On the 20th September 2017, in the Northern Territory, Australia, a Land Rover Discovery undertook the mammoth task of towing a 110-tonne road train through the Australian Outback. This ultimate towing test was completed as an impressive display of the new 2018 Discovery's towing capabilities.
On public roads, the Discovery Td6 has a maximum towing capacity of 3,500kg, but on a closed section of the Lasseter Highway, in a safely controlled environment, the vehicle succeeded in towing the 110-tonne road train for 16km, thanks to the powerful 258PS 3.0-litre diesel engine and four-wheel-drive traction.
John Bilato, the Managing Director of haulage specialist G$S Transport, took the wheel for the towing challenge and said: "When Land Rover first got in touch, I didn't think the vehicle would be able to do it, so I was amazed by how easily the standard Discovery pulled a 110-tonne road train. And the smoothness of the gear changes under that amount of load was genuinely impressive. These road trains are the most efficient form of road haulage on the planet and using the Discovery made this the most economical of all."
This test continues the Land Rover tradition of using Discoveries in impressive towing demonstrations. At the 1989 launch for the original Discovery I, it was used to pull a train. Whilst just last the Discovery Sport premium compact SUV undertook the challenge of towing a three rail carriages across the Rhine River.
Quentin Spottiswoode, Land Rover Product Engineer, commented: "Towing capability has always been an important part of Discovery DNA and the raw weight of the road train tells only half the story here. Pulling a rig and seven trailers, with the rolling resistance of so many axles to overcome, is a huge achievement. We expected the vehicle to do well but it passed this test with flying colours, hitting 44km/h along its 16km route."
The Discovery used in the challenge was fitted with a standard eight-speed automatic transmission, four-wheel drive system and a factory-fitted tow bar attachment. The new 2018 Discovery model is available with Jaguar Land Rover's new and efficient 300PS four-cylinder Ingenium petrol engine which is capable of producing 400Nm of torque with CO2 emissions of 222g/km.
Land Rover received recognition for the towing power of the new Discovery earlier this year as the model was crowned Tow CAr Awards overall winner for 2017. In the previous ten years, the Discovery has won this award nine times. The judges praised the Discovery for its all-around capability, including towing, storage and accuracy of manufacturer towing advice, whilst also giving recognition to the models overall price and ownership costs.
Making towing easy in the Land Rover Discovery is a range of driver assistance systems. The Advanced Tow Assist technology provides responsive trajectory lines on the rear camera, allowing the driver to reverse without stress. Also featured are Trailer Light Test, Rear Height Assist, Hitch Assist, Nose Load Measurement and Trailer Stability Assist.