Stiffer, more aero efficient and with better crash protection than the ‘D7u’ structure underneath today’s Discovery, it provides the ingredients for a thoroughly modernised and more competitive Discovery offering while also crucially providing the necessary space for a seven-seat layout.
Like the Range Rovers, the Discovery’s replacement can be expected to be launched with a choice of combustion and plug-in hybrid powertrains. But there won’t be a diesel for the first time in the 4×4’s history as Land Rover is committed to phasing out that option across the line-up by 2026.
A top-drawer performance option with BMW’s 4.4-litre V8 is unlikely, given the Discovery’s more overt mass-market billing than the Range Rover pair. However, the familiar mild-hybridised 3.0-litre Ingenium six-cylinder is compatible with the new platform so is likely to be carried over. Significantly, the MLA-based plug-in hybrids already on sale – which pair this engine with a 38.2kWh battery – offer an EV range exceeding 60 miles, which is among the longest of any PHEV available and would make any Discovery P410e (as the equivalent Range Rover is badged) a compelling alternative to the BMW X5 xDrive45e and Mercedes-Benz GLE 350de.
As for the eventual pure EV, which is likely to be shown in 2025 after the combustion car, Land Rover will no doubt be benchmarking the latest arrivals in the large electric SUV segment before launch, including the Mercedes-Benz EQE SUV and Volvo EX90, to ensure the Discovery can trade on competitive performance statistics as well as the firm’s trademark off-road agility and practicality.
Long-distance touring capacity will continue to be a priority for Land Rover’s largest models, so an official range in the mid-300-mile region seems likely, and given that even the firm’s new PHEVs can charge at 50kW, the pure EVs are expected to offer among the most rapid top-up times on the market.
Advanced connectivity will also be a priority for Land Rover models launched after 2025. JLR has partnered American software giant Nvidia to co-develop a new (and bespoke) software stack that majors on self-driving capabilities – the likes of park assist, augmented reality driving aids and occupant monitoring – while introducing a new source of revenue in the form of over-the-air upgrades and downloadable features.