Spy Shots

2017 Land Rover Disco rocks out on public roads

LR4 Replacement Moves To Lightweight Platform

  • Image Credit: CarPix
If you want a classic, squared-off Land Rover, your days are numbered. As shown by these spy photos, the British off-road brand is testing a new Discovery (America's LR4) that would follow in the footsteps of its brothers both big and small, adopting Range Rover Evoque-inspired sheetmetal and lines. Where the current Discovery Sport looks like a scaled up Evoque, judging by the spy photos, the Disco will be more like the boxier Range Rover Sport, just in a larger, more space-efficient form factor.

Pay particular attention to space behind the D-pillar, which, judging by its spacious greenhouse, tall rear window, and rear overhang, looks optimized for a legitimate third-row of seats. While the Disco Sport, LR4, and Range Rover Sport can all be had with a third row, the space they offer is barely suitable for adults. Perhaps this new Discovery will be the vehicle to change that. Inside, the interior should get a luxurious overhaul with higher-quality materials, allowing the Disco to better compete as a premium offering.

More than the new sheetmetal, though, the next Discovery will signal the mid-range Land Rover's transition to an aluminum architecture, like the Range Rover Sport and Range Rover. Expect significant weight savings, which, as we explained in our most recent review of the LR4, is something that 5,600-plus-pound SUV sorely needs.

Our spies, meanwhile, suggest that the new Discovery will get gas, diesel, and hybrid power. We're betting the ICE-only powertrains will come from current Jaguar Land Rover vehicles. The 340-horsepower, 3.0-liter, supercharged V6 currently serving in the LR4 is a shoe-in, while we wouldn't put it past LR to offer the more potent 380-hp version of that mill. On the diesel front, the 3.0-liter TDV6 being sold in America in the Range Rover and Range Rover Sport will likely be offered. Like the blown V6, it's already in service on the Euro-market production model.

As for its name, if the Discovery Sport (née LR2) is any indication, this new model will ditch its unimaginative alphanumeric in favor of a return to the Discovery, which was abandoned two generations ago. Such a move would build a model hierarchy for consumers that's easier to understand; Discovery Sport is a smaller, cheaper Discovery, similar to how the Range Rover Sport is positioned compared to the range-topping Range Rover. That's just speculation on our part, though, and it would mean LR is baking on buyers forgetting how unreliable the late Discovery models were.

Unfortunately, we'll have to speculate a bit more on when this new model, whatever it's called, will debut. Los Angeles seems unlikely – considering Jaguar Land Rover's penchant for teasers, we'd absolutely have heard about it by now – and we wouldn't bet on Detroit, which has been hilariously packed with debuts over the past few years. New York might be a possibility after JLR debuted the XF there last year, although Geneva is also a strong contender.

Land Rover Discovery Information

Land Rover Discovery

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