When Land Rover introduced the current-generation Discovery, there was a global split, and what became our LR3 was the world's Discovery 3. It made sense once the LR2 came out-the nomenclature implied smaller model, smaller-number designation. That's not the case, as evidenced by the new LR4. For Land Rover, a different number simply means it's that significant a change from the LR3 -- and this is the fourth generation of the vehicle. (Of course, they have it much easier where it can be called Discovery 4.)
That aside, the newest LR is significantly different from its predecessor. The LR4 uses an all-new 5.0L, direct-injection V-8. That's a significant increase in size from the current 4.4L. This engine was designed in-house (by Jaguar Land Rover) and will look familiar to those who know the XF. With the new engine comes more power: 375 hp and 375 lb-ft of torque, up from 300 and 315, respectively. The new engine uses variable camshaft timing, which works independently on all four camshafts, improving engine response. This V-8 also boasts lower fuel consumption, reduced CO2 emissions, and is ULEV2-compliant. It's backed by a revised ZF HP-28 six-speed automatic, and its changes contribute to the vehicle's improved fuel economy (not yet rated) and are said to make shifts quicker and more refined.
Underneath, changes were made to the suspension, including new knuckles, new shocks, and a stiffer anti-roll bar; and the LR4 also receives larger brakes (14.2 in. in front as opposed to the 2009's 13.3) and an updated traction control system. Terrain Reponse now offers a sand launch control, and Hill Descent Control now uses Gradient Release Control, which reduces initial acceleration on extremely steep grades.
Styling has been refreshed, with LED headlights with high-beam assist (automatically switches high beams on or off when necessary), smoother lines that help improve aerodynamics, and a new two-bar grille. There are now side vents and new wheel styles. The interior was completely redesigned. It uses a new center stack, and the Terrain Response control now sits above the shifter. There are new seats for the first two rows, new leather colors, and the addition of ambient lighting. A new five-in. TFT driver information screen is flanked by redesigned gauges. And iPod, MP3, and USB capability is available. For those who felt the stack was too cluttered, the number of buttons was cut nearly in half. To make it easier to park, buyers can get a five-camera system -- also handy when towing and off-road.
This new LR has more than 1300 new parts; as Land Rover explains, the engineers did as much as possible without creating an all-new platform. And the changes they made caused the LR4 to be more capable, more powerful, and more fuel-efficient than the LR3. Expect it to go on sale in October.
| 2010 Land Rover LR4 |
| Base Price || $47,500 (est) |
| Vehicle layout || Front engine, 4WD, 7-pass, 4-door SUV |
| Engine || 5.0L/375-bhp/375-lb-ft DOHC V-8 |
| Transmission || 6-speed automatic |
| Curb weight || 5900 lb (est) |
| Wheelbase || 113.6 in (est) |
| Length x width x height || 190.9 x 75.4 x 74.5 in (est) |
| Headroom, f/m/r || 40.4/42.4/40.1 in (est) |
| Legroom, f/m/r || 42.4/37.6/36.3 in (est) |
| Shoulder room, f/m/r || 59.2/59.4/42.8 in (est) |
| Cargo volume, beh f/m/r || 90.3/44.5/9.9 cu ft (est) |
| 0-60 mph || 7.5 sec (mfr est) |
| EPA city/hwy fuel econ || Not yet rated |