The new Land Rover Discovery, which was revealed late last year, is being previewed for the first time by Jaguar Land Rover Malaysia, albeit virtually. There’s no physical fifth-generation Discovery on display at the company’s Bangsar Shopping Centre roadshow (happens from now till Sunday), but there’s a Samsung Gear VR mobile headset that can give you a virtual walk-around of the SUV.

Wearing the Oculus-based headset will give you a good preview of what to expect when the new Disco lands in Malaysia. That will happen either in December 2017 or early 2018, we’re told. The initial variant to expect is the Si6, which is powered by a 340 PS/450 Nm supercharged 3.0 litre V6 engine, paired with a ZF eight-speed automatic transmission. The rugged full seven-seater SUV will arrive in a high HSE trim level.

To recap, the new Disco sports a new look that’s a big departure from past cars, but in line with today’s range. It retains the model’s signature stepped roofline, which accommodates the Disco’s customary stadium seating configuration. Speaking of seats, the new Intelligent Seat Fold tech allows one to reconfigure the second- and third-row seats using controls at the rear of the vehicle, the central touchscreen and even remotely via a smartphone app.

There’s also a new dual-purpose Powered Inner Tailgate. When raised, the fold-down panel at the leading edge of the load area operates as a practical load restraint, but when lowered the 285 mm overhanging section doubles as a bench for seating or changing muddy footwear for instance, while sheltered by the new one-piece tailgate.

Utility aside, go-anywhere ability is also a Discovery strength. It’s achieved with a combination of off-road geometry and advanced technology. Ground clearance is rated at 283 mm (up 43 mm) while a maximum wading depth of 900 mm (up 200 mm) puts the Disco in a class of its own when tackling waterlogged tracks and flooded roads. Off-road driving tech includes LR’s multi-mode Terrain Response 2 system.

The new SUV’s aluminium monocoque architecture contributes to a 480 kg weight saving compared to steel ladder construction. The company says that its integral link rear suspension delivers good handling without compromising the superb ride comfort (it’s amazing, really) that has defined successive generations of the Discovery. Full details, gallery and videos in our initial report.


GALLERY: Fifth-gen Land Rover Discovery