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Old 24th December 2011, 16:25   #1
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Default Land Rover Discovery 4: R and D

(Disclaimer: The number plates haven't been blocked since its a dedicated test drive vehicle.)

RE-DISCOVERY

Land Rover Discovery 4: R and D-img-15.jpg
Its official.
The box is back.

For manufacturers, understanding the term "SUV" is often a difficult task.
SUVs often portray different images for different personalities.
  • For some, it means devouring all the other so called hapless cars for lunch and feel like being the king of the road. In other words, poseurs.
  • For some, it means letting the driver do all the drive and let the memsahibs enjoy playing her favourite Bollywood ishtyle film behind the scenes (in other words, rear seat entertainment). In other words, poseurs.
  • For some, its a fashion statement. Vadi gaddi, vade log, vaddi vaddi baatein. In other words, poseurs.
For some, it means utility, pure utility. And exploring all its capabilities to its limit. In other words, aficionados.

Its often sad to see the first three categories existing more than the last one. As if SUVs which run on petrol have not earned the image of gas guzzlers, some models often come with supercharged 500 plus hp engines which are meant to scare the hell out of any hapless supercar owner driving down a long winding road.

Let me make a point, though. I ain't a fan of SUVs. I prefer small cars with big engines, not big giant sized behemoths. But for some reason, SUVs go to unexplored places where the so called caaaars can only dream of.

Or perhaps, time to re-discover the SUV?

what if we get an opportunity to explore its limits on a purpose built test track?

Welcome to the Land Rover Experience.

Not for poseurs.
Not for the faint hearted.
Only for hard core LR fanatics. Rest, keep away.

Welcome to Ludhiana. And welcome to dada motors, the JLR dealership located some 15 kms from Samrala chowk near Sanewal.

Last Sunday, I was invited by a friend of mine who works at the said dealership to come and experiance a vehicle that made Land Rover what it is today.

Time to explore the Land Rover discovery 4, 3.0 V6 Diesel. In a specially built test track inside the dealership premises.

Time to get ready for the LR Disco 4 Experiance R and D (Ride and Drive).

THE TEST TRACK

This purpose built test track is designed with the gloal LR recommended standard and Land Rover personnel were also involved in its design. Its said to be an India first for any car dealership and one of the very few in Asia.

Land Rover Discovery 4: R and D-img-1.jpg
Its a C shaped track with three purpose built obstacles.

Land Rover Discovery 4: R and D-img-3.jpg
The first section is built of in the shape of uneven cylindrical blocks (actual concrete) to determine the vehicle's torque distribution capabilities with the 4 by 4 system engaged.

Land Rover Discovery 4: R and D-img-4.jpg
A close up view of the same.

Land Rover Discovery 4: R and D-img-5.jpg
The second section is a built in 45 degree incline to test the vehicle's aperture angle and stability along with articulation.

Land Rover Discovery 4: R and D-img-6.jpg
The last one is perhaps...the most challenging. Purpose built staircase to determine the vehicle's torque distribution to each wheel to prevent it from slipping and to gain traction, if required.

Land Rover Discovery 4: R and D-img-7.jpg
A close up view of the same.



Last edited by sidindica : 24th December 2011 at 16:30.
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Old 24th December 2011, 16:53   #2
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The Land Rover Discovery 4

Land Rover Discovery 4: R and D-img-11.jpg

The Discovery 4, globally launched in 2009 made its India debut in mid 2010 along with other LR vehicles, the Range Rover, the R Sport and the Freelander. The evoque was only recently launched.

Park the discovery against its competitors and LR's own family of vehicles and its purpose is evident. While others are luxurious off roaders that are more purpose built for on road applications, the disco is exactly the opposite. And this is what has worked against it in India. The disco is not exactly a sales star per se but those who have it, love it to its core.

Land Rover Discovery 4: R and D-img-13.jpg

The design is unashamedly boxy, purpose built and utilitarian. Old school it may be, but critics hav hailed this vehicle as the most capable land rover ever when it comes to its off roading prowess, other than the legendery defender.

Land Rover Discovery 4: R and D-img-14.jpg

Land Rover Discovery 4: R and D-img-15.jpg

Like the exterior, the interior too carries the utility theme yet lookc stylish and different. Materials quality and build is first rate and this is a genuine 7 seater. Utility quotient is of high order and boot space with last two rows foled can move your gargantuan sized equipment with ease.

The truck stands tall with its min 190 mm GC, which can be lifted to a max of 300-310 nm (experts correct this if I may go wrong) by using the air suspension with lift feature.

Land Rover Discovery 4: R and D-img-16.jpg

Powered by a Jaguar sourced 3 Litre V6 common rail turbo diesel engine with 245 horses, it's mated to a 6 speed automatic gearbox with tiptronic function. Most of the torque is available from as low as 1500 rpm onwards.

Land Rover Discovery 4: R and D-img-33.jpg

The model pictured here is a 2011 model; 2012 MY will see the power upgrade to 256 hp and an addition of 8 speed rotary drive Jaguar sourced gearbox.


Last edited by sidindica : 24th December 2011 at 16:56.
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Old 24th December 2011, 17:12   #3
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The terrain response control system

Given my limited knowledge of 4 by 4 vehicles, I'll keep this writeup short and simple. The disco is quipped with an intelligent computer controlled terrain response control system which judges the position of vehicle, the wheels and the location where the driver is exploring the vehicle's limits. The distribution of torque and transfer is determined by the driving style and for each style, there are 5 modes as shown below from the control selector knob.

Land Rover Discovery 4: R and D-img-36.jpg

Mode 1 is normal, mode 2 is "grass gravel snow", mode 3 and 4 are for sand driving and mode 5 is for rock crawl.

Land Rover Discovery 4: R and D-img-40.jpg

This is the AT shift lever which also has buttons for low range and hill hold function next to it.
A screen located at the central console shows the various parameters and directs the driver on the behavioral aspects of the vehicle.

Land Rover Discovery 4: R and D-img-35.jpg
As part of the demo by the chief service engineer, he showed us each options and its understanding. The grass gravel snow was chosen first.

Land Rover Discovery 4: R and D-img-37.jpg
The screen showed its driving conditions.

Land Rover Discovery 4: R and D-img-38.jpg
while choosing the "sand" option, the screen showed the ideal conditions for sand driving.

Land Rover Discovery 4: R and D-img-39.jpg
since our test track consisted of a cylindrical rock, a 45 degree incline and staircase, the best option chosen by the chief service engineer was rock and crawl.

And here we go.

Last edited by sidindica : 24th December 2011 at 17:23.
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Old 24th December 2011, 17:30   #4
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The computerised suspension and 4X4 system

Land Rover Discovery 4: R and D-img-19.jpg
Before the drive, the chief service engineer briefing me about the vehicle's electronics and its "intelligent" 4 by 4 system.

Land Rover Discovery 4: R and D-img-41.jpg
The simple yet classy instrument panel. Note hill hold function activation light and rock crawl mode light on.

Land Rover Discovery 4: R and D-img-43.jpg
First gear activated with low range. The position of wheels and underpinnings get activated and the computer keeps the suspension leveled, as shown by the arrow mark.

Land Rover Discovery 4: R and D-img-44.jpg
Another shot before engaging the gear.
Attached Thumbnails
Land Rover Discovery 4: R and D-img-42.jpg  


Last edited by sidindica : 24th December 2011 at 17:38.
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Old 24th December 2011, 17:55   #5
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The drive:

The drive had two rounds. One was a ride with the chief service engineer who demonstrated the vehicle's prowess later followed by me driving with the CSE on the co driver seat as an instructor.

Land Rover Discovery 4: R and D-img-20.jpg
The beginning of the incline. Thanks to the torque, no accelerator was used even with the 4 by 4 engaged.

Land Rover Discovery 4: R and D-img-21.jpg
Climbing the cylindrical blocks. The vehicle just crawls without any throttle inputs.

Land Rover Discovery 4: R and D-img-22.jpg
Going through the blocks.

Land Rover Discovery 4: R and D-img-23.jpg
At the 45 degree incline. The vehicle tilts, yet remains incredibly composed. Wheel articulation increased on the opposite side.

Land Rover Discovery 4: R and D-img-24.jpg
Time to climb the steps.

Land Rover Discovery 4: R and D-img-25.jpg
First step climbed with ease. engine was running at 1200 rpm.

Land Rover Discovery 4: R and D-img-26.jpg
More progress. The wheels spinned while climbing. The TRS computer automatically provided power to the spinning wheels so that the vehicle can climb easily. Engine rpm=1500.

Land Rover Discovery 4: R and D-img-27.jpg


Land Rover Discovery 4: R and D-img-28.jpg

Land Rover Discovery 4: R and D-img-29.jpg

Last edited by sidindica : 24th December 2011 at 18:08.
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Old 24th December 2011, 17:59   #6
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Round 2: From the inside.

Some shots taken by the CSE with me driving. The incline and stairs was real scary.

Land Rover Discovery 4: R and D-img-45.jpg

Land Rover Discovery 4: R and D-img-46.jpg

Land Rover Discovery 4: R and D-img-47.jpg

Land Rover Discovery 4: R and D-img-48.jpg
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Old 24th December 2011, 18:17   #7
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Default Re: Land Rover Discovery 4: R and D

Finally, time to check the utility quotient. Pictured here is the CSE to the right and my friend to the left.

Land Rover Discovery 4: R and D-img-31.jpg

The disco grew upon me and I am now a diehard fan of it. The design, the GC, the suspension, the quality etc, all make it a perfect all round practical SUV for India. Its a vehicle that deserves to sell in good numbers.

And yes, this Christmas, perhaps, time for a re-discovery, again?

Prices are quoted between 57-65 lakhs, ex showroom, Ludhiana.

Merry Christmas to all!

Last edited by sidindica : 24th December 2011 at 18:20.
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Old 24th December 2011, 19:23   #8
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Default Re: Land Rover Discovery 4: R and D

Thread moved here from Assembly line. Thanks for sharing the excellent report with us.
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Old 24th December 2011, 20:07   #9
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Default Re: Land Rover Discovery 4: R and D

Now that's some off roading. Excellent report, Sid. Interiors seem to have improved a bit over the outgoing model.
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Old 25th December 2011, 10:23   #10
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Default Re: Land Rover Discovery 4: R and D

My most favorite Land Rover,maybe the only LR i truely like,it's a true blooded SUV and may say the only true blooded SUV in the whole Land rover/Range Rover range (not much fan of the Defender,prefer the LC70 more).
Loved the offroad track, small ,yet brings out the ability of the vehicle. Wish all companies selling SUVs had this kind of tracks.
BTW, ahem,seeing the great sidindica for the first time.
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Old 25th December 2011, 11:40   #11
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Default Grade

Quote:
Originally Posted by sidindica View Post

Attachment 860140
The second section is a built in 45 degree incline to test the vehicle's aperture angle and stability along with articulation.
Sid, are you sure this is a 45 degree incline? The reason why I ask is-- I have seen Gradeability tests at VRDE Ahmednagar (where all Army 4x4 are tested). The gradient is 45 degrees, so the vehicles are supported from sides and from the other side of the climb in order to avoid a chance of rollover (although, this test is with GVW, which is not in your case and cannot be done here.) Just wanted to confirm, may be it is the picture here which is playing the trick.

BTW, what is the rated Gradeability of this vehicle?

Spike

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Old 26th December 2011, 09:11   #12
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Default Re: Land Rover Discovery 4: R and D

To accommodate 7 seats the rear overhang is extended which in my eyes make it look ugly. LR are very capable vehicles but with this sort of price tag who would take them off road?
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Old 26th December 2011, 10:38   #13
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Excellent report Sid. Do you think even Range Rover Evoque would be able to conquer this track?
The reason i am asking is i heard many describing it as a soft offroader.
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Old 26th December 2011, 12:23   #14
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Default Re: Land Rover Discovery 4: R and D

Sidindica
That was a great report and detailing, and it just goes to show the extent to which a premium brand like LR can go to provide the experience, while showcasing amply the vehicle's capabilities.
Land Rover Discovery has been one of my all time favorites until recently when the Range Rover managed to sneak in as my favorite SUV. They have essentially managed to retain that old silhouette in a thoroughly packaged modern avatar. Hill Control I believe was pioneered by Land Rover and the technology shows too.
Loved the old world Dashboard and 'Gear Stick(ing out)' now almost missing from premium / luxury brands in favour of knobs or switches!
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Old 26th December 2011, 17:58   #15
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Default Re: Land Rover Discovery 4: R and D

Quote:
Originally Posted by sidindica View Post
Its official.


The box is back.
Hi Sid,
Many thanks for sharing the experiences and the gorgeous snaps.

From the side profile shots the Discovery, thanks to the 'extended' rear space with the 'glass panes', it looks like an undertaker's van. Terrible, but that's what it reminds me of...

My favourite LR of course is the Defender 90" (SWB), Silver, with the full kit including the winch, deep fording kit (snorkel etc), front bull bar, head& tail light/all light protectors etc etc.
Posting a snap here - trust you wouldn't mind !
Land Rover Discovery 4: R and D-lr-defender-swb.jpg

About 3 years ago I had a long chat with the local LR dealer (Navnit Motors) who very sweetly sent me a fabulous, full sized Defender brochure (the size of which would have put to shame CBI's CWG scam file). The friendly Salesman also warned me then that possibly the Defender would never come to India due to some price related import restriction (as it was around 35L - was told that such relatively low priced units can't be improted or some such mumbo jumbo - the logic of which anyway defied my understanding) for CKDs.
That was of course sometime just before the Tata take over-time the final talks were on.
Hopefully now things have changed and the Defender can scramble ashore in India/assembled here. Wonder if there is any news about the Defender coming to India which I may have missed ?

Sorry...seems I've got carried away - thinking about the Defender !
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