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2003 Land Rover DiscoveryEnlarge Photo
The redesigned 1999 Land Rover Discovery was introduced late last year; it is its first engineering redesign since the Disco was introduced in 1989.
This redesign focuses on enhancing handling, performance and on-road comfort to bring the Discovery's road performance in line with that of the top-of-the-line Range Rover. The appearance remains pretty much the same, since Land Rover says customers like it that way. The new Discovery is wider and it is 6.5 inches longer, although the wheelbase is unchanged. Most of that additional space shows up in additional rear cargo space.
The new Discovery features a long list of technological improvements as standard equipment: brake-controlled Four-Wheel Electronic Traction Control, Electronic Brake Distribution, and Hill Descent Control, which supplements traditional braking capabilities in extreme conditions such as high altitudes. Available as an option is Active Cornering Enhancement. It reduces body lean, which has been an unfortunate consequence of the
Discovery's high center of gravity, and makes the vehicle more responsive when cornering.
On-road performance has been greatly enhanced, thanks to an all-new suspension as well as engine upgrades to the 1998 4.0-liter V-8 such as a new induction system and a Bosch engine management system. The engine is rated at 188 horsepower (hp) and 251 lb-ft of torque — up from 182 and 233, respectively.
Although the new Discovery is significantly improved for 1999, it is priced $850 below the base 1998 LE model. The new Discovery, with an MSRP of $34,150 (plus a delivery charge of $625) comes in one model, but with a larger selection of options so buyers can customize it to individual tastes.
Range Rover models, introduced in 1995, are improved for this model-year. Both the 4.0 SE and 4.6 HSE have a new Bosch engine management system that improves performance. On 0-to-60 mph performance, Land Rover says the 4.0 SE is 6 percent faster than last year's model, and the 4.6 HSE is more than 10.5 percent quicker. Torque is improved, too, over last year's models. Torque on the 4.0-liter engine is now 250 lb-ft, and 300 lb-ft in the 4.6-liter engine. The traction control system now monitors all four wheels, and front side airbags and seat belt pretensioners are now standard. The interiors of both models have been upgraded with softer, more comfortable seating, redesigned door panels with new trim and additional leather, and an upgraded sound system.