Land Rover has given us a first look at its new full-size, seven-seat Discovery SUV ahead of the vehicle’s world debut on September 28 at the 2016 Paris auto show. It’s due to hit showrooms in mid-2017.
The Discovery replaces the aging LR4 which was introduced for 2010 but largely based on the previous LR3 launched as far back as 2005. It’s the fifth generation of the nameplate which was originally introduced to provide Land Rover with a more mainstream offering than its hardy Defender and luxurious Range Rover SUVs.
The Discovery is the second model in Land Rover’s leisure-oriented range, which already includes the Discovery Sport. With the smaller Discovery Sport going after the Audi Q5 and Volvo XC60, the Discovery will target Audi and Volvo’s respective Q7 and XC90, plus their rivals. Land Rover will no doubt tout some off-road credentials as a standout feature.
The Discovery was previewed in concept form at the 2014 New York auto show and has been testing in prototype form around the globe ever since. It rides on Land Rover’s aluminum platform found in the Range Rover and Range Rover Sport SUVs. Known as the Premium Lightweight Architecture (PLA), the platform should bring significant improvements in efficiency and dynamic qualities over the LR4 thanks to reduced weight.
Land Rover Discovery Vision Concept - 2014 New York Auto Show
No technical details have been provided but expect a 6-cylinder engine to be the base option—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.
Pricing information is also yet to be revealed but expect the starting figure to match the LR4’s low-$50k sticker.
“The new Discovery redefines the large SUV,” Land Rover design boss Gerry McGovern said in a statement. “Land Rover’s design and engineering teams have revolutionised the Discovery DNA to create a highly desirable, extremely versatile and hugely capable premium SUV.”
For more Paris auto show coverage, visit our dedicated hub.