This Discovery 2 is all about the engine. It’s a 4.0-litre block with lightened and balanced 4.6-litre crank and flywheel, balanced conrods and pistons, bespoke Piper cam, oversize valves, gas-flowed head, tubular exhaust manifold, etc.
Engine: 4.6-litre V8 petrol
Power/torque: 254bhp/300lb ft
Transmission: 5-speed R380
Speed: Limited to 120mph
Factory mpg (4.0-litre): 16.3
LRO RWT mpg: 19.8
Price of engine: POA
380 MILES TO GET THE FULL LOWDOWN...
A tuned V8 – how thirsty is that?
It’s surprisingly frugal, believe it or not. Drive it hard and economy can plummet to 8mpg, but we returned 19.8mpg overall and weren’t hanging about...
How does it climb?
How do you think? With a quick-revving and torquey V8 under the bonnet, you’re propelled uphill at a rapid rate and quickly fill slower drivers’ rear mirrors. And in third gear it just keeps pulling, even up the long and steep Red Brae Bank (B6265) out of Pateley Bridge.
What about greenlaning?
The lightened flywheel means it’s lost some of the low-down torque needed for comfortable slow-speed manoeuvring and the wide low-profile 275/45 R20 Hankook Ventus ST tyres don’t really have the right tread pattern for off-tarmac use. This Discovery 2 doesn’t exactly feel at home on the byways, but equally it doesn’t disgrace itself and the tyres do grip on the stony lanes.
Do corners cause it grief?
This Discovery 2 has a seven-seat interior fitted, but has been converted to US-spec 7-seater coil springs. Coupled to the Active Cornering Enhancement (ACE), which owner Stuart Armson has changed the oil in, it corners very cleanly indeed. And the brakes – all replaced with standard items – are more than up to the job of slowing it. And, if you do start to drive enthusiastically on twisty lanes, a Revotec fan keeps the engine cool.
What’s it like inside?
If you’re observant the first thing you’ll spot is the ‘soft’ dash from a late Range Rover Classic, integrated with digital climate control and air conditioning. The cream leather interior is protected by genuine Land Rover seat covers, while occupants can enjoy watching DVDs on the roof-mounted player.
What's the point?
LRO’s Real World Test gives an independent, ‘real world’ fuel economy figure based on a varied and enjoyable 380-mile route, rather than sitting on a dyno.
It’s a big drive to do in one day, so we get up early and start by brimming the fuel tank at a garage on the A1 in Lincolnshire.
By doing the same at the end, it’s easy to get a precise ‘combined mpg’ figure – meaning a blend of motorways, fast A-roads, country roads, a couple of long greenlanes and a rush-hour city crawl. And, we find out more along the way!
Our test route
Bloody Oaks services, Stamford > A1 north Knaresborough > Arncliffe > Kettlewell > Middleham > Bainbridge > Stalling Busk (byway) > Hubberholme > Cam High Road (byway) > Wensleydale Creamery, Hawes > Settle > Silsden > Bradford > M62 east > Ferrybridge > A1 south > Bloody Oaks services, Stamford