It's Discovery's 25th year in North America, and over the past quarter-century, the model line has changed drastically. The Discovery 5 has moved even further upmarket, while radically changing the Disco's iconic styling. As someone who daily drives a 1994 Discovery 1, I wondered just how different the new truck was. What better way to do that than to go to a Land Rover rally?
O.K., we were WRONG!
When Land Rover introduced the Discovery replacement in New York earlier this year, we were less than enthusiastic (see our previous story). The LR3 (or Discovery 3 as it will be known outside the North America) didn’t catch our eye nor our imagination as the original Discovery did when it was introduced in 1989.
The next generation Land Rover Discovery is officially on its way for the 2005 model year release in Fall 2004. Call it the Discovery III - or the LR3 (as it will be called in North America where alpha-numeric vehicle names are all the rage) - either way, “an absolute priority was to ensure that nobody could mistake this vehicle for anything else…” said Geoff Upex, Land Rover’s director of design. “It had to look thoroughly modern, bold and distinctive” he said, but very definitely a Land Rover.
Everyone knows the Range Rover is the ultimate luxury SUV that's dually suited for advanced off-roading, but when it comes to on-road performance…well, it has certainly improved the past few years, but its 282 HP shrinks in the wake of the 340 put out by the Porsche Cayenne S (worse – the Porsche’s Turbo makes a cool 450!)
So, what's Land Rover's answer? The Range Stormer concept vehicle (also known as the Range Rover Sport – final production name still TBD), a vehicle that looks more like it came from James Bond’s Q-branch than from the drawing boards of Solihull. This is a Land Rover that screams!
Automobile's SUV special issue in April, 2002, gave the new 2003 Range Rover a very tough and thorough going over, and concluded that they were very happy with the new BMW engine, among other things.
The Freelanders are rolling out of the Land Rover Dealerships in record numbers and we know why. If you are at all interested in purchasing a competent, all wheel drive, (real world) vehicle, you owe it to yourself to try the Freelander.
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