After over a decade since the last reveal of a truly ‘all-new’ Land Rover Discovery we’re well overdue a new model. And it seems the brand is finally getting into gear, as we’ve had our first glimpse of disguised prototypes for the next seven-seat SUV.
With a recent influx of fresher rivals including the Volvo XC90 andAudi Q7, the rather old-school Discovery is looking and feeling its age. But it remains a popular model for Land Rover, and the new fifth-generation car is looking to build on that but add an extra dose of style.
Although there’s a rather funky camouflage design on this example, the next Disco’s shape is clear to see. In fact, just as we predicted, the production version’s styling will differ only slightly from the Discovery Vision Concept revealed at last year’s New York Motor Show.
The front end ditches the bluff design of the current car for a softer approach, with a near identical clamshell bonnet to other models in the Land Rover range like the smaller Discovery Sportand Range Rover Sport. The side profile is boxier than those, and more in line with previous Discovery models, but the rear window is slightly raked and there’s a spoiler-style window surround. Although this car sits low to the ground, that’s likely because its air suspension is in its lowest setting.
We’ve also checked the number plates on this prototype to find it housing a 3.0-litre petrol engine under the bonnet. That’s likely to be the same supercharged V6 as found in Jaguar’s range, and likely to be the flagship petrol engine for the next Discovery as large V8 petrol SUVs become increasingly unpopular. Expect six and eight-cylinder diesels to also feature, and Jaguar Land Rover’s new range of four-cylinder ‘Ingenium’ units could also appear too.
What we can be almost certain off though is that the next Land Rover Discovery will be on a significant diet. The latest Range Rover managed to cut a substantial 420kg from its kerb weight, and we can expect similar things from the Disco – the current car weighs a considerable 2.6 tonnes.
The cabin is expected to retain the ruggedness and space that made the old Discovery so popular, but with more of the latest tech found in the Range Rover and a higher quality feel. We can expect the latest infotainment kit and autonomous driving technology to debut
As for when we’ll see it? Details are scarce so far and these are the first images we’ve seen, but the latter half of 2016 or early 2017 would be a likely guess, with a preview of the car’s design mid next year.