2005 Land Rover LR3Enlarge Photo
The Discovery debuted in 1989 and had a facelift in 1994.
The new Discovery’s styling is a melding of the last models brutish good looks and the Range Rover’s tailored shape. Land Rover design cues — like the square front, flat rear end, the roof that has two levels, and a lot of room around the wheels — are even more pronounced than before. New is the rear hatch that is split asymmetrically.
With new technologies applied to the third generation, the Ford division wants the Discovery to be the benchmark in the compact SUV class. New is Land Rover’s patented Terrain Response system, which was showed on the Range Stormer concept car in Detroit. The system provided maximum traction without compromising on driveability and comfort. There is a choice of five terrain settings via a rotary switch on the center console: one for normal driving, one for slippery conditions (grass/gravel/snow), and three special off-road settings (mud/ruts, sand, rock crawl). Terrain Response then automatically selects the most appropriate settings for the vehicle’s advanced electronic controls and traction aids — including ride height, engine torque response, electronic traction control (ETC), hill descent control (HDC), and transmission settings.
Furthermore the Discovery has an integrated body-frame structure, which according to Land Rover, combines high torsional stiffness with optimal on-road capabilities and comfort.
The new Discovery is also equipped with adaptive headlights that illuminate the road ahead in the corners.
There will be a choice of two engines: the old V-8 engine has been replaced by a new 4.4-liter V-8. This is a version of Jaguar’s 4.2-liter V-8, which delivers in the Discovery 300 hp and had 313 lb-ft of torque. This power plant will work together with a six-speed automatic transmission. Furthermore there is the 2.7-liter common-rail turbodiesel that will also be delivered in the Jaguar S-Type and the new Peugeot 407 sedan. This engine has been developed in a joint venture between Ford and the French PSA (Peugeot, Citroën). It delivers 190 hp and has a maximum torque of 440 N-m at 1900 rpm. The diesel is teamed to a six-speed stick shift, but is also available with a six-speed automatic transmission as an option. Most versions will be equipped with air suspension.
The new Land Rover seats five, but a third row of seat is available as an option. The interior should be much roomier than in the recent model. According to the manufacturer even adults will have enough space on the third row.
The 2005 Discovery will be available by the end of this year.