The new fifth generation Land Rover Discovery 5 has been unveiled at simultaneous events in its native Coventry and Paris on the eve of the French capital's annual motor show. The seven-seater has a softer and more rounded design than its boxy predecessors and is filled with technology, including 4G internet, nine USB ports, and folding seats controlled by a smartphone app.
The new Discovery is based on the Discovery Vision Concept shown at the 2014 New York Auto Show. Since the Discovery Sport production model was launched soon after at the 2014 Paris Show, it was assumed that the concept had pointed to that car. But on closer inspection the reveal of the new Discovery tells another story, as it broke cover in a special ceremony near its manufacturing base at Solihull, UK! It will also be making its world debut at the Paris Motor Show that kicks off now.
So Land Rover is calling it the world's most capable and versatile SUV! It focuses on not just bringing usual Discovery attributes of space, off-road or wading prowess and towing capability, but also aims at being modern, connected and packed with technology. This means an upgraded In Control Touch system in the car, backed by In Control Apps and also a remote app control through a smartphone. It also means clever stowage options (21 of them amounting to 45 litres of stowage space in the cabin).
Plus conveniences like nine USB slots and six 12V charging outlets for all occupants, and the possibility have an on-board Wi-Fi hotspot – with 8 connections possible. The seats are all electrically operated – with 23,000 lines of code written just to be able to operate them, so you can fold or open any seat in a variety of permutations! Each seat also has sensors so it detects if someone or something is on it, and will then not fold down. All this can also be done from your smartphone when you're not near the car! You can also start its heating/cooling, seat warmers, etc. remotely. A truly digital Discovery then! Dropping all seats in the second and third row gives you 2500 litres of cargo space.
The idea of course is to get not just people Land Rover expects will buy a Discovery anyway, but attract a whole new set of buyers – increasingly younger ones. Sales in Europe will begin in spring 2017. The car debuts with a special 'First Edition' (2400 units carrying special trim and a unique badger) as we have now seen with other recent JLR launches. It will be offered with 3 engine options, and the mainstay will be the 2.0 Ingenium diesel (available with 176 bhp or 235 bhp output options). And at the top of the range are the 3-litre TDV6 diesel (253 bhp) and 3-litre SiV6 petrol (333 bhp).