Brief Video History of the Land Rover Discovery

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The Discovery has gone through jungles and deserts to get to this point. Land Rover Discovery History

Regarding the current Land Rover Discovery, Massimo Frascella, the automaker’s exterior design director says in the above video, “The fact that it looks so, dare I say, so sexy, it doesn’t mean that it’s lost some of the functionality [of its predecessors].”

The latest Disco is the fifth generation of a model that started life back in 1987 as an idea code-named Project Jay. At the time, it was significant for being the first Land Rover completely designed with computer-aided drafting (CAD) technology. A couple of years later, Land Rover launched the two-door production version of the boxy billy goat. A four-door model came a year later. By 1995, the Disco was the best-selling vehicle in the Land Rover lineup.

A second-generation model debuted in 1998. A production-ready version of Hill Descent Control came out in 2003. The next year, Land Rover rolled out the third-generation Discovery. In 2005, the Terrain Response system we now take for granted officially arrived in dealership models. After a few years, it was time for the LR4 to change the world of off-roading, just as its predecessors did by traversing the jungles of Belize and the obstacles of the G4 Challenge.


ALSO SEE: What Forum Members Have to Say About the Disco


Land Rover launched the fifth-generation Disco early last year. The company designed it to be, of course, a capable off-roader (which it is), but also a durable family hauler. In the footage above, Amy Frascella, Land Rover’s chief designer of color and materials, says, “All the materials are premium, but not precious so they will all withstand all of the abuse that your family, dogs, and children can throw at them.” We didn’t get a chance to load little ones or pooches into the Discovery, but it took on plenty of sand without a problem. I also discovered it makes for a great metal sleeping bag when I camped in it during the Muddy Chef Challenge.

Gerry McGovern, Land Rover’s chief design officer, said, “When people see the new Discovery, they’ll go, ‘Wow’ because it is a jaw-dropping design.” It’s hard to disagree with him. The good news is that even though the current model looks different from its ancestors, it’s still great at climbing rocks and blasting up sand dunes, just as any Discovery should be.

Derek Shiekhi's father raised him on cars. As a boy, Derek accompanied his dad as he bought classics such as post-WWII GM trucks and early Ford Mustang convertibles.

After loving cars for years and getting a bachelor's degree in Business Management, Derek decided to get an associate degree in journalism. His networking put him in contact with the editor of the Austin-American Statesman newspaper, who hired him to write freelance about automotive culture and events in Austin, Texas in 2013. One particular story led to him getting a certificate for learning the foundations of road racing.

While watching TV with his parents one fateful evening, he saw a commercial that changed his life. In it, Jeep touted the Wrangler as the Texas Auto Writers Association's "SUV of Texas." Derek knew he had to join the organization if he was going to advance as an automotive writer. He joined the Texas Auto Writers Association (TAWA) in 2014 and was fortunate to meet several nice people who connected him to the representatives of several automakers and the people who could give him access to press vehicles (the first one he ever got the keys to was a Lexus LX 570). He's now a regular at TAWA's two main events: the Texas Auto Roundup in the spring and the Texas Truck Rodeo in the fall.

Over the past several years, Derek has learned how to drive off-road in various four-wheel-drive SUVs (he even camped out for two nights in a Land Rover), and driven around various tracks in hot hatches, muscle cars, and exotics. Several of his pieces, including his article about the 2015 Ford F-150 being crowned TAWA's 2014 "Truck of Texas" and his review of the Alfa Romeo 4C Spider, have won awards in TAWA's annual Excellence in Craft Competition. Last year, his JK Forum profile of Wagonmaster, a business that restores Jeep Wagoneers, won prizes in TAWA’s signature writing contest and its pickup- and SUV-focused Texas Truck Invitational.

In addition to writing for a variety of Internet Brands sites, including JK Forum, H-D Forums, The Mustang Source, Mustang Forums, LS1Tech, HondaTech, Jaguar Forums, YotaTech, and Ford Truck Enthusiasts. Derek also started There Will Be Cars on Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube.

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