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2017 Land Rover Discovery Camouflages Even Better During Winter Testing

After the successful - if not overly spectacular - introduction of the Land Rover Discovery Sport model, the British off-road specialist is preparing to launch a new generation of the brand’s largest model: the Discovery Mark V.
2017 Land Rover Discovery 5 15 photos
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Up until this point, the Discovery range has been characterized by the same reluctance to making significant changes in design that could be seen all across the restricted Land Rover range. Now, though, with the Defender gone for an undetermined period of time and the Freelander turned into a rather sexy vehicle named Discovery Sport, the time has come for the flagship SUV to show it’s not afraid of change.

Whatever the case with the SUV, you can bet a second mortgage on your house that the Land Rover execs are very much afraid of this bold move. They may be confident based on the market’s reaction to what’s been going on with the brand recently, but that doesn’t mean they’re not a bit concerned as well. They can’t afford to make any wrong steps with the Discovery, and the Land Rover crowd is a pretty faithful, but also conservative one.

And the new Discovery 5 doesn’t seem to play into their conservativeness. The new car goes for the same rounded front end we’ve seen on the Discovery Sport, while the overall shape is less vertical, using more angled planes instead. The square headlights are gone too, and so are the tall taillights, replaced by a set of horizontal ones that seem to stretch well into the side of the car.

Looking at the direction Land Rover’s design is headed in, the decision to drop the Defender becomes obvious. The brand’s workhorse was already the oddball of the range with its exterior that only suffered minor adjustments over the long course of its life, as opposed to the Freelander and Discovery that tried their best to look modern without ignoring the past.

Now, though, the difference would have been astronomic. An enormous chasm would have opened between the three models that the salesmen couldn’t possibly explain. And that means that the Defender is either dead, or (more likely) will be brought back as an entirely different vehicle.

Back to the Discovery 5, we should probably have a quick look at what’s inside as well. Unfortunately, the photographers couldn’t point their cameras at the car’s interior, so we’re relying on our intuition on this one. And our intuition says we should expect something in between the more basic Discovery Sport interior and the more luxurious Range Rover Sport.

The new Discovery will most likely debut with updated versions of the current engines, with the 3.0-liter SDV6 diesel accounting for the majority of sales. Later on, units from the new Ingenium family should make their way into the engine compartment of the new Discovery, but that will take some time since now only four-cylinder mills are in exploitation.

Land Rover has a pretty clear plan for its future range that will have it split into three main sectors. The first covers the luxury needs of the two percent and is taken care of by the Range Rovers. The second is referred to as “leisure” and should be resolved by the Discovery range that is likely to expand further than the two models we know of right now. The third one leaves hope for the return of the Defender as it’s branded “dual purpose” and hints at cars that could serve as true utility vehicles as well as personal transportation.

The official communication channels remain silent for the time being regarding the new Discovery’s launch, but it should happen sometime during this year. Whenever it’s going to happen, it will be a major moment for Land Rover, one that could have significant implications for the brand’s future. Let’s hope for the best, as we’re curious about that new Defender.


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