- MOI TORRALLARDONA
- PUBLISHED ONLINE:
- 26 MAY 2015
Rally driver Moi Torrallardona tests out the new Discovery Sport's key technology features on and off-road in the Faroe Islands.
This winter, I was with the Land Rover team in the Faroe Islands driving the New Discovery Sport on- and off-road.
The Faroes are an incredible place – a new landscape for me. They’re a mix of green, steep valleys, volcanic rock, beaches and smooth winding tarmac highways. It gave me a chance to test every aspect of the vehicle.
On the winding, single-lane tarmac roads around the islands you quickly appreciate the New Discovery Sport. It feels light and agile, like you’re in a really capable, well-planted car.
Dynamic Mode, a new Terrain Response setting for a Discovery, adds to the sporty feel. In this mode, the car has sharper and more responsive acceleration thanks to a revised engine throttle map. The suspension gets slightly stiffer, too. This means the car has less body roll and it reacts more quickly to steering inputs. The new Torque Vectoring by Braking technology gives extra confidence. It helps the car to tuck into corners more eagerly, boosting cornering speed and security. It helps agility and responsiveness, and makes you feel even more connected to the car. It also increases the range of capability found on the Discovery Sport.
"Terrain Response adapts the engine, gearbox, differentials and chassis responses to optimise drive and comfort on any surface"
You get all the safety features you’d expect from a cutting-edge road car – Lane Departure Warning and Park Assist with Parallel and Perpendicular Parking. The Surround Camera System uses five cameras to provide a 360-degree view of what’s around the car. Blind Spot Monitoring with Closing Vehicle Sensing lets you know about danger from the rear, via an icon in the appropriate door mirror. Those outside the vehicle are protected, too, by Land Rover’s intelligent safety systems – the Discovery Sport features a state-of-the-art pedestrian air bag mounted within a cover at the edge of the bonnet.
"I take the Discovery Sport across sand, wade through a river and up a mountain. It's immediately obvious that the suspension travel is the best in its class"
I’ve been given permission to go off-road in the Faroes, and I use it to take the Discovery Sport across sand, wade through a river and up a mountain. It’s immediately obvious that the suspension travel is the best in its class. The bumps and dips in the river are almost smoothed out, and there’s no kickback on your arms or the car’s chassis.
With its multi-link rear axle, the suspension design is really compact, allowing for more space in the cabin – and the third row of seats means you can fit a family of seven in here. Or fold the seats away and you have plenty of space for large loads. While I’m in the Faroes, I help a fisherman by loading eight crates of fish into the car and towing a traditional Faroese boat across an island. Using Tow Assist via the Discovery Sport’s touchscreen, even the usually tricky perpendicular parking with a trailer, is straightforward.
Torque Vectoring by Braking comes into play again when I’m driving on sand. I hit the accelerator and the new tech allows tight turns without the nose running wide. The traction control and four-wheel-drive systems keep progress smooth as I reverse up a mountain. I’m reversing because I can, but it also gives me the chance – on the way down – to test the Hill Descent Control that’s automatically activated in the ‘Mud & Ruts’ Terrain Response setting. Everything goes very smoothly. I keep using the word smooth and it’s because driving this car really is. The technology in the Discovery Sport makes you feel very confident.
This car makes you feel like you can go anywhere. ‘Anywhere’ might mean taking your children and their friends to school or loading the car up with a week’s groceries – or it could be more adventurous. The Discovery Sport is great for people who like big toys such as kayaks, skis and bikes. You can load your family and friends and use a trailer and roof rack to carry bikes for all of you. The car has a 2,5 tonne towing capacity*, so if you need to attach a caravan with kayaks on it, or a trailer with quad bikes, you can. All you need to think about is: what is my next adventure?
THE KEY FEATURES: MOI TORRALLARDONA'S VERDICT
The Command Driving Position gives you a clear view of the road ahead and of your surroundings. Even though you’re riding high, the clean lines of the Discovery Sport make this the most aerodynamic Land Rover ever.
The nine-speed automatic transmission is the most technically advanced and efficient ever used in a production vehicle. The nine gears mean smaller steps, which give a refined drive and improved acceleration response.
Matching your mood
Innovative Adaptive shifting sharpens up gear shifts for brisk driving or it slips seamlessly into a more gentle, economical flow for cruising.
Wade with confidence
Sensors in the door mirrors give you real-time information about the depth of the water you’re in and the vehicle’s maximum wading capacity.
Select Eco Mode and the most efficient settings will be activated to minimise emissions and fuel consumption.
Terrain Response adapts the engine, gearbox, differentials and chassis responses to optimise drive and comfort on any surface. The vehicle’s body is optimised for off-road conditions, with generous ground clearance and a smooth underbody.
It’s easy to couple a trailer using the new Discovery Sport’s camera aids and Tow Hitch Assist. It can pull any load up to 2,5 tonnes**. Once you’re driving, Trailer Stability Assist keeps you safe, using selective braking to stabilise vehicle and trailer.
* Certain features such as Dynamic Mode with Torque Vectoring by Braking or Blind Spot Monitoring with Closing Vehicle Sensing might not be available in your country yet. Please contact your nearest retailer for details.
** Please check with your retailer or refer to your owner’s manual to check the towing capacity of your Discovery Sport.
- MOI TORRALLARDONA
- PUBLISHED ONLINE:
- 26 MAY 2015