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Interesting Info About All Things Land Rover
Interesting Info About All Things Land Rover

Next Discovery To Move to Electric Platform

  • Greg Fitzgerald
  • Jun 12, 2021
Discovery 5 off-road

The next Discovery will switch platforms, moving away from being related to the Range Rover and Defender to being on the electric-native EMA platform with the Range Rover Sport and Discovery Sport.

The Disco has taken a massive sales hit since the Defender barged into its market, with the two vehicles offering a similar pricing structure, similar underpinnings, and similar specifications. What the Disco 5 offers exclusively is a full seven-seat setup, with a third row that adults can sit in. But there’s a Defender 130 coming sooner than later, which will add extra length behind the rear wheels of a Defender 110 and will make space for a full third row, eroding the Disco market share even more.

The Defender, with its retro-cool design and strong standard equipment set, is massively outselling the Disco. 16,963 Defenders found new homes in the first quarter of 2021 globally, compared to 3,691 Discoverys. In recent months, American D5 sales have slowed to a trickle of a few hundred a month, a massive fall from grace for a vehicle that once was Land Rover’s cash cow.

The answer will be to split the Discovery off and give it a new purpose, perhaps as a family alternative to Range Rover luxe. Prior plans had the Discovery 6 built on the Modular Longitudinal Architecture (MLA) platform, which will underpin the new Range Rover and Range Rover Sport and one day, long into the future, the second generation new Defender. But now, it looks like it will be built on Electrified Modular Architecture (EMA), which is primarily focused on battery power with the option for plug-in hybrid operations or range-extender internal combustion motors to boost a battery platform. The MLA platform allows for both electric and internal combustion power.

The news comes from JLR CEO Thierry Bolore, who also signaled that the next-generation Velar will be on the EMA platform. The EMA platform should underpin about 40% of JLR’s products by decade’s end.

The Discovery has always been closely related to the Range Rover. At its launch in 1989, it was built on the same underpinnings and chassis, and used significant components of the Range Rover bodyshell. Though only the Disco 1 and Disco 5 shared major architecture with their respective Range Rover peers, there has always been significant crossover in parts and drivetrains. In addition, the Range Rover Sport was based on the LR3 platform, and will remain on the MLA platform for its third generation. But while the models are moving apart in structure, they are growing closer together in the next generation in luxury, as the Discovery will move further upmarket and the Range Rover enters another stratosphere to fully compete with new offerings from the likes of Rolls Royce and Bentley.

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  • Written By
  • Greg Fitzgerald
  • Adventure addict. '90s Land Rover daily driver. Historic preservationist. Personal vehicles: 1994 Discovery I, 1994 Range Rover Classic, 1961 Series II.
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