Drivers looking for a rugged, dependable vehicle often look to Land Rover for the perfect fit. After all, it's one of the oldest manufacturers of four-wheel-drive cars in the world after Jeep. Moreover, many of the early models were used by the British Army, which obviously requires an ultra durable automobile.
Over the years, Land Rover has continually upgraded and expanded its options to meet the diverse needs of drivers. Whether a consumer is searching for a vehicle that demands minimal vehicle maintenance, affordable auto repair or any other specification, the brand likely has a model that will fit the bill. Now, the manufacturer has announced that its Discovery family could include at least four different models.
According to GTspirit, Land Rover originally promised three models in the highly anticipated new Discovery lineup. However, Design Studio Director Richard Woolley recently confirmed that the family could have more additions than initially planned. So what can motorists expect?
AutoBlog reported that the lineup will likely include a luxury family based around the Range Rover, a utilitarian one centered on the Defender and another middle-of-the-road series focused on the Discovery. The question is, what kinds of models will make up each group, and how many will be in each? While no hints have been revealed on that aspect, a sneak preview at the New York Auto Show did offer some insight. Autoblog explained that the new Discovery family will feature a smaller replacement of the LR2 Freelander, a three-row, seven-passenger vehicle and another model to swap out the current LR4. There's no word yet on what the fourth or possible fifth model will look like, although GTspirit speculated a sub-Evoque SUV, similar to the Audi Q3 or BMW X1, is one possibility.
When asked about a sub-Evoque model, Wooley told AutoExpress that it's definitely something the brand is considering as there is currently a general emphasis on downsizing in the market. Still, he emphasized that the key focus for Land Rover continues to be offering the best in terms of off-road capability.
"The challenge for us is to keep those vehicles relevant because the current trend could be a fad," he explained to the news outlet. "Fashions come and go and we have to ensure whatever we do isn't just following that fashion, our cars have to mean something..."
Upholding the off-roading reputation
Despite many uncertainties about Land Rover's upcoming families, AutoBlog noted that consumers can expect the brand's new models to come with state-of-the-art assistance systems to help with the challenging terrain involved in off-roading. For example, Dai Jones, research senior manager at Jaguar Land Rover, revealed that the brand hopes to incorporate the Transparent Bonnet technology, which was previewed on the Discovery Concept vehicle, into future models. However, he admitted that while it's doable, the automaker is still trying to make it more commercially and financially feasible. So motorists may not see that feature as soon as the All Terrain Progress Control system, which is much closer to market because it's a more affordable and realistic update. Additionally, the manufacturer is in the midst of developing an "off-road guidance coach" system, which would include both video instructions and voice assistance to aid drivers in overcoming any obstacles.
Drivers don't have to wait too long to get behind the wheel of a new Land Rover, either. Autoevolution reported that the Discovery Sport, complete with the manufacturer's upcoming four-cylinder Ingenium engine, is scheduled to release before the end of 2014, thus kicking off the new line. According to the source, it's likely that these models will be made with the 3.0-liter supercharged V6 engine.