It’s as radical a change over the outgoing Discovery 4 as the Disco 3 was when it replaced the Disco 2 more than a decade ago, bringing the full-size Discovery styling into line with the smaller Disco Sport. It's softer, less utilitarian, and the Range Rover influence is clear.
But unlike the Disco 3, which came out of the blue, this new Discovery 5 is a very familiar shape. Remember the Discovery Vision concept car, revealed in 2014? You’ll be hard pushed to tell the difference.
The Discovery Vision was an opportunity for Land Rover to showcase its new tech ideas, as well the planned design cues for future Discoverys. So if the production version is as close to the concept under the skin, we could be looking at the ‘ultimate leisure SUV’ (to quote JLR back in 2014).
We're expecting it to feature some of Discovery Vision's tech, which included Gesture Control, Smart Glass (creating a kind of ‘augmented reality’ inside the cabin) and next-gen Terrain Response aided by Laser Terrain Scanning. But how much of that makes it to reality remains to be seen… Those headlights look like they may incorporate laser technology.
What we do know is that Land Rover’s engineers are making a concerted effort to overcome the outgoing Disco 4’s main weakness – its 2.5 tonne-plus kerb weight. Which, ironically, is also one of its greatest assets, making the current model a phenomenal tow car. The current steel 'T5' chassis will be ditched in favour of a new aluminium monocoque (PLA, or ‘Premium Lightweight Architecture’ in posh-speak). It’s the kind of structure which worked wonders with the current Range Rover and Range Rover Sport, so could see the Discovery shedding up to 500kg with certain power trains.
We're expecting new Ingenium engines to be offered, which could include a 250bhp twin-turbo version of the 2.0-litre diesel fitted to the Discovery Sport, and as-yet unseen 3.0-litre straight-six units.
The Discovery 5 is likely to make its public debut at the Paris Motor Show in October. Follow LRO on social media for the latest updates.