The middle engine, the 3.0 V6 diesel, makes 255bhp and returns 32.9mpg combined, along with 189g/km of CO2. It can sprint from 0-60mph in 7.7sec. The range-topping supercharged 3.0-litre petrol V6 produces 355bhp, returns 26.0mpg combined along with 256g/km of CO2, and has a 0-60mph time of 6.9sec. Land Rover predicts the Ingenium four will become the most popular engine.
Land Rover says the Discovery is its most capable off-roader yet, with its ability enhanced by the lighter weight, better ground clearance and improved wading ability.
It still uses a transfer box to provide a separate low range of ratios for extreme off-road use and has a standard 50/50 torque split. However, torque can be varied electronically either via the latest Terrain Response 2 system (which provides a variety of off-road configurations on a console-mounted dial control), or the system will configure itself automatically using information from sensors that monitor road and driving conditions.
A recent Land Rover refinement is All Terrain Progress Control (ATPC), which lets the driver select an appropriate crawling speed for very tough or low-grip conditions, to concentrate entirely on the steering.
Pricing and trim levels
There are four equipment levels - S, SE, HSE and HSE Luxury - and prices range from £43,495 to £65,695 before the addition of optional equipment, of which Land Rover offers a bewildering array. Wheel sizes start at 18in on the S model and proceed through 19in and 20in to 21s on the HSE Luxury. And then there are 22in wheels on the options list.
Standard equipment in every Discovery includes seven adult-size seats, an automatic gearbox, four-wheel drive with high and low ranges, a 10.0in infotainment touchscreen on the fascia, a powered tailgate and autonomous emergency braking.
The plushest models come with up to nine USB ports, four 12V charging points and an in-car 3G wi-fi hotspot. The infotainment system – which extends to a top-line 17-speaker Meridian Audio system – is controlled from the 10.0in central touchscreen.
Reacting to concerns about the recent hacking of cars with remote keys, Land Rover has invented what it calls an Activity Key, which is carried on a wristband worn by the owner and, when in use, locks out all other keys.
The new Discovery will hit the market in next spring, with the first 600 vehicles specially badged as high-spec launch editions. There will also be an early ‘stealth’ edition, officially dubbed the Dynamic Design Pack, which comes with leather trim, sports wheels and pedals, privacy glass and special colours with a contrasting roof.