After dropping a hint earlier this month, Land Rover has officially unveiled the new Discovery in all its glory at the Paris Motor Show. What's good to see, is that the core Discovery traits such as the massive size, oodles of practicality, plethora of gizmos and, needless to mention, off-road ability remain intact.
The good-old Discovery is thoroughly modern now, and the design sits in line with the rest of the clan. Land Rover has successfully differentiated their portfolio into two separate sub-brands, Discovery and Range Rover.
The boxy design has given way for a more rounded theme. It borrows heavily from the Discovery Vision Concept that debuted in 2014, and we're glad to see most aesthetic elements being retained as is. Of course, since this is a Discovery, the signature 'stepped roof' and the side fender vents are very much in place.
Sadly, the split tailgate has been ditched for a one-piece unit for the sake of design. The 'jewel-like' front LED headlamps, the horizontal LED taillights and the pronounced wheel arches make quite a statement.
The interiors are standard Land Rover fare, which means everything looks top notch. Much like the Range Rover Evoque, or even the Discovery Sport, for that matter, the design is minimalistic and the layout is clean. Much like previous generations, the good folks at Land Rover have been fanatical in squeezing out stowage area inside the car. For instance, the central armrest alone can hold up to five iPad minis or accommodate a freezer; each occupant in the front two rows gets a massive 2-litre bottle holder and the central console gets a hideaway cubby, in case you want keep something away from prying eyes.
In true Discovery fashion, this is a seven-seater, with a whole range of flexibility options. What's particularly interesting, is that it gets something Land Rover calls 'Intelligent Seat Fold' function. The second and the third row can be reconfigured using the infotainment touchscreen or even remotely using a smartphone, in addition to the switches on the C-pillar. How cool is that!
Features include Jaguar Land Rover's 'inControl' infotainment system, that features a 10-inch central touchscreen paired to a Meridian sound system, heated seats for all three rows, a 5-inch screen sandwiched between analogue dials in the instrument cluster and heads up display. There's a supercool 'Activity Key' to lock and unlock the vehicle too, that can be worn as a wristband.
The new Discovery now features a monocoque construction made up of 85 per cent aluminium, which makes it nearly 500kgs lighter than its predecessor. Engine options include the new four-cylinder Ingenium diesel, a six-cylinder TD6 diesel, and a six-cylinder Si6 petrol engine.
The new twin-turbo 2.0-litre Ingenium motor is most likely to be the mainstay option for India, which produces a healthy 240PS of power and 500Nm of torque. Surprisingly, the figures aren't too off from the larger 3.0-litre diesel engine that whips up 258PS and 600Nm. The V6 petrol is capable of 340PS/450Nm, but is unlikely to make it to India. All three engines are paired with a ZF-sourced 8-speed automatic, which channel power to all four wheels.
To help you when the going gets sticky, there's Land Rover's Terrain Response 2 System that gets six preset modes which include General driving, Grass, Gravel and Snow, Mud and Ruts, Sand, and Rock Crawl. With the air-suspension in its highest setting, there's 283mm of ground clearance. It also boasts of an approach angle of up to 34 degrees, a break-over angle of 27.5 degrees, departure angle of 30 degrees and a wading depth of 900mm.
It seems like a super fun and super practical package, with the added dollop of luxury. That does make it slightly hard to resist, doesn't it? Expect the big burly Brit in India by the second half of next year. Prices might start around the Rs 1.3 crore mark, since the big Disco is likely to be a CBU.