What will the next gen Land Rover Discovery be like? It’s a question we’ve asked ourselves increasingly often in recent months but it looks like we’ll finally find out by the end of the year.
As splendid as it is, the current Discovery 4 turned seven years old in 2016 and has now become a bit long in the tooth. Thankfully, a replacement is believed to be in pre-production testing, ahead of its global premiere at the Paris Motor Show this October.
Since the last Discovery in 2009, Jaguar Land Rover has been on a stunning run, giving the world the Range Rover Evoque, a car so glam that Victoria Beckham somehow shoehorned herself into its development.
We’ve also had the fourth iteration of the full-fat Range Rover, Range Rover Sport and 5+2-seater Discovery Sport; all of which have been commercial and critical hits helping JLR achieve its best ever half-year sales in the first six months of 2016.
‘What’s this got to do with the new Discovery?’ you ask. Well, aside from the Discovery Vision Concept, paraded at the New York Motor Show in 2014, JLR has been relatively quiet on the Discovery’s development but much of the technology introduced in the aforementioned cars is sure to make an appearance in Discovery 5.
There has been an increasing use of aluminium with new Jaguar and Land Rover cars, a foolproof technique in making models lighter without compromising on quality and strength. You could bet your house on the new Discovery weighing less than its predecessor, with kerb weight set to limbo the two-tonne mark.
The car will undergo a radical redesign, incorporating traits from the Discovery Sport’s look, such as its LED headlamps, curved bonnet edge and webbed grille. We’d also expect it to borrow the Disco Sport’s 187bhp 2.2-litre SD4 turbodiesel engine, and maybe even the super-efficient front wheel drive eD4 turbodiesel, if enough designers can shave off enough kilogrammes.
Exactly how much of the Discovery Vision Concept will make it into the final car remains to be seen but that physical brainstorm included some interesting ideas. There was a rising belt line, reverse C-pillar, and the split tailgate became one piece tailgate.
LED headlights aren’t news anymore but these include intelligent laser sensors that read the road ahead to keep track of objects or dip the beams if another driver is approaching, which means being temporarily blinded by other drivers could become a thing of the past.
The Discovery 5 will more than likely be a bigger car than before but a clever camera system means that it shouldn’t be any more daunting to drive. Footage captured by cameras beneath the bonnet is projected via a heads-up display in the cabin, effectively making the bonnet transparent. Seriously smart stuff.
Speaking of smart, the concept’s smart glass idea could make it into the new Discovery. This brings augmented reality to all occupants, displaying relevant information pulled down from The Cloud.
Gesture control could also feature, doing away with many physical controls and letting the driver use hand gestures to lock the doors or turn on the headlamps. It’s something that could completely ruin the new Discovery if not done properly so we’d expect Land Rover to play it safe with this one.
A remote driving system could also appear. That means the Discovery 5 could be driven using a tablet or smartphone; just like James Bond in Tomorrow Never Dies. Call it gimmicky, but Land Rover says it would be handy for when off-roading gets a little hairy or if the car needs to be manoeuvred through tight gaps to precision.
Check back with us in October to find out exactly how Discovery 5 shapes up.
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