Ever wondered if a Land Rover Discovery is a tad overkill for lugging a four-berth caravan to a home counties campsite? Well, a 2018 Disco 5 has successfully lugged a 110-tonne road train across the Australian Outback.
The PR stunt (a way of drawing attention away from its offset rear number plate, perhaps?) saw a 3.0-litre Discovery TD6 tow a truck with seven (count ’em, seven!) trailers for nearly 10 miles along a closed section of the Lasseter Highway.
Although road trains are normally limited to four trailers in the Australian Outback, Land Rover obtained special permission to tow seven trailers as well as the 12-tonne tractor unit. This was retained to operate the hydraulic brakes fitted to the trailers. The road train was also carrying 10-tonnes of ballast.
With 258hp and 443lb ft torque, the Discovery TD6 can legally tow up to 3,500kg on public roads. The car used in the stunt kept its standard eight-speed automatic transmission and four-wheel-drive system and was hooked up to the road train using a factory-fitted tow bar attachment.
“Towing capability has always been an important part of Discovery DNA and the raw weight of the road train tells only half the story here,” said Land Rover product engineer, Quentin Spottiswoode. “Pulling a rig and seven trailers, with the rolling resistance of so many axles to overcome, is a huge achievement. We expected the vehicle to do well but it passed this test with flying colours, hitting 44km/h [27mph] along its 16km [9.9 mile] route.”
The Discovery is available with Advanced Tow Assist technology, which uses the rear camera to take the stress out of reversing trailers. You can even steer the vehicle using the rotary Terrain Response 2 controller on the centre console, while the system provides assistance, calculating steering inputs required to achieve the desired outcome.
Improvements for the 2018 model year include the addition of a 300hp four-cylinder Ingenium petrol engine and a new TFT display cluster in place of conventional dials.