Volvo proved with its latest XC90 that premium seven-seat SUVs can still sell in their droves when fitted with a four-cylinder diesel engine – and the new Land Rover Discovery is following suit by launching with a 237bhp version of the firm’s 2.0-litre Ingenium four-cylinder turbodiesel.
And there’s one key reason why the British brand has been able to offer a downsized motor – and that’s weight. Or rather the lack of it.
With an aluminium monocoque underpinning this fifth-generation Discovery as opposed to its predecessor’s twin chassis ladder frame design، the Land Rover is now a lot lighter. Fitted with the four-cylinder diesel tested here، the kerbweight has not so much as been shaved – but slashed by 480kg.
This has some big benefits. The first is performance. With 500Nm of torque the Sd4 engine will accelerate the new Discovery from 0-62mph in 8.3 seconds. It’s not what you’d call fast، but it’s only two tenths slower than the more potent V6 diesel (which has 100Nm more torque) over the benchmark sprint.
Mated to an eight-speed automatic gearbox that manages changes seamlessly، the engine delivers its power in a smooth and progressive fashion. There’s no great gain to be had by working it hard، as revving it makes its four-cylinder configuration more apparent compared to the smoother V6. Instead، it’s much more appropriate to use the torque and let the gearbox keep the engine in its sweet spot. It’s more refined here، too.
The second benefit of the weight saving is efficiency. Downsizing means claimed fuel economy is up to 43.5mpg while CO2 stands at 171gkm. As a result، the Land Rover should be much cheaper to run than before – especially if you’re a company car buyer، thanks to its low emissions and the car’s relatively affordable £43،495 starting price in entry-level S spec. Source: Auto Express