My own relationship with what is colloquially and perhaps slightly disrespectfully known as the “Disco" began when I worked on the radio in Germany for the British Army station BFBS - Land Rover had given the station a new Discovery, a “Discovery 2” to use principally for radio road shows at the many camps and garrisons dotted around Germany and the low countries. I was allowed to take it home on Fridays when I was on weekend breakfast show duty. As competent an all rounder as the Discovery was and still is, it clearly wasn’t built with de-restricted autobahns and the heavy right foot of an over exuberant 20 odd year old radio DJ in mind - Lets just say I chewed through more than my fair share of British Forces Germany fuel coupons trying to keep up with the locals on the drive home from Herford to Münster.
My next encounter with the Discovery came when I started writing about cars, by which time I was a little older, wiser, had to pay duty and VAT for my fuel like everyone else and so I'd also learned the accelerator was in fact a pedal, not an “on/off” switch - Land Rover very kindly loaned me, or rather the page I wrote for a weekly newspaper, a brand new TD5 for 6 months as a Long Term Test car - Living with a Discovery for that length of time taught me just how good it is - It went everywhere with me. It was the daily commuter, weekly shopper, camera car. It helped us move home and whisked us hundreds of miles around the UK and Europe. After much reading of the instruction manual, it once even got us into our village when no-one else could by wading through a river that had burst its banks.
The Discovery was then and is now really the only car you’ll ever need - It has 7 seats, van proportioned interior space, luxury and comfort to rival the most expensive Rolls Royce, and thanks to the current engine line up, best in class fuel economy and performance.
The last shape Discovery 3 and current Series 4 are both cars I've driven thousands of faultless, relaxing miles across Europe in - On one occasion in just a few days from Northern Germany to South Western Spain, up past Portugal, then Luxembourg, Belgium and home. They’re always memorable trips because the one thing I haven’t had to worry about is the car and for that matter, how I’ll feel after driving it.
The current 3.0 SDV6 engine and 8 speed automatic gearbox are together an absolute marvel - That particular Discovery took me, passengers and all of our luggage from the UK to an event in Monaco in one single day. I genuinely can’t think of any other car either I could do, or would rather do that kind of trip in. Well there is one....
The first sneaky peek photos of the all new Discovery have been released by Land Rover this week - They don't reveal too much, but the bits that can be seen look absolutely stunning. It seems very much like the finished product will look almost identical to the much applauded Discovery concept revealed two years ago.
We’ll find out in a couple of weeks time when the new car is officially premiered ahead of the Paris Motorshow.