The new, fourth generation of Land Rover’s supremely versatile seven-seat vehicle gains a new name – Discovery 4 – to go with its powerful and highly efficient new TDV6 diesel engine, fresh exterior identity and more premium cabin.  The class-leading breadth of capability is extended even further with dynamic improvements for both road and off-road driving, and Land Rover has added a battery of user-friendly new technologies and features.

“The outgoing Discovery 3 has well over 100 international awards to its name.  But we’ve found ways to improve virtually every aspect of the vehicle’s design and engineering – some subtle, some major.  New design signals comprehensive engineering change under the skin, and now gives us the Discovery 4,” says Phil Popham, managing director.

Star billing on the Discovery 4 goes to the highly efficient and refined new LR-TDV6 3.0 twin turbo diesel engine.  This delivers a 9 percent* fuel economy improvement (EU combined cycle) and ten percent* less CO2 emissions, at the same time as increasing power by 29%, all compared with the existing 2.7-litre engine.  Torque increases even more, up 36% to 600Nm – believed to be the highest torque output of any 6-cylinder, production diesel, passenger vehicle engine in the world.

The power and torque are both accessible across the entire rev range, to deliver immediate throttle response and effortless cruising ability. The results include a 0-60mph time of 9.0 seconds, (0-100 km/h in 9.6 seconds), a 24 percent improvement over the 2.7-litre.

Land Rover’s engineers have also transformed the on-road ride and handling for the new generation Discovery 4, and even improved on the near-legendary off-road capabilities of its predecessor.  The comprehensive changes include new suspension components, revised steering, larger brakes, improved traction control, and enhancements to the award winning Terrain ResponseTM system, which helps optimise the vehicle for virtually all on-road or off-road driving situations.

The iconic exterior design has been updated, most obviously with smoother and simpler surfaces at the front, including a new, more aerodynamic bumper.  The sportier new lights help give the vehicle new character, and include LED technology front and rear.  The sophisticated new front headlights include High Beam Assist, switching on or off, as conditions require.

The interior is completely redesigned, with a transformed dash and centre console, new seats and an array of new, user friendly features. “The new interior not only has a much more premium look and feel, it’s also gained improvement to its functionality.  The new console inclines towards the driver, the switchgear and controls fall more readily to hand, and new LED Interior Mood Lighting on HSE models helps make the cabin a more pleasant and more easily used space after dark.  We’ve made the interior environment more premium too, with smoother surfaces, softer materials and close attention to critical details such as stitching,” says Gerry McGovern, Design Director.

New features available for the Discovery 4 include a Portable Audio Interface, DAB radio, a new five-camera ‘surround’ system, for easier parking and towing, and a new key system which offers Keyless Entry and Push Button Start. “The changes and upgrades for Discovery 4 transform many aspects of the previous generation, at the same time as enhancing the flexibility and versatility for which Discovery is famous. It can carry huge loads in its spacious interior, climb mountains, cruise across continents, haul trailers of up to 3.5 tonnes, or transport seven family and friends in comfort.  I can’t think of a more versatile vehicle anywhere,” says Phil Popham.

Terrain technologies boost economy and lower CO2 emissions
The new Discovery is packed with features aimed at reducing fuel consumption and reducing CO2 emissions. The new LR-TDV6 3.0 Sequential Turbo Diesel engine was designed from the outset to deliver class-leading fuel economy and improved low-end torque. The parallel sequential turbocharging system of the 3.0-litre diesel makes use of its larger, primary turbo most of the time. The smaller secondary turbo remains dormant when higher power is not required, reducing pumping losses and consequently, fuel consumption. A highly efficient, third generation common rail injection system with piezo injectors and fuel metering, also makes a substantial contribution to fuel economy.

The new engine has been also been optimised for low-end torque as well as economy, making it possible to activate the lock-up clutch of the ZF HP-28 automatic transmission at lower speed. This reduces ‘slip’ in the hydraulic torque converter improving both fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. The higher torque at lower rpm also enables longer gearing for more economical cruising.

The Discovery incorporates several other energy saving features too. At standstill, the idle speed of the V6 has been reduced from 750rpm to 710rpm, giving a fuel saving without compromising refinement. An Intelligent Power Management System includes Smart Regenerative Charging, so whenever possible the alternator charges the battery when it is most economical to do so, such as when the car is coasting rather than accelerating.

Aerodynamic changes to the front end, with the revised front lower chin spoiler and new front wheel deflectors, help to reduce drag by increasing underfloor airflow. 
The new air conditioning pump is driven through a clutch which disengages when the air conditioning is not in use reducing parasitic losses and delivering improvements in fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.

Text and Pictures: LandRover