Land Rover’s next-generation Discovery is to return to its roots as a more rugged and traditional off-road workhorse, according to a leaked report.
Industry analysis leaked to Autocar suggests that the next Discovery will be a sister car to the all-new Defender family. Codenamed L661, the new Discovery will start production in mid-2016, 12 months after the first of the new Defender models — codenamed L660 — start rolling down the line.
The Discovery 5 will probably be aimed at Toyota’s Land Cruiser, with an emphasis on practicality and towing.
According to company sources, no decision has been made on which platform the new Defender and Discovery will be built on. One option is to adopt the T5 platform used by today’s Discovery and Range Rover Sport.
The T5 can apparently be adapted to underpin future Defender variants such as pick-ups. But while it is rugged, the T5 platform is also heavy and will be 11 years old by the time the new Defender is launched.
However, sources admit that commissioning an all-new platform and production line will require a very significant investment by Land Rover’s parent company, Tata.
The original Discovery, launched in 1989, was based on the first-generation Range Rover and proved to be a significant money-spinner for the company.