The vehicle will ride on 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 that the new Discovery is much lighter than the LR4, making it more fuel-efficient and easier to handle.
With the smaller Discovery Sport going after the BMW X3 and Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class, the new Discovery will target the larger X5 and M-Class from the German automakers. To stand out from the crowd, the Discovery is expected to come with seven seats as standard and the off-road prowess the current LR4 is renowned for.
According to Autocar, we can also expect advanced technologies on the Discovery 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. We can also expect Land Rover’s laser headlight system previewed on the Discovery Vision concept, which can be 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 we can expect for the new Discovery.
In the engine department, look for a six-cylinder unit to be the base option in the U.S., possibly a new inline six based on Jaguar Land Rover’s Ingenium design. Autocar also reports that a 2.0-liter four-cylinder Ingenium engine will be fitted to the new Discovery, but paired with an electric motor for added boost. An eight-speed automatic should be standard across the range.
Inside, look for a similar design to the cabin of the new Discovery Sport. One key difference is expected to be a large touchscreen similar to that featured in the latest Volvo XC90 and Tesla Model S.
With development of the smaller Discovery Sport complete, we should see the first prototypes for the new Discovery very soon, most likely this winter.