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    William Maley

    2017 Land Rover Discovery Drops 1,000 Pounds, Becomes Sleeker

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      Farewell LR4, Welcome Back Discovery


    The previous two generations of the Land Rover Discovery went by different names in the U.S. - LR3 and LR4. But tonight at an event in Paris, Land Rover introduced the next-generation Discovery and that it what it will go by when it comes to the U.S. next summer.

    Let's begin with the big story. Land Rover was able to drop 1,000 pounds out of the new Discovery. To put that into perspective, the current LR4 has a base curb weight of 5,655 pounds. How did they do it? Well, it comes down to the Premium Lightweight Architecture (PLA) that is currently underpinning the new Range Rover and Range Rover Sport. This architecture features a large amount of aluminum in its construction.

    Power will come from two engines:

    • 3.0L Supercharged V6 - 340 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque
    • 3.0L Turbodiesel V6 - 254 horsepower and 443 pound-feet of torque

    Both engines come paired with an eight-speed automatic and a full-time four-wheel drive system.

    As for going off the beaten path, Land Rover has a made a number of improvements. Overall ground clearance has been increased by 1.7 inches to 11.1 inches. An optional air suspension can raise it slightly higher. The Discovery will feature All-Terrain Progress Control - basically its a low-speed cruise control system for off-roading. Other off-road bits to be aware off include the latest version of the Terrain Response 2 system and an available two-speed transfer case. 

    The exterior mimics the Discovery Sport with a smaller front grille, reshaped LED headlights, sculpting along the doors, LED taillights, and a one-piece tailgate. The interior is handsome and features a 10.2-inch touchscreen with the latest version of Jaguar Land Rover's InControl infotainment system and three-rows of seating. A clever trick that the Discovery features is the abilty to fold the second and third-row seats by using the infotainment system or an app on your smartphone.

    Safety-wise, the Discovery will be available with adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, and a surround camera system.

    Pricing for the 2017 Land Rover Discovery is as followed:

    • Discovery SE - $50,985
    • Discovery HSE - $57,945
    • Discovery HSE Td6 - $59,945
    • Discovery HSE Luxury - $64,945
    • Discovery HSE Luxury Td6 - $66,945
    • Discovery First Edition - $74,945

    Prices include a $995.00 destination charge.

    Source: Land Rover


    Press Release is on Page 2


    LAND ROVER UNVEILS THE FIFTH GENERATION FULL-SIZE DISCOVERY
    The all-new full-size Discovery embodies the Land Rover brand’s drive to go Above and Beyond, combining British desirability with an unstoppable spirit of adventure. It’s an authentic, three-row, seven-seat(1) SUV that brings new levels of capability and versatility to the Discovery family.

    • A full-sized, three-row, seven-seat SUV(1) with characteristic Land Rover capability and versatility
    • The embodiment of the Land Rover brand’s drive to go Above and Beyond, combining British desirability with an unstoppable spirit of adventure
    • On sale from mid-2017, priced from $49,990(7)

    The Seven Wonders of Discovery:
    Seven principles describe the essence of Discovery and have guided its creation:

    1. The Magnificent Seven: every seat is the best seat in the house

    The new Discovery features a flexible interior, with seating – up to seven full-sized adult seats(1) – that’s instantly configurable from Apple and Android smartphones using the world-first remote Intelligent Seat Fold technology(2,5)

    2. A much loved member of the family for the last 26 years

    • Advanced driver assistance technologies(4) provide the driver and occupants peace of mind
    • Premium interior combines leading design with durable, high-quality materials and space for the whole family

    3. King of the hill: a true Land Rover with the brand’s characteristic capability on a variety of surfaces, terrains and weather conditions

    • Full-sized Land Rover SUV architecture delivers impressive all-terrain capability
    • Lightweight aluminum construction cuts approximately 1,000 lbs(3) from the weight of the outgoing LR4, delivering enhanced on- and off-road performance
    • 8,201 lb. towing capacity(10) and Advanced Tow Assist(4) take the stress out of difficult reversing maneuvers

    4. British creativity: designed with charm and sophistication loved by the world
    Design retains key Discovery family cues, adding optimized proportions and sophisticated surfaces

    5. Storage addiction: discover the space for everything
    82.7 cu. ft. of luggage space and clever storage to satisfy an active lifestyle and family needs alike

    6. Connects every generation: Smart features that make life easier
    All-new Discovery comes equipped with up to nine USB ports, six 12-volt charging points and an in-car 3G WiFi hotspot for up to eight devices(12)

    7. After the roads end: reaching threatened habitats and vulnerable people
    New Discovery will continue the Land Rover brand’s work in humanitarian aid and conservation projects around the world

    (PARIS) – September 28, 2016 – The all-new full-size Discovery embodies the Land Rover brand’s drive to go Above and Beyond, combining British desirability with an unstoppable spirit of adventure. It’s an authentic, three-row, seven-seat(1) SUV that brings new levels of capability and versatility to the Discovery family.

    Everyday ingenuity has been at the heart of the Discovery for the last 27 years. The new Discovery signals the transformation from cogs to code with more than 1.2 million owners with us on every step of the journey.

    The fifth-generation model benefits from the strong and light full-size Land Rover SUV architecture, delivering comfort and adaptability like no other.

    The all-new Discovery is ready for the digital age. Smart technology features keep families connected and confident on a variety of surfaces, terrains, and weather conditions; ensuring their destination is reached.

    Gerry McGovern, Land Rover Chief Design Officer said: “The all-new Discovery redefines the large SUV. The Land Rover design and engineering teams have revolutionized the Discovery DNA to create a highly desirable, extremely versatile and hugely capable premium SUV. We truly believe the result is a radical departure in design that will introduce the Discovery Family to a new, wider customer base.”

    Revolutionary design
    The all-new Discovery was previewed by the Discovery Vision Concept, which showcased the future direction of the entire Discovery family when it debuted at the New York Auto Show in 2014; it represented a radical departure for the most versatile SUV from Land Rover. The revolutionary design gives Discovery a dynamic appearance with sophisticated surfaces and precisely engineered details designed to resonate with customers on an emotional level.

    Gerry McGovern, Land Rover Chief Design Officer said: “Design creates an emotional connection between our customers and our vehicles. Our clear design strategy means our vehicles are instantly recognizable and communicate the values of Land Rover that our customers love. The flawless volume and proportions, sophisticated surfaces and precise detailing of the all-new Discovery, beautifully combine with engineering integrity to create a premium SUV that will resonate with today’s customers.”

    The Discovery family has always had a spirit of adventure. The new model provides a dramatic reinterpretation of the 27 years of heritage and practical DNA Discovery is best known for, and combines it with a sophisticated design that pays homage to previous models without being restrained by them.

    Trademark design features include the stepped roofline, which has identified each of the four previous generations of Discovery and provides an elegant solution to a practical need. The stepped profile optimizes headroom for passengers travelling in the third row of seats(1). It also accommodates the customary stadium seating configuration Discovery is best known for, which sees each row of seats positioned higher than the one in front, ensuring every seat is the best seat in the house.

    Design and engineering integrity from Land Rover ensures the fifth generation Discovery is able to accommodate seven full-sized adults in an SUV body measuring just over 16 feet in length (4,970mm). Most similar-sized competitors provide 5+2 seating, but the new Discovery is designed for 95th percentile adults to sit comfortably in its rearmost seats, providing complete interior flexibility. Each of the third-row seats(1) incorporate ISOFIX mounting points (four in total), so families with children have the freedom to put child safety seats in the most appropriate location for any journey(13).

    Inside, the all-new Discovery continues the design revolution started by the Discovery Sport, where customers can specify a range of premium materials including luxurious Windsor leather upholstery and natural oak veneers.

    A limited-run ‘First Edition’ model showcases the very best of the new model. Only 529 examples will be available in the United States with exclusive features including unique etched map detailing on the aluminum trim for the doors and dashboard, unique badges, bold color choices and a comprehensive list of standard equipment. 

    The optional Dynamic Design Pack gives the fifth generation Discovery a more purposeful, clean appearance both inside and out, with features including a contrast roof, athletic front and rear bumper designs, luxurious leather upholstery and a sports-inspired steering wheel and pedals setting it apart.

    Connecting every generation of the family
    The all-new Discovery offers an available world-first Intelligent Seat Fold technology, allowing owners to reconfigure the second- and third-row seats with minimal effort; using controls at the rear of the vehicle, the central touchscreen, or even remotely – via a smartphone app – as part of the Land Rover InControl® Touch Pro services(2,5).

    The innovative feature allows owners to rearrange the seats from inside the store while they wait to pay for large or bulky items, ensuring the vehicle is perfectly configured to accommodate their purchases when they go to leave.

    All three rows are available with heated seats – heated and cooled in rows one and two – while massage seats are available for the driver and front passenger to optimize comfort on long journeys.

    Enjoying the spacious interior of the all-new Discovery is made easier by another thoughtful Land Rover innovation. On vehicles equipped with air suspension, Auto Access Height technology reduces the ride-height by up to 1.57 in. as passengers prepare to enter or exit the vehicle.

    Alongside the spacious and flexible seating layout, the other key to the new model’s versatility is the optional Land Rover InControl® Touch Pro infotainment system(6,11). Vehicles equipped with InControl Touch Pro benefit from a large 10-inch touchscreen positioned high on the center console(5,8). This development enabled Land Rover designers to reduce the number of switches on the center console by a third, delivering a clean and uncluttered appearance.

    Crisp graphics and easy-to-navigate menus incorporate the latest navigation and entertainment technologies including door-to-door navigation, which can share directions to a paired smartphone to help owners complete journeys on foot(8). Seamless iOS and Android connectivity combine with a 17-speaker Meridian digital surround system and 3G WiFi to provide the ultimate listening experience, whether streaming songs online or playing music directly from a connected device.

    Up to six 12V charging points ensure the new Discovery is perfectly equipped to cope with the demands of the most connected owners and their passengers, while as many as seven USB sockets (up to nine when the rear seat entertainment is fitted) allow passengers in each row to power their smartphones or tablets simultaneously.

    Another technology feature for active families is the Activity Key wristband – first debuted on the 2017 Jaguar F-PACE – which allows customers to enjoy sports and active hobbies without having to carry the standard key fob and worry about the risk of damage or loss. Holding the waterproof Activity Key up to the ‘D’ in the Discovery badge on the rear tailgate simultaneously locks the vehicle and disables the ordinary key, which can be left safely inside. This leaves customers free to run, swim, ride or play without worrying about the security of their vehicle.

    Storage addiction
    At every stage of its development Land Rover has designed the all-new Discovery around the needs of its customers. This is evident when you look around the cabin. Design and engineering teams at Land Rover have an addiction to storage; this resulted in a host of convenient interior storage solutions for owners, including:

    • Storage in the central console capable of holding pair of two-liter beverage containers.
    • A central armrest cubby large enough to house five tablet computers with a lid that hinges through 180 degrees to function as an armrest even when open
    • Small-item stowage behind the fold-down Climate Control panel
    • A flush-fitting, push-operated, bag hook in the front passenger footwell capable of securing shopping bags

    The effort put into developing the first-rate cabin storage in the all-new Discovery has been matched by the thought put into its luggage space. The premium SUV provides 82.7 cu. ft. of load capacity, or 45 cu. ft. behind row two, and the new optional dual-purpose Powered Inner Tailgate provides all the versatility expected from a vehicle wearing the Discovery badge.

    When raised, the fold-down panel at the leading edge of the load area operates as a practical load restraint, but when lowered, the 11-inch overhanging section doubles as a useful bench for event seating or changing muddy footwear, all under the shelter provided by the new one-piece tailgate. This simple device replicates the functionality of the horizontally split tailgate fitted to previous Land Rover vehicles.

    Comfort and capability
    The all-new Discovery retains renowned Land Rover all-terrain capability thanks to its combination of excellent off-road geometry and advanced driver assistance technologies(4); together, they enhance the everyday usability of the new model.

    Ground clearance is rated at 11.1-inches – an increase of 1.7 inches from the LR4 – while a maximum wading depth of 35.4-inches – an increase of 7.9-inches – provides unrivalled confidence when tackling waterlogged trails(4).

    A comprehensive suite of available off-road driving technologies ensures the all-new Discovery maintains its supreme all-terrain capability and is easy to access for even inexperienced drivers. The Land Rover multi-mode Terrain Response® 2 system optimizes a range of settings, from throttle sensitivity to gear change characteristics, suiting the driving conditions at the turn of a rotary controller(4). Terrain Response 2 can even select the optimum setting automatically if drivers are unsure of the best choice.

    When tackling particularly challenging terrain, All-Terrain Progress Control (ATPC) can be programed to maintain a suitable crawl speed as chosen by the driver. The clever technology allows the driver to concentrate solely on steering the vehicle as they negotiate obstacles, without the distraction of operating the throttle or brake pedals, and can also be used from a standstill to help when pulling away on slippery, low traction, surfaces(4).

    The all-new Discovery also benefits from lightweight and durable Land Rover aluminum architecture. Similar to the construction on Range Rover and Range Rover Sport, the all-new Discovery cuts more than 1,000 pounds from the weight of the outgoing LR4, which used steel ladder construction(3). This weight savings, coupled with an advanced integral link rear suspension, delivers improved handling characteristics and on-road performance without compromising the superb ride comfort that has defined generations of Land Rover vehicles.

    Another Land Rover trademark carried over into the all-new model, is a Command Driving Position which helps owners enjoy the vehicle’s enhanced breadth of capability with confidence, on variety of surfaces, terrains and weather conditions, by providing excellent visibility(4).

    This confidence extends to towing capability, which has been a hallmark of every generation of Discovery since it was used to tow a train at its original launch in 1989. In the US, the all-new Discovery has a maximum towing capacity of 8,201 pounds(3). This figure is enhanced with the introduction of some clever technology developed to make the towing with the Discovery more accessible than ever.

    Advanced Tow Assist allows owners to complete potentially difficult reversing maneuvers when towing trailers with ease(4). The driver’s assistance feature manages the tricky counter-steering required to position trailers accurately when reversing. The driver simply guides the trailer into the desired space with the rotary controller for the Terrain Response 2 system; this is done using responsive guidance lines overlaid on the rear-facing camera feed which are displayed on the central touchscreen, taking the stress out of an otherwise tricky task(4).

    A choice of powertrains
    The all-new Discovery is powered with the option of both a petrol and diesel engine familiar to the Jaguar Land Rover line-up; each of which is paired with a smooth and responsive ZF eight-speed automatic gearbox. They include:

    • The 340-HP supercharged 3.0L petrol V-6 carried over from the LR4. With 332 lb.-ft. of torque on demand, the petrol V-6 delivers high-end responsiveness and excellent passing power.
    • Shared with the Range Rover and Range Rover Sport, the all-new Discovery benefits from the introduction of a 254HP turbocharged diesel V-6 that delivers 443 lb.-ft. of torque from as little as 1,750 rpm.

    The all-new Discovery will be on sale at North American retailers from mid-2017, starting at $49,990(7). For more information, visit a local retailer or log on to LandRoverUSA.com.

    (1) Third row seating is an optional feature on select Discovery models.
    (2) The Intelligent Seat Fold feature is included on vehicles equipped with optional seven position power seating.
    (3) Depending on the selected Discovery vehicle trim and options.
    (4) These systems are not a substitute for driving safely with due care and attention and will not function under all circumstances, speeds, weather and road conditions, etc. Driver should not assume that these systems will correct errors of judgment in driving.  Please consult the owner’s manual or your local authorized Land Rover Retailer for more details.
    (5) Land Rover InControl® Remote™ app and data plan with a mobile network operator is required to remotely interact with your vehicle. Intelligent Seat Fold feature on app is included on vehicles equipped with optional seven position power seating.
    (6) Do not use Land Rover InControl® features under conditions that will affect your safety or the safety of others. Driving while distracted can result in loss of vehicle control.
    (7) All prices shown are Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price. Excludes $995 destination/handling charge, tax, title, license, and retailer fees, all due at signing, and optional equipment. Retailer price, terms and vehicle availability may vary. See your local authorized Land Rover Retailer for details.
    (8) Driving while distracted can result in loss of vehicle control. Do not operate, adjust or view the navigation or multimedia systems under conditions that will affect your safety or the safety of others. Only use mobile phones and other devices, even with voice commands, when it is safe to do so. 
    (9) Discovery vehicle equipped with the 340HP petrol V-6.
    (10 Land Rover InControl® Touch Pro is standard on the HSE trim level and above.
    (11) The Wi-Fi hotspot is intended for passenger use only. Land Rover InControl features may require an additional subscription with separate terms and conditions.
    (12)Please consult owner's manual or your local authorized Land Rover Retailer for details regarding installation of child safety seats

    Edited by William Maley

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    of the pictures,... the hide behind the hvac controls is great. if they are all digital this makes perfect sense.

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    • DRIVEN: 2020 Subaru Ascent Premium (AWD 2.4 turbo) HIGHS: -Finally, what the market was looking for, a worthwhile Subaru entry into the 3 row crossover segment.  And packaging, size wise, styling, just about perfect for Subaru -2.4 engine can snarl, nice go juice, and the CVT is actually fairly responsive.  Moves out well, or at least feels like it does.  Makes the Ascent feel sporty actually. -As mentioned above, packaging is just about perfect for Subaru.  It might be considered a tweener, but it does not feel hulking or girthy...and it still will be garagable for many of those folks that would shop import brands.  Cabin width not as wide as a Traverse, noticeably so...but conversely feels like a nice size upgrade from an Outback.  Maybe if you try to have three in the second row its a concern but otherwise should be ok.  Plenty of comfort remains and the third row is decent sized for leg room.  This may be the sweet spot size of a 3 row for many customers. -Cloth seats were attractive and did feel nice at the bottom. -Simple clean dash layout, noticeably signature Subaru.  Some interesting trim.   -Open and airy feel inside the cabin, and likewise visibility out.  In particular in front it doesn't feel significantly larger in front then a Forester or Outback. -Carlike ride and handling.  At least in line with the sort of current expectations of a Subaru / Toyota / Honda type of customer.  And reasonably quiet inside. -Nothing particularly egregious, and entirely in line with Subaru and Japanese car in general brand character.  If you are a Subaru fan, this is your manna, this should EXCITE you. LOWS: ...all that said (above) -A few times I caught the CVT with its pants down and it went into slow response / rubber bandy mode. -Dash, to me, did feel plain and basic (and that also is entirely in character for a Subaru).  I will go on record saying that a Traverse is nicer inside and much more interesting.  -Steering felt light and numb enough that I can't say it was anything besides decent.  All while being a huge upgrade in steering compared to other Subarus I have driven the last few years.  It is very much improved compared to those.  And the suspension was composed enough in the Ascent that it didn't bounce and bob and weave like I had when i drove a Forester before. -I didn't dissect the cargo area greatly but I do think maybe it is down a little bit in terms of usable dimensions compared to say, a Traverse or Atlas....probably as useful or more useful than an Acadia. -At the end of the day, apart from the kind of lively powertrain, the whole rest of the vehicle is MILQUETOAST.  Which, if you are a Subaru fan, should EXCITE you.  I mean, I think a Santa Fe may be more appealing emotionally.  I was expecting something to feed the soul here, there is nothing.  How they made it still feel lifeless while still miraculously making this vastly improved over other Subarus, must have required special skill. SUMMARY: At the end of the day, a perfectly innocuous but highly useful device that absolutely fulfills the Subaru brand character while at the same time borders on being something equal to the NPC version of an automobile.  And some will absolutely love that.  While superbly capable, I think I VASTLY prefer my GM's or even the VW Atlas.  Seek those out instead if you want ANY personality in your 3 row family hauler.        
    • DRIVEN: 2020 Ford Explorer XLT 2.3 Ecoboost 4WD   MSRP 39,770 HIGHS:  -Complete redesign is sharp looking in the flesh, while still familiar and identifiable as an Explorer at the same time -Size was not sacrificed in the redesign, the Explorer is still a nice large vehicle in a time where EPA pressures are forcing smaller vehicles. -New RWD architecture dramatically improves space efficiency and driving feel all at the same time.  That combination almost never has been able to exist before.  Truly a complete beneficial ground up redesign. -2.3 Ecoboost now mated to new 10 speed automatic has nice pep and verve for most drivers, sounds good and smooth and refined enough.  New 10 speed worked real well. -Wow, what a change in the view out the hood.  Short front end (how did they do that with a RWD chassis?) and it drops away from line of sight such that your view out the front is open and airy and very easy to see what is going on; really quite awesome as far as that goes.  Fairly good visibility back and sides for an SUV otherwise compared to some others. -LOTS of ergonomic and interior packaging improvements.  The front seats are now farther apart and give a feel of a wider cabin, partially due to much thinner doors.  The seats themselves, while a bit shy of support are typical Ford spacious for wide MUHRICAN bottoms.  Even the base cloth feels of good quality.  The new gauge cluster is very nice, big upgrade over typical Ford (and this the base cluster).  The touch screen is nicely located and responsive and good looking.  The climate controls are simple and nicely within reach.  There is a nice wide console / armrest and a handy slot for phone or pens right below the touch screen.  Easy and get in the rear two seats and move around the cabin.  What a nice change overall in interior environment from past Fords, while still easily feeling like a Ford. -Trunk behind third row has neat flip up for a lower, flatter floor for your grocery bags (like other competitors do).  Not as big behind row 3 as maybe some others, but overall cargo capacity seems just fine. -OK, RWD fans, yes this drives like a RWD vehicle...you feel pushed.  I am not used to that anymore but the feel is such that those who like the feel of RWD, here you go.  A big difference in feel between the 2019 and 2020. -Overall the chassis, ride, etc, the overall feel of the vehicle is that of a rugged, large, solid, sturdy ride.  And decent steering feel.  This does not feel completely like a truck or completely like a typical crossover SUV / car.  It is something inbetween and I think drivers who have been looking forward to this new RWD chassis will like this.  This vehicle feels like it would handle rural and rugged environments better than some other typical competitors.  Perhaps this also partly why this is Ford's new police vehicle. LOWS: -These new Fords coming out this year its been discussed that they may have cheap interior bits.  There is some of that going on here.  The door and dash plastics seem like they might be very thin and the graining I think would come off more expensive looking if the quality of the plastic were better.  We don't always expect much from Ford anyways for interior quality so this may not be terribly egregious anyways.  If i compare it to the Traverse, I don't think you can say the Ford has better interior material quality.  The Traverse IMO may still have the better interior. -The 2.3 engine while working for most people I think there will be plenty of folks drawn to the Explorer because of the RWD chassis, I might recommend they try the ST version with the high power v6....or the upcoming hybrid.  If you like this vehicle and plan to invest in one long term you might see payback in owner satisfaction by upping for the more powerful options.  I do think overall the feel of a six or even 8 cylinder motor would be more at home in this new ride. -While as i said above, that Ford did a good job with the design, it almost already feels old to me.  It is so familiar looking that while still looking new is actually a bit tough for average people to pick out next to the 2019 (which i drove side by side before this).  Color and model may help you get a unique looking Explorer, just keep that in mind.  I guess the evolutionary styling works for Subaru etc.   -Seats could have been more supportive IMO.  I just think automakers are paring away so much at every gram of weight that items like the seats keep getting pared down so they don't feel as solid as maybe they could. -Notice I said above RWD fans will probably like the ride and handling of the Explorer.  I think those that like something more carlike may not care for the somewhat trucky feel.  This will be personal preference.  In addition, the vehicle may feel too large to some.  Also, personal preference.  It felt heavy, not really agile or athletic. SUMMARY: A bellweather, a successful reinvention and repositioning of the Explorer more back to its roots and slightly a bit out of the mainstream of a crossover market segment it purposely worked to fit into with the previous generation.  With its reinvention, it is a breath of fresh air into what has turned into a 'me too' segment.  Still, apart from some typical Ford cheapness inside, this brand new design should sell like hotcakes and please old and new Explorer fans alike.  I see this design carrying on for 8-10 years and being a big profit center for Ford.  My own personal rating is a B+ for interior cheapness and as I prefer the carlike FWD feel of some of the competition, but overall I give big props to Ford for going back to what fits into the Explorer brand character in what will be a hugely successful new design.    
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