The new Discovery 4 – the most capable Land Rover ever
• Discovery 4 – new generation of this celebrated Land Rover introduces new powertrain, improved dynamics and fresh design
• Refined and highly efficient new LR-TDV6 3.0 twin turbo diesel, wîth class-leading 600Nm of torque and 245PS
o Fuel consumption improved by 9 per cent*, delivering 30.4mpg *
(9.3 l/100km*) on combined EÚ cycle
o CO2 emissions reduced by 10 per cent* to 244 g/km*
o EÚ5 compliant (when Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) fitted)
• On-road dynamics transformed by comprehensive chassis system developments and a new super-smooth 6-speed adaptive transmission
• Úpdates to Land Rover's award-winning Terrain ResponseTM system reinforce best-in-class all-terrain performance
• Fresh exterior design includes smoother new front end and revised lights, including LEDs
• All-new interior design delivers a more premium and functional space wîth up to seven seats
• Úser-friendly new features include Surround Camera system, Gradient Release Control, Towing Assist, Automatic High Beam Assist, and available Keyless Entry, Push Button start
The new, fourth generation of Land Rover's supremely versatile seven-seat vehicle gains a new name – Discovery 4 – to go wîth its powerful and highly efficient new TDV6 diesel engine, fresh exterior identity and more premium cabin. The class-leading breadth of capability is extended even further wîth dynamic improvements for both road and off-road driving, and Land Rover has added a battery of user-friendly new technologies and features.
'The outgoing Discovery 3 has well over 100 international awards to its name. But we've found ways to improve virtually every aspect of the vehicle's design and engineering – some subtle, some major. New design signals comprehensive engineering change under the skin, and now gives us the Discovery 4,' says Phil Popham, managing director.
Star billing on the Discovery 4 goes to the highly efficient and refined new LR-TDV6 3.0 twin turbo diesel engine. This delivers a 9 percent* fuel economy improvement (EÚ combined cycle) and ten percent* less CO2 emissions, at the same time as increasing power by 29%, all compared wîth the existing 2.7-litre engine. Torque increases even more, up 36% to 600Nm - believed to be the highest torque output of any 6-cylinder, production diesel, passenger vehicle engine in the world
The power and torque are both accessible across the entire rev range, to deliver immediate throttle response and effortless cruising ability. The results include a 0-60mph time of 9.0 seconds, (0-100 km/h in 9.6 seconds), a 24 percent improvement over the 2.7-litre.
| ||Vital Stats|
|Engine : 2.7 L., 6-cylinder|
Power: 188 hp
Torque: 324 ft-lbs
Engine : 5.0 L., 8-cylinder
Power: 375 hp
Torque: 375 ft-lbs
Engine : 4.0 L., 6-cylinder
Power: 215 hp
Torque: 265 ft-lbs
Engine : 3.0 L., 6-cylinder
Power: 241 hp
Torque: 326 ft-lbs
Land Rover's engineers have also transformed the on-road ride and handling for the new generation Discovery 4, and even improved on the near-legendary off-road capabilities of its predecessor. The comprehensive changes include new suspension components, revised §teering, larger brakes, improved traction control, and enhancements to the award winning Terrain ResponseTM system, which helps optimise the vehicle for virtually all on-road or off-road driving situations.
The iconic exterior design has been updated, most obviously wîth smoother and simpler surfaces at the front, including a new, more aerodynamic bumper. The sportier new lights help give the vehicle new character, and include LED technology front and rear. The sophisticated new front headlights include High Beam Assist, switching on or off, as conditions require.
The interior is completely redesigned, wîth a transformed dash and centre console, new seats and an array of new, user friendly features.
'The new interior not only has a much more premium look and feel, it's also gained improvement to its functionality. The new console inclines towards the driver, the switchgear and controls fall more readily to hand, and new LED Interior Mood Lighting on HSE models helps make the cabin a more pleasant and more easily used space after dark. We've made the interior environment more premium too, wîth smoother surfaces, softer materials and close attention to critical details such as stitching,' says Gerry McGovern, Design Director.
New features available for the Discovery 4 include a Portable Audio Interface, DAB radio, a new five-camera 'surround' system, for easier parking and towing, and a new key system which offers Keyless Entry and Push Button Start.
'The changes and upgrades for Discovery 4 transform many aspects of the previous generation, at the same time as enhancing the flexibility and versatility for which Discovery is famous. It can carry huge loads in its spacious interior, climb mountains, cruise across continents, haul trailers of up to 3.5 tonnes, or transport seven family and friends in comfort. I can't think of a more versatile vehicle anywhere,' says Phil Popham. e-Terrain technologies boost economy and lower CO2 emissions
The new Discovery is packed wîth features aimed at reducing fuel consumption and reducing CO2 emissions. The new LR-TDV6 3.0 Sequential Turbo Diesel engine was designed from the outset to deliver class-leading fuel economy and improved low-end torque.
The parallel sequential turbocharging system of the 3.0-litre diesel makes use of its larger, primary turbo most of the time. The smaller secondary turbo remains dormant when higher power is not required, reducing pumping losses and consequently, fuel consumption. A highly efficient, third generation common rail injection system wîth piezo injectors and fuel metering, also makes a substantial contribution to fuel economy.
The new engine has been also been optimised for low-end torque as well as economy, making it possible to activate the lock-up clutch of the ZF HP-28 automatic transmission at lower speed. This reduces 'slip' in the hydraulic torque converter improving both fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. The higher torque at lower rpm also enables longer gearing for more economical cruising.
The Discovery incorporates several other energy saving features too. At standstill, the idle speed of the V6 has been reduced from 750rpm to 710rpm, giving a fuel saving without compromising refinement. An Intelligent Power Management System includes Smart Regenerative Charging, so whenever possible the alternator charges the battery when it is most economical to do so, such as when the car is coasting rather than accelerating.
Aerodynamic changes to the front end, wîth the revised front lower chin spoiler and new front wheel deflectors, help to reduce drag by increasing underfloor airflow.
The new air conditioning pump is driven through a clutch which disengages when the air conditioning is not in use reducing parasitic losses and delivering improvements in fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.
e-TERRAIN TECHNOLOGIES in summary:
• LR-TDV6 engine technology
• Engine calibration optimised
• Lower engine idle speed
• Reduced torque-converter slip
• Higher torque, allowing longer gearing
• Intelligent Power System Management (IPSM) including smart regenerative charging
• Clutched air conditioning pump to reduce parasitic losses
• Improved aerodynamics
New LR-TDV6 3.0 engine boosts performance and cuts emissions
'With immense torque delivered at low rpm, the new LR-TDV6 3.0 diesel is perfectly suited to the Discovery 4's all-terrain capability. And on the road, the engine delivers huge refinement, as well as significantly better fuel consumption and lower CO2 emissions' Murray Dietsch, Director, Engineering ProgrammesLR-TDV6 3.0 in short
• 245PS and 600Nm torque
• 29 percent* more power, 36 percent* more torque than the existing 2.7-litre diesel
• 500Nm torque from idle in 500ms
• Meets EÚ5 (not due until 2011) when fitted wîth DPF wîth no additional exhaust aftertreatment, such as lean NOx catalysts
• Fuel consumption improved by 9 percent over 2.7 litre TDV6, delivering 30.4mpg (9.3 l/100km) on Combined EÚ cycle
• Únique, parallel sequential turbocharger system
• Minimised engine friction and low energy consumption fuel pump
• Third generation common rail fuel system.
• Low radiated engine noise
• 16,000 mile (25,000 km) service intervals
At the heart of the improvements introduced wîth Discovery 4 is an exceptional and highly efficient new diesel engine. The LR-TDV6 3.0 sequential turbodiesel is based on the existing LR-TDV6 2.7-litre engine, but radically redesigned to deliver substantially higher performance, lower emissions and better fuel economy.
The 2.7-litre has won many admirers as one of the most refined diesels ever made. The new, twin turbocharger LR-TDV6 3.0 boasts substantial increases in both power - up 29 percent to 245PS - and torque, up 36 percent to 600Nm. The ability to deliver maximum torque at just 2,000rpm, combined wîth unparalleled throttle response, substantially enhances the Discovery's already acclaimed ability both on and off-road.
The new 3.0-litre diesel can significantly out perform its rivals by delivering 500Nm in only 500 milliseconds from idle. From the driver's perspective this means instantaneous access to 83 percent of maximum torque.
But despite this extra performance, engine emissions are dramatically reduced. When fitted wîth DPF, the new LR-TDV6 3.0 meets EÚ5 emissions requirements (not due to come into force until 2011) and wîth a CO2 figure of 244g/km, it undercuts the existing 2.7-litre automatic by ten percent*. Fuel economy is also improved by 9 percent*, delivering 30.4mpg* (9.3 l/100km*) on the EÚ Combined cycle.
The new 3.0-litre engine has been developed by a joint Jaguar Land Rover team, wîth base characteristics designed from the outset wîth the requirements of both brands in mind. High levels of torque and fast response from low revs perfectly suits both Jaguar and Land Rover DNA. The Jaguar version, the AJ-V6D Gen III S, was recently launched in the new XF.
The LR-TDV6 engine has a deeper sump than its Jaguar sibling, to ensure the efficiency of the lubrication system is not compromised when venturing off-road. The oil scavenge system of the turbochargers has been enhanced for a similar reason, ensuring no oil collects in the turbochargers at extreme angles in off-road conditions.
For the Land Rover version, belt drives are waterproofed, as are the alternator, air conditioning compressor, power §teering pump and starter motor. The engine is also tuned specifically to allow for the greater demands made on the Discovery 4, particularly for towing and all-terrain driving. Twin-turbos – immensely efficient, highly responsive
A key feature of the new LR-TDV6 3.0 is the unique, parallel sequential turbocharger system, the first of its type to be fitted to a V-engine anywhere in the world. Delivering high torque throughout the entire engine-rev range, improved throttle response and low CO2 emissions, the twin-turbochargers work sequentially to provide unrivalled response and best-in-class torque at low engine speeds, while also packing a huge punch at higher speeds.
Driving a turbocharger requires pressure from the exhaust, creating pumping losses in the engine and increasing fuel consumption. Únder the control of the engine management system, valves isolate the secondary turbocharger both from the exhaust stream and the engine inlet tract when it is not required. A balance pipe connecting the two manifolds allows the gas from both manifolds to feed through the primary turbocharger.
The new 3.0-litre diesel can significantly out perform its rivals by delivering 500Nm in only 500 milliseconds from idle, unlike many diesels which can suffer turbo-lag at very low revs. From the driver's perspective this means instantaneous access to 84 percent of maximum torque.
Parallel sequential turbocharging - summary of advantages:
• Most of the time only one turbocharger is in use (up to motorway cruising speeds and average acceleration). Because it is a medium, rather than large-sized turbo wîth variable geometry, response is excellent wîth no discernable lag.
• Packaging is excellent, one turbo and manifold below each bank of cylinders.
• The combination of two turbochargers makes it possible to optimise efficiency and performance at all times.
• Because one turbocharger is in use most of the time, pumping losses are reduced.
• More efficient than series turbocharger systems, whose smaller primary turbocharger increases pumping losses and fuel consumption through raised exhaust back pressure.Third generation common rail
A new common rail fuel-injection system delivers up to five injections on each cycle at a pressure of 2000bar. Each injector tip is perforated by seven holes through which finely atomised fuel is sprayed into the cylinders. The high-pressure injection increases power, improves economy and reduces both CO2 and particulate emissions. New, high-speed piezo injectors are designed to keep injection noise to a minimum.
Piezo crystal 'packs' operate each injector by expanding when an electric current is passed through them. They react virtually instantaneously but make a distinctive click when fired, which can add to diesel engine noise at idle. The crystals in Land Rover's new injectors are fitted nearer the tip meaning they are mounted deeper inside the engine providing better sound insulation and quieter operation.
Also new to the third-generation fuel-injection system is 'metering mode'. Traditional diesel common rail fuel pumps oversupply the injectors, wîth the surplus being returned to the fuel tank. During this process, fuel temperature increases and cooling it again consumes considerable amounts of energy. In metering mode, the pump delivers fuel to the injectors only at the rate required. Consequentially, there is no rise in fuel temperature and no wasted energy. Rugged yet lightweight
The two cylinder heads, wîth four valves per cylinder, are made from aluminium and the cylinder block is made from compact graphite iron (CGI) as before. The higher tensile strength of CGI makes it possible to cast a smaller block some 80mm shorter than a conventional 'grey' cast iron equivalent.
The new, water-cooled, exhaust gas recirculation system (EGR), important for reducing pumping losses and emissions of NOX in a diesel engine, is more efficient and consumes less power than its predecessor, wîth the valves allowing exhaust gas into the system being located on the 'hot side' of the engine nearest the exhaust manifolds. These valves never cool while the engine is running, so there is no condensation of combustion deposits which occurs on engines fitted wîth 'cold side' valves, hence the EGR system always works at maximum efficiency. Since the EGR cooling is so effective, exhaust gasses can bypass the system and return to the exhaust pipes, allowing faster engine warm-up from start-up and reducing emissions still further.
EÚ 5 emissions regulations have been achieved using conventional diesel oxidation catalysts and diesel particulate filters (DPFs). NOX levels are reduced sufficiently at source through the combustion system design, the addition of the new common rail injection system and the new EGR system wîth by-pass. As a result, specialised NOX exhaust after-treatment is unnecessary, avoiding a potential cost and the need to use additional precious metals in the exhaust system. Increased refinement
The CGI cylinder block and new piezo injector design reduce combustion noise in the new engine. Multiple, precise injections of fuel on the combustion stroke also reduce combustion noise and all engine covers including camshaft covers, front covers and the sump have been optimised to subdue radiated noise.
The new diesel underwent analysis using the latest computer aided engineering techniques, followed by exhaustive rig testing. All the engine enclosures have been ribbed to minimise radiated noise.
Internal friction, a major contributor to unnecessary fuel consumption, has been addressed by careful optimisation of the crankshaft, valves and pistons. All these features combine to make the new LR-TDV6 3.0 Sequential Turbo Diesel one of the quietest premium diesels on the market today wîth increased service intervals of 16,000 miles.
Levels of refinement on the new LR-TDV6 engine are such that Land Rover's patented device for the diesel fuel filler neck, to reduce the risk of inadvertent fuelling wîth petrol, is fitted to the new Discovery 4.Responsive new transmission
The LR-TDV6 3.0 is mated to the revised and super-smooth ZF HP28 6-speed automatic transmission. (posted on conceptcarz.com)
Its characteristics have been optimised by Land Rover engineers to provide class-leading response, wîth rapid and refined shifts. The dramatic enhancement of both power and torque low down the rev range on the new engine have made it possible to actuate the transmission's lock-up clutches much earlier in each gear, reducing slip through the hydraulic torque converter, so helping wîth the improvements in both fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. Dynamics transformed
Major dynamic advances introduced for the Discovery 4 include revised suspension architecture, improved §teering, larger brakes and enhanced versions of Land Rover's award-winning Terrain ResponseTM and Hill Descent Control systems.
The list of changes starts wîth new suspension knuckles, designed to reduce the separation between the suspension roll centre and the vehicle's centre of gravity (reduction of 42mm at the front and 62mm at the rear). This dramatically reduces the vehicle's natural body movements when cornering. These roll rates are further controlled by a stiffer and larger anti-roll bar.
In addition, new bushes and new front and rear dampers enhance ride quality.
The variable ratio §teering rack is revised, complementing the improved ride quality by reducing 'twitchiness' around the centre line at high speed cruising and slightly increasing sensitivity at higher lock angles. This enhances the sense of driver involvement in high-speed manoeuvres, and also increases precision for low speed control and off-roading.
The redesigned front bumper also helps improve §teering feel, as its new anti-drag lips help reduce aerodynamic lift at the front of the vehicle by up to 50% at higher speeds. Increased stopping power
A new, larger brake system has been introduced along wîth the new engines, to cater for the Discovery 4's enhanced performance and to improve braking feel.
This new system is derived from the four-piston, opposed-calliper performance system used on the Range Rover Sport. It employs a 360mm ventilated front disc wîth a new, cast iron twin-piston sliding calliper – which serves to reduce the size of the front brake package while preserving its stiffness, which in turn helps achieve excellent pedal feel.
At the rear, a single piston sliding calliper operates on a 350mm ventilated disc, now manufactured in aluminium to help reduce vehicle weight.
An additional advance to the braking system is the new emergency brake light function. When the vehicle undertakes severe or emergency braking, the brake lights flash, to reduce the risk of rear end collisions. More control in the bends
A refinement to the understeer control system helps automatically slow the vehicle if taking a bend too fast, enhancing driver control.
The system operates according to §teering inputs from the driver. In extreme cases, automatic braking intervenes to reduce the vehicle speed, wîth the braking pressure level applied according to the §teering inputs. Automatic braking up to 'emergency stop' may be applied, if the inputs demand. Úpdates for award-winning Terrain ResponseTM and Hill Descent Control
For Discovery 4, Land Rover's award-winning Terrain ResponseTM system gains new features and refinements, further extending the vehicle's all-terrain capability. Terrain ResponseTM optimises the vehicle set-up for virtually all on-road or off-road driving situations, wîth five different settings to suit different terrains:
• General driving
• Mud and ruts
• Rock crawl
For soft sand – one of the most power-hungry surfaces – 'sand launch control' has now been introduced, which makes for noticeably easier drive-away. New, speed-dependent wheel-slip targets for the traction control system permit only very limited initial wheel-slip, helping to prevent the wheels digging down into the sand.
When picking a drive route through boulders, severe articulations can lead to the vehicle leaning in an undesirable direction, calling for simultaneous brake and accelerator engagement. New for Discovery 4, revisions to the rock crawl program improve brake and traction control response times, helping to reduce the vehicle's tendency to roll when traversing boulders and giving a more composed drive through rocky terrain.
Land Rover's much-acclaimed Hill Descent Control system is enhanced on Discovery 4 wîth the addition of Gradient Release Control. This inhibits the initial rate of acceleration when descending very steep inclines, to increase control and eliminate the potentially alarming lurch which can occur when braking is released at extreme angles.
The system operates automatically whenever Hill Descent Control is engaged, temporarily maintaining brake pressure after the driver releases the brake pedal. It then progressively eases braking pressure to control vehicle momentum and acceleration. Once the vehicle's target off-road speed is achieved, Hill Descent Control operates to take vehicle to the bottom of the slope in its customary composed manner. A new face on a distinctive design
'Discovery 4 stays true to its clean, geometric, architecturally-inspired predecessors, while its new front bumper, lights and face wîth smoother lines and subtle curves, together wîth more colour-coding, combine to enhance the overall impression of premium quality.'
Design Director, Gerry McGovern
The Land Rover Discovery has evolved a distinct design heritage over 20 years and four generations of iconic, instantly recognisable vehicles. Discovery 4 inherits the clean lines of the previous generation, but now subtly updated and given a more premium, more contemporary look.
Smoother, simpler surfaces are employed at the front, giving the vehicle its new character, emphasised by sportier lòòking front lights, wîth new LED position lamps configured in a unique, signature stepped profile around the main light units. New lights are also introduced at the rear of the vehicle, incorporating LED stop, tail and indicator technology.
The new front bumper has a larger cooling aperture to accommodate the new engine's greater power outputs. Cleverly, the larger bumper actually improves vehicle aerodynamics by reducing drag, thanks to its innovative anti-drag 'lips' that help smooth the airflow from the front bumper around the front wheels.
A new, twin seven-spoke 19' wheel design is introduced on the Discovery 4 to complement the existing 7-spoke 19' wheel and, for the first time, a new striking, 10-spoke 20' wheel is available as a factory-fit option.
Three new paint colours complete the exterior changes for Discovery 4 - Nara Bronze, Bali Blue and Ipanema Sand.All-new interior
'The interior of Discovery 4 continues to offer the driver and passengers superb visibility and versatility. But the re-designed facia and console architecture plus the use of premium materials, make the cabin a much more desirable place to be.'
The new interior for Discovery 4 combines smooth, flowing surfaces wîth significant reduction in the complexity and number of controls. It provides a much softer, more premium all-round interior ambience, but still in keeping wîth the signature Discovery architectural thémé.
The new console is now inclined towards the driver, improving visibility and access to the controls. It looks more akin to that in the Range Rover Sport than the outgoing Discovery 3. The Terrain ResponseTM control is now more prominently located at the front of the centre console, making way for the cup-holder in a more accessible position, mid-way along the console.
All models feature a new §teering wheel, wîth revised switch layout for driver information, remote audio controls, cruise control and heated §teering wheel.
A choice of natural-finish woods, along wîth stitched and wrapped facia, door casings and centre console, add to the crafted bespoke feel. There are also two new interior contrast colours, a mid-tone Nutmeg and a darker Arabica, complementing the existing Almond light interior colourway.
New seating is introduced for rows one and two, wîth a new, extended front seat cushion profile to improve support and seating comfort and, for the first time, the front seats feature height-adjustable head restraints in place of the traditional seat mounted grab handles. HSE vehicles specified wîth the Premium Leather pack also feature electrically adjustable side seat bolsters, allowing front occupants to tailor their seating's support.
For convenience, the electric seat memory controls are relocated to the door casing.
New Interior Mood Lighting adds the finishing touch to the interior, wîth the introduction of white LED's to cast subtle halos around the metal-plated interior door handles and pockets. The fascia and centre console area, complete wîth soft-stitching, and switchgear highlighted in 'Noble' finishers, also benefit from the interior mood lighting when vehicle lights are on. Technology made simple
The Discovery 4 is packed wîth easy-to-operate and useful features, not technology for technology's sake. The aim throughout is to simplify the operation, to help make journeys more relaxing and stress-free
Stuart Frith, Chief Programme Engineer
Inside and out, the Discovery 4 gains a raft of relevant new technology, to improve the driving experience.
The navigation system adopts an easy-to-use navigation structure which now also features 'towards guidance'. This supplements the junction map and icon-based information wîth details of the actual road signage viewed by the driver along the route.
The new Portable Audio Interface allows connectivity to an array of personal audio storage devices, ÚSB sticks and MP3 players, enabling the various devices' functions to be accessed and controlled via the facia-mounted touch-screen system. One of the connectivity ports is a dedicated Apple i-PodTM point made exclusively by Land Rover, for continued functionality in extreme driving conditions, by helping to prevent the device coming loose from the socket.
A new 5-inch Thin Film Transistor (TFT) driver information screen is also introduced wîth Discovery 4. Sitting within the re-designed instrument cluster, the message centre display ensures key information is communicated in a clean, simple and user-friendly manner.
And a purer, crisper radio sound is now available thanks to the introduction of Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB) in most European and Asian markets, and HD radio in the ÚS. Along wîth the fine listening experience, comes additional features such as news headlines, song title and artist information.Cutting edge user-friendly technologies
Outside the vehicle, convenient and relevant new systems enhance safety and security.
The new front headlights incorporate high beam assist technology. This can automatically switch on high beam headlights where external light levels are below the system's threshold. Importantly, the system is also designed to detect preceding and approaching traffic, and in a split second will automatically switch back to low beam to avoid dazzling others.
The new remote entry key emits the signal required for passive entry into the vehicle, by the holder of the key simply touching the door handle, without using the'unlock' button on the key fob. The new key also generates the signal required for the Push Button start of the vehicle. Sophisticated sensors recognise the presence of the key in the vehicle, confirm security credentials and then accept the 'start' command via the new fascia mounted start/stop push button.
No less than five digital cameras make up the new surround camera system, relaying to the touch-screen a near 360-degree view. The cameras function immediately the vehicle is started, and can be used at speeds up to 11mph, wîth options for selecting and zooming in to assist wîth close quarter parking and wîth towing.
The 'tow assist' function (selected from the touch screen menu) helps perform accurate towing manoeuvres. The wide field of views on the side cameras give a clear view of the reversing trailer: the images are electronically manipulated to provide an undistorted view, wîth guide lines overlaid on the rear camera image to illustrate both the vehicle and trailer's trajectory.
Specific characteristics such as type of trailer, number of axles and width guides can be fed into the system to enhance the system outputs.
Another towing aid, Trailer Stability Assist, detects trailer oscillations by monitoring key vehicle behaviours, such as uninvited §teering movements and slight vehicle swing in response to trailer behaviour. In these circumstances, the system can initiate engine torque reduction and braking interventions to bring the towing back under control. REMOTE PARK HEAT
To help engine warm-up in colder conditions, the LR-TDV6 3.0 litre can be pre-heated, either by using a one-day timer, programmable via the infotainment screen, or activated using the remote control key fob. Once the engine is up to temperature, any residual heat is channelled into the cabin for enhanced occupant comfort on entry into the vehicle.
Further Reading:Land R
Rover WebsiteSource - 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, EnglandSources:
By Jessica Donaldson