Land Rover has forever been at the forefront of off-road technology. What with coils in all four corners and full-time 4WD from 1970 and some of the greatest traction control the industry has seen thus far, it’s hard to imagine a new model being released without something new, improved… and maybe unreliable.
We’ve generally all held our collective breaths with the release of new technology, but for the most part there haven’t been too many hiccups. I mean, there was the Freelander (we’re still not sure why there was a Freelander 2) and the P38… which was a 30-year-old 4X4 at release, with a very slight facelift and nothing but head gasket issues.
But this new Discovery, well… it’s something else. They may well have gone a little technology/yuppie mad. Containing a full seven seats, you’re able to control, fold and move seating positions around on your phone. Yep, there is actually an App for that. Seriously though, imagine being able to call ‘shotgun’ before you even leave the house.
There are also nine USB ports hidden throughout the interior, six 12-volt sockets, and even an in-car Wi-Fi hotspot for up to eight devices. Again, yes – really. For the 4X4 aspect, they’ve gone to a completely alloy body, based very much on the Range Rover, dropping weight by a rather significant 480kg; and there’s a four-pot diesel, putting out 177kW and 500Nm of torque – well and truly enough to power you through those bog holes in the supermarket car park, or bury you to your diffs in the sand trap at the local country club.
As you would expect there have been tweaks to the computer system running the smart 4X4 systems, so with the rather stupid amount of power the little four-banger is pushing out, this Disco should continue to be quite capable in the bush, on the beach and up the Bruce Highway (which kind of looks like the Tele’ at the moment).
Hitting the Aussie market from July this year, the TD4 SE seven-seater will set you back $81,590. And having one of these in the driveway will most likely keep you just ahead of the Joneses in their Prado.
All in all, on paper these things are looking pretty good. We can’t wait to get our hands on one, take it to the silliest places we can think of (which a car of this stature generally has no place being) and see if this Disco lives up to the Land Rover legend its predecessors have carved out for it.