Following a host of teaser videos and images, Land Rover has formally unveiled the 2017 Land Rover Discovery ahead of its official debut at the Paris Motor Show.
Once known for its squarish lines, Land Rover designers decided to take a radical approach with this new Discovery pitching the four corners theme in lieu of a more streamlined look.
The front end takes much of its inspiration from the current Range Rover, and even carrys over that model’s headlight design. Meanwhile the rear styling takes inspiration from the smaller Discovery Sport, and features slick LED taillights. The end result is a look that is modern, but lacks alot of the previous generation’s retro charm (minus the carryover stepped roof design.)
The aforementioned roof treatment also serves a purpose, and helps improve headroom for the third row which is slightly higher than the second row of seats. Land Rover claims that the revised placement was designed to help the seats accommodate the 95th percentile of adults which is a nice change from other third row seats that tend to be cramped.
A key change that many buyers will notice is the elimination of the split rear tailgate. While it was loved by fans and became a key trademark of the LR4, it was also difficult to seal, corrosion prone, and was expensive to produce. Land Rover engineers opted to avoid a repeat performance, and replaced it with a top hinged tailgate that features a floor mounted aluminium seating/standing/picnicking plate that can hold up to 661 lbs.
Performance hardware for the new Discovery will vary depending on what market it is sold in, but U.S. spec buyers will initially have only the 3.0 liter supercharged V6 to choose from. Good for 340 horsepower, it is also hooked up to the carryover ZF 8-speed automatic transmission that promises to deliver smooth and balanced shifts.
Land Rover engineers also put the Discovery on a massive crash diet that aims to help it sharpen its moves and its fuel economy at the same time. This is partly due to the Discovery adopting the Range Rover’s D7 aluminium intensive platform which allows the bodyshell to be largely made out of aluminium as well as the elimination of the LR4’s body-on frame construction which sheds 1,000 lbs from the big Land Rover.
The 2017 Land Rover Discovery will initially launch in Europe but it will not make its return to the U.S. until mid 2017 with a base price of $50,985 which includes the $995 freight charge.
With its renewed emphasis on luxury and refinement it will be interesting to see if the resurrected Discovery can still connect with adventure seeking enthusiasts that loved the original back in 1989 and helped the Discovery become a smash hit for Land Rover.
2018 Land Rover DISCOVERY
FOLLOW THE LAND ROVER BRICK ROAD: NEW DISCOVERY MAKES DEBUT ON GIANT LEGO TOWER BRIDGE
- New Land Rover Discovery shows its unrivalled capability on Guinness World Record-breaking LEGO structure
- Show-stopping reveal features Land Rover customers Bear Grylls, Sir Ben Ainslie and Zara Phillips MBE
- Full-size seven-seat versatility demonstrated by Sir Ben Ainslie and Land Rover BAR sailing team, the British challenger for the 35th America’s Cup
- London’s Tower Bridge made from 5,805,846 LEGO bricks, beating previous record by 470,646 pieces
Solihull, UK, 28 September 2016: Land Rover has revealed the New Discovery seven-seat SUV by breaking a Guinness World Record for the largest LEGO structure ever built.
Long-term Land Rover Discovery owners Bear Grylls, Sir Ben Ainslie and Zara Phillips took part in the dynamic live reveal of Land Rover’s most versatile model around a 13-metre high LEGO version of London’s Tower Bridge.
The New Discovery embodies Land Rover’s drive to go Above and Beyond, combining British desirability with an unstoppable spirit of adventure. It is highly desirable with unrivalled capability and technology like no other.
Gerry McGovern, Land Rover’s Chief Design Officer, said: “New Discovery redefines the large SUV. Land Rover’s design and engineering teams have revolutionised the Discovery DNA to create a highly desirable, extremely versatile and hugely capable premium SUV.”
Everyday ingenuity has been at the heart of the Discovery for the last 27 years, with more than 1.2 million customers to date. The new Discovery is for the digital age. Ingenious technology keeps your family safe, connected and confident on all surfaces, all terrains and in all weathers to ensure your destination is reached.
The fifth-generation model benefits from Land Rover’s strong, safe and light full-size SUV architecture, delivering comfort and adaptability like no other.
The reveal set was made from 5,805,846 individual LEGO bricks, breaking the previous Guinness World Record by 470,646 pieces. Laid end to end, the bricks would stretch for almost 200 miles, or from Tower Bridge in London to Paris.
Led by the UK’s only LEGO Certified Professional, Duncan Titmarsh, it took five months for expert LEGO Master Builders in the UK to construct the incredible Tower Bridge structure. It was erected in the grounds of Packington Hall, Warwickshire, UK – close to Land Rover’s Solihull plant, where New Discovery will be produced.
As part of the dramatic reveal sequence, British adventurer Bear Grylls appeared in typically exciting fashion by abseiling from the top of the huge Tower Bridge installation, through the open drawbridge and onto the stage beside the New Discovery.
The finale was Land Rover BAR Team Principal Sir Ben Ainslie driving his sailing team through 900mm-deep water under the bridge – demonstrating the unrivalled capability and versatility of Land Rover’s new SUV. Sir Ben towed a LEGO replica of the Land Rover BAR boat, a 186,500-brick meticulous model of the boat that will challenge for next year’s America’s Cup.
The model of Tower Bridge was flanked by two LEGO ‘Discovery Zones’ celebrating 27 years of Land Rover Discovery heritage. An Equestrian Zone, hosted by accomplished rider Zara Phillips, featured a typically British picnic scene made entirely from LEGO bricks. The Bear Grylls Adventure Zone included a LEGO fire and boulders to represent a scene from a typical mountain exploration.
New Discovery represents the next step in Land Rover’s journey of transformation from cogs to code and is designed, engineered and manufactured with the help of some of the 1,300 talented young engineers currently on the company’s leading training programmes. Jaguar Land Rover is one of UK’s leading recruiter of graduates and apprentices: 3,000 have joined in the past six years and 400 new recruits have just started on the 2016 intake.
Bear Grylls said: “I have developed a powerful bond with Land Rover vehicles over the years and to me they embody that spirit of adventure coupled with a rugged reliability that also serves the needs of a young family. The Land Rover Discovery is invaluable on expeditions, whether filming in deserts, jungles or mountains, yet it’s still the perfect vehicle for the family’s everyday use. It’s a proud moment to be here with Land Rover revealing the New Discovery to the world.”
Emma Owen, LEGO UK and Ireland Spokeswoman, said: “We are thrilled that Jaguar Land Rover has used LEGO bricks to add some Guinness World Record-breaking creativity to the launch of the latest Discovery. This is an epic, outstanding build that absolutely captures the imagination in a way we haven’t seen before. With LEGO bricks and some imagination you really can build anything!”
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Carl Malek has been an automotive journalist for over 10 years. First starting out as a freelance photographer before making the transition to writing during college, his work has appeared on numerous automotive forums as well as websites such as Autoshopper.com.
Carl is also a big fan of British vehicles with the bulk of his devotion going to the Morgan Motor Company as well as offerings from Lotus, MG, and Caterham. When he is not writing about automobiles, Carl enjoys spending time with his family and friends in the Metro Detroit area, as well as spending time with his adorable pets.