Page 1: Intro
WICK, SCOTLAND -- The fifteenth century castle that was to be our home for two nights loomed in the foreground, as our lineup of 2005 Land Rover LR3s maneuvered over rocks, across formidable sand dunes, and along the hard-packed shoreline of Scotland’s North Sea. Following a full day of design and engineering presentations in Gaydon, England, our small cadre of auto writers had been flown to northern Scotland to put the newest Land Rover -- the LR3, which replaces the Discovery in the U.S. -- through its paces over a period of two days, driving on paved roads and dirt tracks, and through technical off-road/4WD evaluations. The task was to evaluate the LR3’s new smoothness and control on the road and its improved 4WD prowess in the areas of traction, suspension articulation, hill descent, steering, gearing, breakover angle, and angles of approach and departure. It took some getting used to, from the LR3’s new alpha-numeric name and the Land Rover presenter’s boasts of “high technology as a re-occurring theme” to the LR3’s unique electronic wizardry called Terrain Response -- “a smart technology that makes drivers expert in the cabin.” Maybe that was great for the masses of people that hadn’t been on Camel Trophys, participated in 4WD adventures, attended four-wheeling driving schools, and competed in numerous off-road races around the world -- as had many in our small group of journalists. For the Sunday adventurer, this level of luxury and vehicular intelligence from bonnet to boot would surely swivel their heads and open their wallets.
But surely, not professional drivers. NO way.
Page 2: Terrain response
Page 3: Names
Styling cues shared with the pricier Range Rover include the flat slab sides, functional vents in the front fender, and distinct headlamps that feature a small circle budding from the larger round lamp.
And even with the resemblance to the Range Rover, the 2005 Land Rover LR3 still embraces its Discovery heritage. The most notable feature is the stepped roofline – the glass between the C and D pillars extends beyond the horizon of the other side panes and wraps into the roof. Three panels of glass – one sunroof and two moonroofs – improve relations between cabin members and the blue above.
Page 4: Interior
Niceties and stylistic flair aside, the new 2005 Land Rover LR3 is meant to function superbly both on and off the road. A 4.4-liter V8 engine derived from a Jaguar unit is standard equipment in the LR3. Output is around 300 horsepower and 315 lb.-ft. of torque, and the engine has been tuned for better low-end twist. Additionally, improved weather sealing should keep it protected from dust and water. Behind the LR3’s V8, a six-speed automatic transmission chooses gears The “intelligent” gearbox includes a “sport” mode to accentuate performance as well as a Command Shift feature which gives the driver complete manual control.
Permanent AWD is standard on the 2005 Land Rover LR3, and it includes Electronic Traction Control and Dynamic Stability Control. These systems work in tandem with the throttle, transmission, brakes, and suspension to maximize traction. More difficult terrain is handled in Low range. However, these “simple” stability and traction control systems are just the start, as far as the capability sought by Land Rover engineers. Adding more versatility and a far greater level of competence and control is the Terrain Response system. Five settings are available, each using the large, center-console mounted rotary knob. A general setting handles clean circumstances while another addresses slippery conditions created by grass, gravel or snow. Finally, three different modes are reserved for off-roading: one for mud and ruts, one for sand, and one for intense rock crawling. Once set, the system modulates ride height, engine torque response, traction control, Hill Descent Control, and all gearing.
Page 5: Electronics
Page 6: Wrap
Page 7: FAQs
A replacement for the Discovery (as it will still be called in all other markets outside of North America), the Land Rover LR3 competes in the premium, midsized SUV segment. BMW, Mercedes and Lexus are key competitors. Gone are the Discovery’s solid axles, manual transfer case, pushrod engine and body-on-frame construction. What is so good about it?
With increased power, improved throttle response, upgraded steering and braking, and an on-road ride and handling prowess that rivals the more expensive Range Rover, the 2005 Land Rover LR3 is improved in several significant areas, from it’s ability to travel well on road, handle off road course with typical Land Rover aplomb. Perhaps most of all, the LR3 interior design is a significant improvement over the previous Discovery.
Page 8: FAQs
On sale this fall, pricing for the SE model starts at $44,995, while the HSE model will retail for $49,995. What colors does it come in?
LR3 comes in eight standard colors: Chawton White, Bonatti Grey, Alveston Red, Java Black, Adriatic Blue, Zambezi Silver, Maya Gold and the new for ’05 Tonga Green.
Who is Land Rover?
Land Rover North America is part of the Ford Motor Company’s Premier Automotive Group, with headquarters in Irvine, California. Land Rover established operations in the U.S. in 1986, and now imports and distributes Range Rover, LR3 and Freelander vehicles manufactured by Land Rover in Solihull, England. For information about the Land Rover retailer nearest you, call 800-FIND-4WD or log on to www.LandRover.com.