and SAFEM jointly and controlled both spark and fuel injection. GEMS was made OBD-II compliant unlike the earlier systems fitted to Rover V8 engines. This modification was made because of the 1996 federal requirement for vehicles sold in the U.S. to meet the OBD-II specification.

The transmission in the Discovery is a permanent four-wheel drive system with a locking center differential at the transfer box like all Land Rover vehicles designated since the Land Rover Series that had switchable two-wheel and four-wheel drive. Like most of the range, the handbrake acts on the transmission at the back of the transfer box, locking all wheels when applied.

The Honda Crossroad was a badge-engineered version of the Series 1 produced in Japan. Since the early '80s the Rover companies had cross-holding association with Honda U.K. until 1994 when Rover was taken over by BMW. The nameplate 'Crossroad' was revived by Honda in 2007 for another small sport utility vehicle. Local tax laws in the Republic of Ireland meant that the first ever instance of a Discovery Commercial van was introduced in 1991. Two years later a modified version was launched shorty after the UK market example in 1992. Most of the Commercials up to 2011 were basically tax-exempt and the Irish examples have highly influenced the Discovery's success and high sales there.

In the fall of 1998 the Series II Discovery was debuted in the UK, and would be introduced in the US the following year. The Series II was advertised as having 720 'differences' over the previous series. Less utilitarian looking, both the exterior and interior were modified, though they still looked similar to the previous Series. Except for the rear door outer skin, every body panel was new while the rear body was extended to give more room, unfortunately at the expense of added rear overhang, which effected off-road ability negatively.

The 2,495 cc Td5 was introduced at this time and was smoother and produced more usable toque at lower revs than its 300 Tdi predecessor. This engine is oftentimes mistaken as BMW produced, but was in fact derived from the Rover L-series passenger car engine and developed by Land Rover. The Range Rover P38 Thor 4.0-liter Rover-derived V8 replaced the 3,948 cc V8 petrol version from the Disco 1. The capacity was not increased at all over the previous 3.9-liter engine. Though the engine design was similar, internally the design was quite different and utilized a different crankshaft, had different con rods and pistons and larger bearing journals with cross bolted caps. To accept extra sensors for the Gems and Bosch (thor) injection system, and to the allow the additional stroke of the 4.6 crankshaft the blocks were machined differently. The Discovery Series II switched to the 4.6-liter V8 for 2003 and 2004. The 4.0 continued as the only V8 option available in the UK. Some versions received ACE (Active Cornering Enhancement), which reduced corning roll thanks to an electronically controlled hydraulic anti-roll bar system. Some models received self-leveling air-springs, and European style-approval for seven-seat models were only given for air-sprung cars.

Until early 2001 the locking center differential continued to be fitted, though the linkage to operate it was not attached since Land Rover believed that the traction control and newly developed Hill Descent Control would render it superfluous. In early 2001 the actual locking mechanism was removed before being fully reinstated with linkage in the newly modified 2004 model. The traction control system worked well but didn't have the same level of control and smoothness that other vehicles fitted with a diff lock did. The diff lock controls were fully reinstated on UK/Irish models as a cost option only thanks to customer demands.

Three sub types were offered with the U.S. version; the S, the SE, and HSE, with the last two coming in 7 seat version, SE7 and HSE7. New 'pocketed' headlamps made these modified models easily distinguished from earlier models and matched the Range Rover and updated Freelander models. Other modifications included turns signals moving from the bumper to the high side fixtures and redesigned turn and brake lamps on the rear of the vehicle. It was easy to tell the earlier Series II models from the later models by new paddle door handles, different dimensions and the new location of the stop light fixtures above the window.

Several Discovery II Commercial models were produced by Land Rover Special Vehicles based on the five-door body shell reminiscent of a minivan with opaque windows. Normal vehicles were exported to Ireland where they were had the rear side windows smashed and rear seat destroyed in front of a Revenue official to offer a vehicle that avoided the Vehicle Registration Tax which saved around 40%.

Only two models were in the offerings during the final production run of the Discovery II in the UK market. The base model Pursuit and the top of the line Landmark. The Pursuit still kept its high level of equipment standard, while the Landmark featured a lush all-leather interior, heated windscreen, twin sunroofs and Active Cornering Enhancement six-disc CD player. The Special Vehicles released Commercials featured rear self leveling suspension standard and rendered windows fixed in place on the modified models so while a retrofit of seats is viable, it doesn't offer any big comforts to the backseat passengers unless the doors are almost completely rebuilt to facilitate windows that open, with the help of additional wiring. The final modification of this vehicle came with climate control, a high spec, alloy wheels, roof bars and marine ply boarding with full-length rubber mat in the loading space, all standard features.

The Discovery 3, or LR3 was introduced on April 2, 2004 in North America. Keeping many of the same major features of the Discovery like the steeply-raked windscreen and the stepped roofline, the LR3 designation was chosen for North American markets because of negative quality associations with the Discovery name and an American preference for alpha-number model designations (according to Land Rover). Because of this opinion, the second generation Freelander was also modified for the U.S. market as the LR2.

Land Rover created a body construction method that was marketed as IBF, or Integrated Body Frame. In the method the engine bay and passenger area were constructed as a monocoque, then joined to a basic ladder-frame chassis for the gearbox and suspension. Though it makes for a heavy clumsy vehicle, which compromised agility and performance, Land Rover claims IBF combine the qualities of ladder-frame and monocoque. The LR3 was offered with a rear locking differential.

This series of the Discovery featured FIS; fully independent suspension, like the Series III Ranger Rover, this was an air suspension system that enable ride-height adjustment by simply pumping up or deflating the air bags. When off-roading, this vehicle can be raised or lowered to improve handling and provide ground clearance. 'Cross-lined' air suspension was developed by Land Rover which is the suspension copying the action of a beam axle as one wheel drops, the other rises. The system senses the reduction in load on the air springs and raises the car an extra inch if the chassis contacts the group when the suspension was at its 'off road' height. A coil-spring independent system was available on the base model in both the UK and European markets. Lacking the Terrain Response system, this model was special in the range for only featuring five seats, and only available with the 2.7 liter diesel engine.

All of the engines used in the DR3 came from Jaguar, Land Rover's sister company at the time. Intended to be the biggest seller in Europe was a Ford/PSA-developed 2.7-liter, 195 hp, 440 Nm V6 diesel engine. The high-performance option (and the one for the US market) was a 4.4-liter petrol V8 of 300 hp. Also available in North America and Australia was a 216 hp 4.0-liter SOHC Ford V6 petrol engine.

Brand new on the Discovery 3 were the gearboxes. A six-speed manual transmission was standard for the diesel engine. A six-speed automatic transmission was available as an option and as standard on the V8 engine and both came with a two-speed transfer box and permanent four-wheel-drive. In tough circumstances a computer controlled progressively locking central differential ensured traction was kept, and a similar differential was available to aid traction on the rear axle.

A variety of electronic traction control systems were fitted on the Discovery 3 including 4-wheel Electronic Traction Control (4ETC) which prevented wheel spin in low-traction conditions and Hill Descent Control (HDC), which prevented vehicle 'runaways' when traversing steep gradients. Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) was an on-road system, which eliminated skidding when steering and braking at speed. The DR3 also featured the 'Terrain Response' system, a system that attempted to react to as many difficulties like deep water, tough terrain and steep hills by simply selecting a type on a dial in the cab of the vehicle. The selectable options were 'Mud & Ruts', 'Rock Crawl', 'Sand' and 'Grass, Gravel & Snow'. The on-board computer systems then chose the correct gearbox settings, adjusted the suspension heat, adjusted the differential lock settings and even altered the throttle suspension of the engine depending on the terrain situation. Despite the system, the driver is still able to retain some manual control over the off-road system and is able to select the Transfer Box ration and the suspension height manually, though use of the Terrain Response system is needed to allow full use of the SUV's capabilities.

The DR3 also unveiled a variety of interior and exterior modifications with this series that incorporated a fresh new minimalistic style. On the inside was a flexible seven-seat layout that seated passengers in the rearmost row entering through the rear side doors instead of the tailgate. New features included a DVD navigation system and optional extras like Bluetooth. Just like the Range Rover, this 'infotainment' system in the DR3 adopted an electronics architecture whereby the system's distributed control units pass information and audio amongst one another and throughout the vehicle through optical links based on the MOST fiber-optic automotive networking standard. The navigation system was unique to Rover because in benefits in addition to the typical road map navigation included an off-road navigation and four-wheel drive information mode. When in four-wheel drive information mode the screen displayed a schematic of the car, displaying the angle of the front wheels, the amount of suspensions movement, what gear was selected on automatic versions and the status of the locking differentials and icons showing which mode the Terrain Response was in.

The public loved the DR3 Series, especially with the Terrain Response system, which improved on-road capabilities, and the fresh interior. Jeremy Clarkson from BBC's Top Gear drove a DR3 to the top of Cnon an Fhreiceadain, which was a 1,005 foot mountain near Tongue in Northern Scotland, where no other vehicle had ever before traversed. Top Gear presenter Richard Hammond praised the DR3 as the 'Best 4X4 of all time', and the SUV was awarded '4WD of the Year' by the 4WD press in Australia.

A DR3 was used in the Land Rover G4 Challenge in 2006 alongside the Range Rover Sport. The SUVs used were in standard mechanical form and were fitted with equipment from the standard Land Rover brochures. The Range Rover Sport is based on the Discovery 3 platform instead of the larger Range Rover and is the first all-new model placement since the Freelander. A UK version of the DR3 was produced in August of 2008 that offered an upgrade to the stereo system (Harman Kardon) as standard along with a six CD stacker, integrated steering wheel controls, color-coded bumpers and clear indicator side lights. Unfortunately the Discovery 3 was put on Forbes DARPA driverless edition 'Least Reliable Luxury Cars 2006'. Finishing 4th in the DARPA Urban challenge was a driverless version of the LR3.

Introduced in Gerotek, outside Pretoria, a fiercely decked out version was called Armoured Discovery 3 S with B6 ballistic level of protection. The SUV featured side blast and under floor grenade protection, blast certification, Independent ballistic, uprated suspension, handling and braking system. The engines choice was the 2,720 cc V6 turbo diesel with 5L V8 in 2010 model year and the wheels were fitted with run-flat tyre system.

A modified version of the Discovery 3 was the Discovery 4, or the LR4 in North America. The updated version featured a restyled front grille and bumper to adopt the rounder, smoother style also adapted for the 2010 Range Rover and Rover Sport. It used the same Integrated Body Frame structure and featured altered front and rear light units. The new model kept the body-colored wheel arches and bumpers from its D3 predecessor. LED lamps were housed in both front and rear lamp units, and Optional Daylight Running Lamps could be specified.

Most of the modifications for the new model were mechanicals and two engines were brought over from Jaguar Land Rover's 'Gen III' range. A 3.0-litre development of the 2-7-liter engine used in the D3 was the TDV6 Gen III. The new version sported improved twin-sequential turbochargers where a Variable geometry turbocharger is used at low engine speeds, with a second standard turbo brought online at higher engine speeds. This season pumped out greater output than the older engines by 214 hp, while reducing CO2 emissions by 10%. The Gen III version of the V8 petrol engine develops 385 bhp and 380 lb/ft and is now a 5-liter unit with Direct Petrol Injection.
The ZF six-speed automatic/sequential gearbox was modified and fitted which includes taller gearing to take advantage of the new engines' greater torque output along with an updated lock-up system to further reduce fuel consumption. New more powerful brakes from the Range Rover Sport were added along with thicker anti-roll bars that improved on-road handling. Other technical updates included the electronic handling system updated with the Stability Control System now including a program that detects the onset of understeer and applies the brakes. The D4 kept the previous models fully independent air suspension with cross-linkings when off-road and the twin-range transfer gearbox with an electronic infinitely-variable locking center differential. Just like before a similar locking rear differential can be added.

The Terrain Response system was available once again, and was updated with two new features. The 'Sand' mode boasts a new traction control mode that helps prevent loss of traction when starting off and stopping in soft sand. The 'Rock Crawl' mode received a feature that applies gentle brake pressure at low speed to aid in grip and stability on slick rock. To account for the new engines and gearboxes with their updated engines and gearboxes with their different torque characteristics the system was also 'retuned'. The D4 also now featured Trailer Stability Assist, which can adjust the throttle and brakes to prevent an unsafe swaying trailer.

In Europe the 2.7 liter TDV6 engine was still available on the basic 2.7 GS passenger and 2010 Commercial ranges. This engine came equipped with air suspension and the Terrain Response system unlike the D3 base model while automatic transmission as optional. Available in the GS trim level with automatic transmission was the 3.0-liter Gen III model.

Sporting a brand new revamped interior, the Discovery 4 closely mimicked the new style set by the LR range for 2010. To improve clarity when driving the instrument cluster was updated with the redesigned speedometer and tachometer analogue gauges. A single TFT screen with the power of displaying information in a variety of modes and formats replaced the electronic information display, the analogue temperature and fuel gauges from the its predecessor. The D4 sported a new center console that featured more simplified controls and switches. A new seat design was showcased this year along with a broader range of available interior materials like wood veneer and the highly polished 'Piano Black'. Land Rover's purpose behind these upgrades was to lift the Discovery into a higher market aimed at luxury and executive markets.

The Discovery 4 gained some electronic systems from the Rover lineup like the optional 'Surround Camera Systems' which was a series of cameras nestled in the headlamps, wing mirrors and rear tailgate handle which sent the images to the center console screen to help improve visibility when parking, off-roading or hitching up to a trailer. Other systems aided in efficiency like a 'Smart' alternator that charges the battery when the engine load is low which reduced fuel consumption when the engine is working harder.

Introduced in the summer of 2009, the Discovery 4 went on sale in the U.K. on September 1st of the same year. At the same time a Commercial van variant was released in the UK using the 2.7 engine and available in GS and XS trim levels. Based on the XE 2.7 manual and HSE 3.0 auto engines a Commercial van was introduced in the Republic of Ireland from January 1, 2010. The 2.7-liter engine was dropped for the 2011 model year. Newly available were two versions of the 3.0-liter engine, one called the TDV6 and one called the SDV6, which offered 245 bhp.

Diesel models in Europe for the 2012 model year featured the new eight-speed auto gearbox with steering wheel paddle controls and a circular dial selector that raises upon startup. The new SDV6 engine was uprated to 255 bhp. Both diesel engines featured reduced emissions for European models. The HSE Luxury special edition was introduced during 2010 and was available in both European and North American markets and featured improved trim levels.

An all-new five-seat version of the Discovery 4 was debuted in Ireland in 2010. Classified as an N1 Commercial vehicle, the five-seater attracted lower VRT rates. On the same rules was also a brand new two-seat Commercial. All Irish models arrived with the lower emissions TDV7 engine.

The Land Rover LR4 placed fourth out of five vehicles in a January 2011 comparison test by Car and Driver. The LR4 fell behind the Audi Q7, BMW X5 and Acura MDX. Since it was introduced in 2009, the LR4 had continued to win the Auto Express categories of Best Large SUV and Best Towcar.

In March of 2012 the one millionth Land Rover Discovery rolled off the production line in Solihull, Birmingham, UK. In a replica of a 1950s expedition, this vehicle (along with two similar examples) was driven from Solihull to Beijing, China. When the expedition toured Lake Geneva a pre-production Discovery 1 G459 WAC (which had been converted into an amphibious vehicle) joined the expedition, which concluded when the actual Millionth Discovery appeared at the Beijing Motor Show. The vehicle now remains on permanent exhibition at the British Motor Industry Heritage Trust center at Gaydon, Warwickshire, England

Sources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Land_Rover_Discovery
http://www.edmunds.com/land-rover/discovery/

By Jessica Donaldson
 
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Discovery / LR3
Freelander / LR2
IIA
Range Rover

Image Left 2008 LR32010 Discovery 4 Image Right2010 Discovery 4 Landmark Limited Editions Image Right
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