When the latest generation Discovery appeared it was generally thought that the asking price would be too steep for it to follow its predecessor and be made available as a commercial. Land Rover, however, decided differently and its in-house special vehicle operation set about converting the luxury five-door, permanent four-wheel drive off-roader into a van.
Power comes from a 2,720cc V6 turbodiesel — it’s not available with the 4.4-litre V8 petrol option from the car range — which produces 188hp at 4,000rpm and develops a substantial peak torque of 439Nm at 1,900rpm. This is a very refined and powerful engine and is more than up to the job. It’s just as at home on the motorway as tackling low-speed off-road conditions.
It comes with a six-speed manual transmission, but a six-speed automatic gearbox can be specified for an extra £1,505. Air suspension is fitted as standard and the four-wheel drive system is controlled electronically using a large turnwheel and a couple of switches in front of the gearstick.
The engine, transmission, suspension and traction settings reconfigure for optimum driveability in the selected driving conditions. Taking out the rear seats provides a 2.1m3 load space which features a full length phenolic floor covering. A twopiece steel mesh bulkhead protects the cab occupants from the load. Gross payload is rated at 634kg and access to the load area is via either the two hinged side doors or the rear split top/bottom-hinged tailgate.
The rear side windows have been filled-in to hide the load from prying eyes. Specification is very high with the basic model having an electronic handbrake,17in alloy wheels, ABS and an alarm. The XS adds loads more goodies.
This is one hell of a civilised van, packed to the gunnels with kit, but it also comes at a high price. A very specialised LCV.