Land Rover Discovery

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Land Rover

Land Rover Discovery

1990 -
Country:
United Kingdom
Engine:
V8.
Capacity:
3528 cc
Power:
145 bhp
Transmission:
5 spd. man
Top Speed:
102 mph / 163 km/h
Number Built:
n/a
Collectability:
1 star
Land Rover Discovery
As the Range Rover moved more upmarket, and the Land Rover (including the Defender) remaining utalitarian and uncompromisingly in the farmyard at the other, the British manufacturer had a serious problem on its hands.

A wave of Japanese off-roaders - such as the Mitsubishi Pajero, Nissan Patrol and Toyota Landeruiser were, in the late 1980's, occupying an expanding middlemarket.

These more civilized cars were being bought by drivers who rarely - if ever - ventured off-road, but enjoyed their distinctiveness and high driving position. So popular were these type of vehicles that sales of off-roaders quadrupled in the second half of the 1980s.

Land Rover needed to enter the market, but at the time they were strapped for cash (rumoured to be caused by the division having its substantial profits used to prop up the Rover car division).

But this lack of funds forced the developers to raid the parts bin of the tried and tested, and immensely popular Range Rover.

The obvious in-breeding of the two vehicles was to ensure the new "Disco" would bring to Land Rover a level of quality, performance and off-road ability never before seen at this price point.

The new Discovery used the Range Rover's 100in. (254cm) chassis and suspension, numerous under-skin componentry and even the Rangie's windscreen! And much the same as the original Range Rover, the Discovery was launched as a three-door and used the same reliable V8 engine (although a diesel engine was optional).

Many commentators were critical at the time of the Disco's bland styling, which looked traditional and obviously familiar. But they were missing the point, here was a Range Rover for the masses, and the public loved it.

It was a shame then that the quality control was not able to keep pace with the rapid expansion of the production facilities, and the inevitable damage to the Discovery's reputation followed a string of reliability issues.

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