These are the latest spy shots of a prototype for Land Rover’s new Discovery.
The vehicle replaces the aging LR4 and is expected to go on sale in 2017, as a 2018 model. It will be the second model in Land Rover’s new "Discovery" family of vehicles, the first being the smaller Discovery Sport launched last year.
The Discovery is designed around Land Rover’s aluminum platform currently found in the Range Rover and Range Rover Sport SUVs. Known as the Premium Lightweight Architecture (PLA), the platform will ensure the vehicle is much lighter than the LR4, making it more fuel efficient and easier to handle.
2018 Land Rover Discovery spy shots - Image via S. Baldauf/SB-MedienEnlarge Photo
With the smaller Discovery Sport going after the BMW X3 and Mercedes-Benz GLC, the Discovery will target the larger X5 and GLE from the German automakers. To stand out from the crowd, the Land Rover is expected to come with seven seats as standard, along with the off-road prowess the LR4 is renowned for.
We can also expect advanced technologies such as Land Rover’s transparent hood system, which uses cameras and a head-up display system to show the driver the area just in front of and underneath the nose.
It’s also possible that Land Rover’s laser headlight system, previewed on the Discovery Vision concept, will be fitted to the new Discovery. This is used to scan the road surface as well as project guide paths to drive along, such as when parking in tight spaces. The Discovery Vision, incidentally, also previews the styling of the new Discovery.
Land Rover Discovery Vision Concept - 2014 New York Auto ShowEnlarge Photo
In the engine department, look for a 6-cylinder unit to be the base option here in the United States—possibly a new inline-6 based on Jaguar Land Rover’s Ingenium design. In other markets, it’s likely a 2.0-liter inline-4 will serve as the base option and there should be a hybrid offered too. An 8-speed automatic transmission is expected to be standard across the range.
A dedicated off-road model developed by the Jaguar Land Rover Special Vehicle Operations department is also a possibility. We’ve heard it may receive SVX branding. We're not expecting a performance-oriented SVR version of the new Discovery, though.
Considering the lack of camouflage gear on the latest prototype, the debut should take place soon, possibly as early as September's 2016 Paris auto show.