Land Rover Discovery Redesign Impresses at Paris Auto Show
Land Rover Discovery Redesign Impresses at Paris Auto Show. Recently, Land Rover debuted the newly redesigned fifth generation Discovery at the Paris Auto Show. In an interview with Digital Trends, Alex Heslop, Chief Engineer of the Discovery, reveals new information about the model including why they decided to completely reinvent this model, making it sleeker, lighter, more high-tech and capable on- and off-road.
Referring to the new model as the digital Discover, Heslop explains how they’ve modernized a vehicle that has maintained its same styling for the past 25 years, “We’ve re-imagined what it needs to be. We’ve got to accept that we have to make aerodynamic cars but we still have to stay true to what each model stands for. One of the things the Discovery stands for is being a seven-seater people carrier, and I think we’ve done that in a really modern way. We managed to obtain a 0.33 drag coefficient, yet it can still carry seven people. I can sit in all three rows.” Switching to an aluminum body has given the vehicle added value by increasing its fuel economy, while headroom has been improved due to a small shift in the design of the roof line.
One new feature is the Intelligent Seat Fold System, which was born out of market research that showed many consumers didn’t know that both the second row and third row seats could flatten completely. Heslop explains, “It’s completely bespoke to Land Rover. It uses 23,000 lines of code that we wrote in-house; it uses position sensors, and mass sensors in each of the seven seats to see which ones are occupied. It’s also got a built-in trap algorithm, so if one of the seats starts to fold and it senses that it’s trapping something it’ll automatically go back to its original position. The neat thing is you can control all of the seats with one-touch buttons in the trunk. Press the buttons, and 14 seconds later you’ve got a completely flat load floor. You can also re-configure the seats using the ten-inch touch screen, and you can fold down the headrests individually. That’s quite useful when you’ve just been carrying seven people and you want to reverse. Yes, you’ve got a nice big screen to look at, but there are buyers who still look back. When you’ve got five headrests up they’re in the way, aren’t they? You can go into the touch screen menu and fold them down.”