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Car reviews - Land Rover - Discovery - 3-dr wagon

Overview

Land Rover logo18 May 1991

AS the iconic Range Rover (RR) grew in price and prestige, so a gap broadened between it and the utilitarian Land Rover (LR) Defender original. So, to great critical and commercial success, LR conceived the permanent 4WD Discovery. It was initially available only as a single model two-door station wagon known as the V8i (featured here). Alloy-bodied, the Disco was developed from the steel box-section RR chassis and shared many of that vehicle’s features – such as the long-travel coil spring suspension and front door apertures – although many more components, like the body design, were designed principally for this application. Power came courtesy of the long-lived Rover alloy V8 engine producing 115kW/260Nm from 3.5 litres, tied to a dual-ratio five-speed manual gearbox (no auto was available at first) with drive via a transfer box with a lockable centre differential. With a novel raised rear roof for extra carrying capacity and a spacious, airy cabin, the Discovery sat five adults in comfort, while the driver faced an attractive, functional dashboard. Power steering and electric mirrors was standard while two extra seats were optional. In October ’91, the long-awaited four-door Discovery arrived in base V8i and luxury HL versions. An 83kW/265Nm 2.5-litre four-cylinder turbodiesel TDi variant was also introduced. In early ’93 a four-speed automatic option was added to the range while the HL disappeared. From December ’93, petrol-powered Discoverys saw some mechanical improvements. The RR’s 134kW/304Nm 3.9-litre V8 engine displaced the 3.5, resulting in better performance and refinement, while a bigger fuel tank (up from 81.7 to 88.5 litres), larger anti-roll bars and hardier brake pads were also incorporated.
Model release date: 1 April 1991 to 1 October 1993

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