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