It was a Discovery design revolution. This latest edition was an entirely new vehicle underneath its surface, but retained its classic exterior features.
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The stepped roof remained, as did the reverse C-pillars and the steep angled windscreen. Three engine variants were made available for Discovery 3 — the 4. The gearbox was upgraded to an automatic 6-speed version, an improvement over the 4-speed automatic transmission offered on in the previous model. There was now a navigation system, which included both on and off-road routes. The audio system was upgraded, optional rear seat entertainment screens were available, and on later models, you could use Bluetooth to link your mobile phone. The familiar flexible seven-seat layout remained, however passengers in row three now entered via the rear passenger doors, rather than the tailgate as they had done previously.
One radical feature added to Discovery 3 was Fully Independent Suspension. This system allowed the vehicle to be both raised and lowered to adjust ground clearance - high ground clearance for off-road performance, providing extra stability to the vehicle, and a lower clearance for higher on-road speeds. The biggest technical advance with the third generation, came with the highly-acclaimed Terrain Response system. Following its ground-breaking launch in , find out how the second generation Discovery made history as an all-purpose vehicle fit for family life.
Land Rover Discovery 4 was revealed in and while the design received subtle upgrades from its predecessors, engineering enhancements enabled this generation to be more capable than ever before.
Read part four of this series as we take a look at the evolution of Discovery. Registered in England No: The figures provided are as a result of official manufacturer's tests in accordance with EU legislation. A vehicle's actual fuel consumption may differ from that achieved in such tests and these figures are for comparative purposes only. And so, the organizers duly turned to Land Rover, stuck in their tenure under British Leyland. Although the challenge rapidly became popular enough for millions of hopefuls to wage war over only a handful of places, parent company BMW felt that attention was being drawn away from the vehicles, and decided to sever ties with the competition.
This marked the end of the Camel Trophy as the world knew it, and while attempts were made to revive the brand, they were to no avail. The event now lives on as a subject of legend, with a thriving fan club celebrating all things 'CT'. By , 14 countries were represented by two drivers sharing one vehicle. Competition over the course of previous events had been fierce but, unlike Formula 1, comradeship was key to surviving.
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Teams had to support each other, with special awards given out at the finish line for camaraderie. Although every event suffered trials and tribulations, the Amazonian trek remains recognised as the most difficult of them all. You would imagine, therefore, that the victors of such an event would showboat and revel in one-upmanship; but you would be wrong.
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Plucky brothers Joe and Bob Ives represent the last of a dying breed of gentlemanly explorers obsessed with adventure, rather than glory. Men who set the foundations for a generation that has since tried to follow in their footsteps — and that includes myself.
Technically, they owe me a new one. This was Bob Ives ; Camel Trophy winner A bona fide legend to those who appreciate graft and adventure. And Joe Ives was en route!
Battered and bruised, their 4x4 remained the closest to Indiana Jones in automotive form possible. Equipment from the Amazonian trial still lurked inside the cabin and the chassis was amazingly original. The thought that I was to jump into the cabin and tackle their demanding off-road course sent a shiver of excitement down my spine. Clambering onto the rear bench seats, I could almost smell the sour, red Amazonian mud. Surrounded by exposed metal and sharp edges, mated to the refinement of a cement mixer, the cabin bore 30 years of use with pride.
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To be frank, I was so mesmerized to be present in a vehicle idolized upon the TV screen, that it could have been on fire and I wouldn't have noticed. As the diesel unit clattered into life on a plume of black from the exhaust, we set off for their off-road course.
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Today was going to be a good day. I was suddenly back in , watching over the shoulders of the winning pair as they communicated back and forth about the best angles of approach. Their tact and dexterity radiated confidence, the off-road track weaving between trees and undergrowth peppered with deep troughs, bogs and ruts. Sat behind the wheel, Bob made it seem oh-so-easy, cresting the cross-axles and sudden undulations at a relaxed pace.
Approaching the mother of all muddy inclines came a moment that will live with me forever. They looked back with enthusiasm and asked me to take the wheel. The off-roading manta practised by those trained by instructors is simply thus; as slow as possible, as fast as necessary. For these guys, the process was far different.
I was asked to stop with mandatory brake squeal at the bottom of an almost impossible gradient. It was the level boss of inclines. In the presence of greatness, I simply nodded to agree. He shook his head. You might take off a little, but keep the wheels straight and you should be fine. On paper, that sounded easy. But when positioned in a vibrating cabin, the wellbeing of three inhabitants at the mercy of your abilities and surrounded by differing controls all requiring undivided attention, the task felt monumental.
Blipping the throttle to select first gear brought home what could potentially go wrong — the One Ten could slide, or roll over, or the world could end. Quite frankly, the indefatigable drivetrain paired with chunky off-road tires offered more grip than Donald Trump has on reality. Having watched the retro footage countless times, now was my chance to experience a genuine taste of the Camel Trophy. The steering wheel flicked from side to side as the front-end scrambled in the thick mud, both engine and transmission battling it out for audible supremacy.
Catching as fast and smooth a gearchange as I could muster, with the accelerator hard down and slamming the spindly gearlever into third, the bonnet line shot upwards before we were pressed hard into our seats. Progress was rapid enough to crest the summit, but not before momentum reduced to a crawl. Any slower and it would have been a tricky reverse manoeuvre back to the starting point. I would surely have killed everyone. It wasn't quite over yet, however. Atop the gradient lurked a bog of thick density. As the axles plunged into deep sludge and buried the sills beneath the surface, the smell of burning foliage upon the Land Rover's hot exhaust fast became intoxicating.