UK: Land Rover shows off new Discovery SUV
Land Rover has released first pictures and details of the Discovery 3, the first SUV the company has developed entirely under Ford's ownership.
It will make its public debut at the New York motor on April 7 and sales begin in September. The model will be called 'LR3' in the United States, where Land Rover is switching to alpha-numeric model names, and 'Discovery' elsewhere.
The new 'Disco' introduces three new engines to the Land Rover range - the 2.7-litre turbodiesel V6 from the Jaguar S-type which is expected to be the most popular choice in Europe and won't be offered in the US, a four-litre petrol V6 from the US Ford Explorer for "selected markets" only, plus a new 4.4-litre petrol V8 derived from the 4.2-litre Jaguar powerplant.
This seems likely to replace the same-size 4.4-litre BMW V8 in the Range Rover at facelift time.
Both petrol engines come with a six-speed automatic 'intelligent shift' transmission, also available with the diesel, though this is offered with a six-speed manual as standard.
The Discovery 3 introduces new technology, notably 'Terrain Response', which allows the driver to choose one of five terrain settings via a switch on the centre console. These are a general driving programme, one for slippery conditions (known as grass/gravel/snow) and three special off-road modes (mud/ruts, sand, rock crawl).
Terrain Response automatically selects the most appropriate settings including ride height, engine torque response, hill descent control, electronic traction control and transmission settings.
The Discovery 3 also has an integrated body-frame structure and adaptive headlights that swivel with the direction of travel.
On-road driving and refinement are enhanced by fully independent suspension all round, using air springs on most models. This is height adjustable, to assist with entry and exit, and to boost ground clearance to help off-road performance.
Like its predecessor, the new Discovery will come with five seats as standard with a third row optional. Both rows now fold flat into the floor.