The Land Rover Discovery is 25 years old. To celebrate, Land Rover are releasing a special edition of the 4×4 called the XXV (that’s 25 depicted as Roman numerals in case it wasn’t too obvious).
The Discovery was an obvious stance for Land Rover to take, the model being launched in 1989 to fit into the gap created by the basic workhorse Defender and the luxurious (top of the) Range Rover. Without the Discovery, the gap was huge, with it, Land Rover appealed to far more buyers than before.
At the start of 2014 Land Rover said that they had built an incredible 1,088,000 models in their giant manufacturing plant in Solihull.
Although the soon-to-be-gone Defender has taken much of the acclaim for being the adventurer’s model in the Land Rover range, the Discovery can claim it’s fair share too. Sir Ranulph Feinnes used the Discovery in his expedition to find the Lost City of Ubar – the ‘Atlantis of the Sands’ as it was so romantically called in Sir Ranulph’s book.
There have so far been four generations of Discovery since 1989 with numerous special editions/variations on the theme appearing over the subsequent years. Some very limited indeed; the Horse and Hound model (built in collaboration with Horse and Hound magazine in 1997) consisted of a mere twenty models.
Land Rover has always been confident in the abilities of the Discovery and nothing advertises the SUV better than expeditions and adventures. In 2013 the Namibian African Adventure saw the Discovery propel guests of Namibia Experience, a respected adventure holiday company, into the wilds of Africa. The type of trip where a local guide with knowledge is required, according to the Namibia Experience website.
The one big advantage that the Discovery has over the ever-faithful Defender is comfort. There aren’t many out there that would be brave enough to argue the case for comfort on behalf of the Defender, while the Discovery has bridged that gap between the plushness of the Range Rover and the go-anywhere confidence of the Defender. Though the Discovery is also a more than capable performer off-road as well as on with good ground clearance.
The XXV is expected to be available in the fourth quarter of this year and will be based on the existing specification of the HSE Luxury Discovery with a Windsor leather trimmed interior and finished in (a rather uninspiring) Causeway Grey paint. It will also include full length roof rails and body coloured exterior trim and handles. The special edition will be adorned with custom Land Rover XXV badges and the whole lot will sit on 20” five-spoke alloy wheels.
The XXV is likely to be just the tip of the iceberg as far as change goes for the Discovery, as Land Rover are expected to trickle out information on changes for the range around the time of the Geneva Motor Show this March, so watch this space.
In the meantime, you can expect to pay around £63,000 for the XXV Special Edition with rumours of the Paris Motor Show being able to offer a first official public viewing.
Images: worldcarfans.com, autocar.co.uk, luxuo.com