The All New Land Rover Discovery 3 - New Technologies | Part Three

Land Rover Discovery 3

Land Rover Discovery

Selected markets will also take a 4.0-litre 215bhp (160kW) petrol V6 engine that is torquey (360Nm or 265lb.ft), smooth and durable. For Discovery 3, it too has been extensively developed to suit Land Rover’s unique requirements.

The petrol engines are mated to a six-speed ‘intelligent shift’ electronically controlled ZF automatic transmission. It offers a ‘sport’ mode which delivers more performance-oriented throttle response and gear shifts, and also features Land Rover’s Command Shift operation – which gives the driver full manual control of gear changing. The TDV6 is available either with this advanced automatic transmission, or with a six-speed ZF manual gearbox.

Drive goes to all four wheels. Electronic Traction Control and Dynamic Stability Control modulate power supply and braking, ensuring maximum grip in all conditions. Throttle response, gear change patterns and suspension settings are also computer controlled, determined by speed and road (or off-road) conditions. Low range is also available, for tough terrain. This can be easily selected, electronically, on the move. The central differential fully locks if conditions require greater traction.

User-Friendly New Technologies

The Discovery 3 bristles with new technologies. Among them is Land Rover’s patented Terrain Response™ system, previewed on the recent Range Stormer concept car. Terrain Response is a major advance that optimises driveability and comfort, as well as maximising traction. The driver simply chooses one of five terrain settings via a chunky rotary dial on the centre console: a general driving program, plus one for slippery conditions (known as grass/gravel/snow) and three special off-road modes, namely mud and ruts, sand, and rock crawl. Terrain Response then automatically selects the most appropriate settings for the vehicle's advanced electronic controls and traction aids.

Vehicle functions controlled by Terrain Response™ include ride height, engine torque response, Hill Descent Control (which limits downhill speed, and is an award-winning and patented Land Rover technology), Electronic Traction Control, transmission and differential settings. "Terrain Response is a good example of Land Rover’s commitment to offering ‘smart’ technology that aids the driver," says Matthew Taylor. "It is easy to use. It simplifies rather than complicates driving."

The Discovery 3 also offers the option of adaptive headlights that swivel with the direction of travel to illuminate the road ahead.

Another innovation is Land Rover’s Integrated Body-frame™, a new type of vehicle architecture that combines the torsional rigidity, car-like handling and refinement of a monocoque (or unitary) body with the strength and versatility of a traditional ladder-frame, as used on many SUVs. Computer-aided design, high-strength steel and a sophisticated hydroforming production technique combine to deliver this new technology. Hydroforming uses high-pressure fluids rather than a press tool to shape the frame, which results in a lighter weight, cleverer shapes and much tighter tolerances.

Handling is further helped by fully independent suspension. Height adjustable air springs, similar to those used on the award-winning Range Rover, will be fitted to the majority of Discovery 3s. Entry-level models use coil springs. Double wishbones are used front and rear, offering good wheel control and articulation. Rack-and-pinion steering delivers precise and intuitive control.

The Discovery 3 goes on sale later in 2004, depending on market.

Published 25 June 2004 Melanie Carter

The information contained this Land Rover Discovery news article may have changed since publication on the 25 June 2004. Our car specifications, reviews, and prices may only apply to the UK market. You may wish to check with the manufacturer or your local Land Rover dealer, before making a purchasing decision. E.&.O.E. You may NOT reproduce our car news in full or part, in any format without our written permission. © 2018