The Land Rover Discovery has an unbeatable combination of practicality, off-road ability and on-road manners
First DriveWith an all-new, fifth-generation discovery around the corner, we revisit the current car in special-edition Landmark form
First DriveThe Discovery is an exceptionally versatile vehicle: a grade-one off-roader, proper seven-seater and rapid and luxurious way to cover distances
For all of its many talents, the new Land Rover Discovery diesel has one major flaw: 2718kg is a lot of weight to haul around, even with 193bhp and 328lb ft to do the job, so it’s not exactly sprightly.
Head to the people at DMS, however, and there’s a solution. By tapping into the car’s ECU to remap the engine’s parameters, they can add a whole lot more oomph without any mechanical changes (and they also hold a copy of the factory settings should you wish to revert).
With really quick cars, power boosts are often barely perceptible. Not so with the Disco, which goes from 193bhp to a claimed 233bhp and from 328lb ft to a claimed 376lb ft, turning it from school bus to warm-hatch beater.
We managed 60mph in 9.3sec, 0.6sec faster than the Fiesta Zetec S on p33 and 2.9sec faster than the standard TDV6. By 100mph the unmodified car is a distant memory: the 32.2sec recorded by the DMS is 10.6sec quicker. Pick any increment and it’s the same: 30-70mph, 3.2sec faster; 50-70mph, 1.9sec faster.
Drawbacks? Land Rover doesn’t approve and it could affect your warranty. And we noticed more smoke under hard acceleration, though DMS claims that emissions are unchanged.
When we road tested the Discovery we had two reservations: too slow, too thirsty. We’ll reserve judgement on the latter, but it seems that the best Land Rover just got a whole lot better.