Loyal Land Rover fans have been flocking to dealers to snap up the last remaining ‘old’ Discoverys, terrified that its replacement won’t be as good. But that’s not the case.
The new Disco is everything it should be and, crucially, it’s a true Land Rover, as we discovered when we group-tested the diesel version last month. But with the legendary Rover V8 buried with the old car, how will the new petrol-powered range-topper fare?
Like the diesel, Land Rover’s petrol powerplant comes from Ford PAG partner Jaguar. The 295bhp 4.4-litre V8 is a bored-out version of the XJ’s 4.2. It’s tuned to boost torque, yet at 315lb ft it’s 13lb ft down on the Discovery’s 2.7-litre V6 diesel, and it arrives at 4000rpm, 2100rpm higher.
However, the V8 is lighter and packs an extra 107bhp. From rest to 60mph it feels significantly faster, though not quite the 4.5sec quicker that Land Rover claims. Both engines have impressive mid-range shove but it’s at motorway speeds that the V8’s extra top-end power makes a difference. To overtake with conviction you need to kickdown, but when you do it’s a hot hatch to the diesel’s shopping trolley.