Land Rover's Discovery is getting supercharged V6 power, for the 2014 model year. The engine will replace the naturally aspirated 5.0-litre V8 in some markets, but this downisizing move is no hair-shirt compromise: it'll pack superior performance, while reducing fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.
The upgrade is focused on key markets like China, North America and the Middle East. Land Rover only offers V6 diesel engines in the UK Discovery range, and it's unlikely to change that for the supercharged V6.
How will the 3.0-litre V6 outperform the 5.0-litre V8 Discovery?
The Disco is poised to get the F-type S's version of the supercharged V6, which musters 375bhp and 332lb ft. That's bang on the current 5.0-litre V8's 370bhp and 375lb ft, which also has a heavy eco-footprint. The V8 slurps a gallon of fuel every 20.4 miles, while the supercharged V6 should be good for economy in the mid-twenties. CO2 output should also drop from the V8's 335g/km to below 300g/km.
It's not all change, though: the MY14 Discovery sticks with the eight-speed ZF gearbox. Discos can’t get the nine-speed automatic gearbox that’ll become standard-fit in the Range Rover Evoque from autumn 2013. That ZF 9HP ‘box has been specifically designed to work with transverse-mounted engines – Discoverys have longitudinally mounted motors.
What else is changing on the 2014 Land Rover Discovery?
Land Rover will ditch the fairy-light style LED running lights dotted around the current car’s light clusters – look out for slim LED strips instead, like you’ll find on the Range Rover Evoque and new Range Rover.
The grille shape has also been lightly modified, with elliptical cut-outs for the headlights. The rear of this test mule is unchanged from the current car's.
>> Browse Land Rover Discoverys for sale at LRO.com