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New Land Rover Discovery Brings More Tech, Capability and Refinement

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The fifth-generation Land Rover Discovery has finally been unveiled, ushering in a new era of technology, capability and sophistication for the off-roading British SUV.

Bucking the trend of evolutionary rather than revolutionary vehicle designs, Land Rover went for something a bit more radical for the new Discovery. The squarish body of the previous models has been dropped in favor of a streamlined form inspired by the Discovery Sport and latest Range Rovers.

The trademark stepped roof carries over, however, and serves as the most obvious link to past generations. It’s a design choice that provides more headroom for passengers seated in the third row, which the company says allows for 95th percentile adults to sit comfortably.

The seats can be configured by using your smartphone — a world’s first — and customers can specify a range of premium materials to appoint the interior with, including luxurious Windsor leather upholstery and natural oak veneers.

Thanks to the new aluminum construction, the rugged SUV is a whopping 1,058 lbs (480 kg) lighter than the last Discovery, which should help make it more fuel-efficient. Depending on the region, buyers will have a choice of two four-cylinder diesel engines, specifically a 180-hp 2.0L and a 240-hp 2.2L unit, as well as a six-cylinder diesel that generates 258 horsepower and/or a gas-powered, supercharged 3.0L V6 with 340-hp.

Despite its softer appearance, the new Land Rover Discovery remains just as capable as its predecessors, if not more. Its height adjustable air suspension can be set to provide just over 11 inches of ground clearance and the Terrain Response 2 system comes with a setting for almost every type of terrain.

Its reduced weight and suspension revisions are said to provide improved on-road performance without sacrificing off-road prowess. The new Discovery can in fact drive through water that’s up to 36 inches high, making it an amphibious vehicle of sorts.

With its world debut now out of the way, the all-new, 2018 Land Rover Discovery is scheduled to go on sale in the first half of 2017. It replaces the LR4 in North America.

Land Rover

Next Land Rover Defender Will Be Electrified

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Land Rover Defender, white

Having previously hinted that the next-generation Land Rover Defender could be offered with an electrified powertrain, Jaguar Land Rover has confirmed that the iconic British SUV will indeed be offered with an all electric version.

We already know that the the new Defender will ride on a modified version of the aluminum platform that underpins the Discovery, Range Rover, and Range Rover Sport. In an interview with Australia’s , a senior-level personnel at the company revealed that the electric Defender with be one of multiple versions of the Defender with wheelbases measuring 90 and 110 inches, sourcing its power from at least one electric motor with a powerful battery.

As far as design is concerned, it won’t follow a retro theme, instead adopting a more polarizing aesthetic.

Expected the new Defender to be unveiled sometime next year to commemorate Land Rover’s 70th anniversary before going on sale in 2019. The electric version should give the Bollinger B1 some competition.

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Diesel

Land Rover Discovery Can Tow A “Train”, Impressed?

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Land Rover Discovery Tows Train

The new Land Rover Discovery is a truly capable vehicle on or off the road, and to prove just how strong it is, Land Rover towed a train with one. By train, we mean a 121-ton ‘road train’.

The unmodified Discovery HSE Td6 managed to pull the road train — measuring 328-foot long — for nearly 10 miles across the Australian Outback, demonstrating the award-winning towing capability of the improved Discovery, notably the HSE Td6 model with its 3.0-liter diesel engine that produces 254 horsepower and 443 lb-ft. of torque.

Land Rover Discovery towing road Train

Despite having a tow rating of only 7,716-lbs, the Discovery Td6 successfully towed 34 times that weight over a respectable amount of distance.

This isn’t the first time that Land Rover has tested the strength of its vehicle using a train. At its 1989 launch, the original Discovery was used to pull a train, and in 2016, the Discovery Sport premium compact SUV towed a trio of rail carriages 85ft above the Rhine River.

Are you impressed?

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10 Interesting Facts About Land Rover’s Range Rover Velar

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New Range Rover Velar

Land Rover has a new Range Rover in town and it is fancy, very fancy.

Now, why does a company with a lineup of so many crossover and SUVs need another one, you’re probably wondering? The answer? Why not?

Utilities vehicles are the new craze, and Land Rover is primed to capitalize on their popularity with a new family member that it promises “offers levels of luxury, refinement and all-terrain capability never before seen in the mid-size SUV segment.”

That said, here are 10 interesting facts about the new Range Rover Velar that you should know.

The first Range Rover SUV

1. What’s in a Name?

The name Velar harks back to the earliest days of the Range Rover. In fact, it precedes the brand.

When Land Rover was cooking up the Range Rover brand in the late 1960s, ‘Velar’ was given to its very first prototypes as a codename.

As for , the word ‘Velar’ is the first-person singular present indicative of the Latin verb velare, which means to hide or veil. Considering Land Rover kept the new Velar a secret just mere weeks before the SUV’s reveal makes it a very suitable moniker.

New Range Rover Velar, front

2. A Purposeful Middle Child

The main reason for the Velar’s existence is to fill void between the rather small Evoque and large Range Rover Sport in terms of size, features and, of course, price. It measures 4,803mm (189 in.) long, 1,930mm (76 in.) wide and 1,665mm (65.5 in.) tall, and has a wheelbase of 2,874mm (113.1 in.).

In other words, the mid-size Range Rover Velar is for those who find the Evoque to be too small and the Range Rover Sport too big.

Land Rover clearly won’t stop until every inch of the SUV market is covered.

Range-Rover-Evoque-side
New Range Rover Velar side
Range Rover Sport

White-2017-Jaguar-F-Pace-front-angle

3. Sharing is Caring

The Velar is the second crossover to be built on Jaguar Land Rover’s modular Lightweight Aluminum Architecture, which is also used by the Jaguar F-Pace crossover (pictured above). In fact, it has the same wheelbase as the former.

That means it shares engine, transmissions and other technologies with the two Jaguar models.

New Range Rover Velar, style

4. Immaculate Design Inside and Out

Just look at the Range Rover Velar — how could anyone not find it attractive? “Modern elegance with a touch of glamour” is how its designers describe it. Do you agree?

The Velar borrows many styling cues from Range Rover’s latest models but manages to look sleeker, more athletic and more stately. It must be the extra rakish roof, rounder edges and softer lines.

The designers also managed to deliver a more visually exquisite interior than either the Evoque or Range Rover Sport. The materials appear higher-quality, and the layout looks more high-tech.

New Range Rover Velar, interior design

5. Spiffy Interior Controls and Tech

Speaking of high-tech interior, the Velar introduces two ultra-wide 10-inch touch screens on the center console, an upper one for the so-called “Touch Pro Duo” infotainment system and a lower one that incorporates three physical knobs for the temperature, navigation settings, and terrain response system.

It looks slicker and more futuristic than the massive touchscreen Tesla uses in its car. The infotainment setup features an Intel quad core processor, high-speed 60GB solid-state drive and ultra-fast Ethernet network.

The Velar showcases the direction Land Rover Range Rover will take with all its future interiors, especially for the next-generation Evoque and Range Rover Sport.

New Range Rover Velar interior materials

6. No Leather Here…

I can’t seem to pull myself away from the interior, but this is a very interesting fact… Would you be surprised if we told you that, as a premium SUV, the Velar doesn’t offer real leather while all its competitors do? Is that a bad thing?

The seats are appointed and other parts of the cabin in a non-leather, Dapple Grey material that was jointly developed with , Europe’s leading manufacturer of high-quality design textiles.

Frankly, it looks just as good, if not better, than leather and suits the Velar very well. We imagine it also lasts longer.

New Range Rover Velar, off-roading

7. Not Only Beautiful, But Also Rugged

Don’t be fooled by the Velar’s clean look — it was designed to be as capable on pave urban streets as in the rugged outdoors.

“The incredibly lightweight and stiff aluminium-intensive body structure works together with a double-wishbone front- and Integral Link rear suspension to provide the perfect basis for agile handling, exceptional ride comfort and outstanding refinement.”

So versatile is the Velar, in fact, that it comes standard with all-wheel drive and Land Rover’s suite of off-road technologies, including the Terrain Response system and Hill Descent Control (HDC). That’s something we can’t say about the competition.

New Range Rover Velar, driving

8. Many Engines to Choose From

In Europe, the Range Rover Velar will be offered with a large selection of engines, including a 2.0-liter four-cylinder diesel unit with outputs of either 180PS and 240PS, a 3.0-liter V6 diesel that makes 300PS, and a pair of petrol units — one a 250PS 2.0L unit and the other a 380PS 3.0L V6.

North Americans will have the option of two gasoline engines — a 247hp 2.0-liter turbocharged four and a 380hp 3.0-liter supercharged V6 — and a 180hp 2.0-liter diesel.

Also interesting to know is that all engines are mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission developed by ZF. Velar models equipped with the turbo four can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph (96 km/h) in 6.4 seconds, while those with the supercharged V6 complete the sprint in a hastier 5.3 seconds. Top speed is capped at 155 mph (249 km/h).

Porsche Macan Turbo performance-package

9. Tough Competition

Despite being slighter bigger, the Ranger Rover Velar’s chief competitors include the Porsche Macan (pictured above), Audi Q5, and even platform-mate Jaguar F-Pace.

The Macan and likely the Q5 will likely beat it in the fun-to-drive category, but few are crazy enough to take them off-road like they would a Velar.

Range Rover Velar grille, logo

10. A lot of Promise

The Velar seems to hit a sweet spot in the SUV market and is critical to reviving parent company Jaguar Land Rover’s profitability following its rapid expansion since by Indian carmaker Tata Motors from Ford Motor back in 2008.

With a sleek exterior; lush, high-tech interior; and versatility, we think it will have little problem finding buyers. The question is “would you buy one and choose it over the competition if you had the money?”

Did you find these facts about the Range Rover Velar interesting? Did we miss anything? Share your impressions in the comments below.

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