The brand-new 2010 Land Rover LR4 is the fourth generation of the company’s Discovery vehicle line. Powered by the same V8 engine found in the new Jaguar XF, the LR4 is set to take the world by storm. It delivers tons of power, but it doesn’t guzzle as much gas as its predecessors, and while it does share the same basic platform as its predecessor, the LR3, this is a whole new vehicle.
The first, and perhaps most important, big change in the new LR4 is the engine. As mentioned above, the new V8 was designed by the Jaguar-Land Rover team and has a 5.0-liter displacement, a fairly big jump in size, as the LR3′s engine was only 4.4-liters. The power has leaped up as well, producing 375 horsepower and 375 lb-ft of torque, up from 300 and 315, respectively, on the LR3. There are two main factors that contribute to the LR4′s reduced fuel consumption: design efficiency and the transmission. The engine has been designed with fuel economy as a priority, then the engineers set about squeezing power out of it. This design sequence tends to produce more efficient engines than making a powerful engine then trying to make it efficient.
The ZF HP-28 transmission in the new LR4 is a revised version of the reliable transmission. Altered gearing ratios in the higher gears allow the LR4 to use less fuel when cruising at highway speeds. Hard numbers have yet to be released for the LR4 (at the time of this writing, it had just premiered), but the LR3 got 12 mpg city/ 17 highway, and the LR4 is expected to do better than that. Highway mpg will likely hit at least 20, with a comparable rise in city ratings. This car is not a Prius by any means, but a 20 mpg rating is impressive for Land Rover.
Other upgrades in he LR4 include numerous suspension components that were either replaced or recalibrated to make the trademark Land Rover ride even more comfortable. And, while very few Land Rover owners will actually take their LR4s off-road, Terrain Response launch control and Hill Descent Control are handy features to have. The LR4 goes on sale in October and, while pricing has not been released yet, it will probably be inline with the $45k price tag from the LR3.