The Land Rover Discovery HSE Td6 has taken on a 121-ton road train and the Australian Outback…and won. During the ultimate towing test, the Land Rover Discovery towed a seven-trailer semi-truck from a stopped position for a total of nearly 10-miles.
Land Rover completed the impressive display of towing capability by pulling a 328-ft road train in the remote Northern Territory of Australia to announce the arrival of the 2018 model year Discovery Discovery HSE Td6.
The Discovery Td6 has a maximum permissible towing capacity of 7,716-lbs (3,500kg) on public roads but successfully towed a 121-ton road train 9.9-miles along a closed section of the Lasseter Highway, thanks to its 254hp 3.0-liter turbocharged diesel engine and four-wheel-drive traction1.
Road trains of up to four trailers are only permitted in Australia’s vast Outback regions and typically carry fuel, mineral ore and cattle between remote rural communities. Strict regulations limit their length to 175.5-ft so Land Rover obtained special permission to pull seven trailers and the 13-ton tractor unit – retained to operate the hydraulic brakes fitted to the trailers.
John Bilato, Managing Director of haulage specialist G&S Transport, took the wheel for the epic pull. He said:
When Land Rover first got in touch, I didn’t think the vehicle would be able to do it, so I was amazed by how easily the standard Discovery pulled a 110-tonne road train. And the smoothness of the gear changes under that amount of load was genuinely impressive. These road trains are the most efficient form of road haulage on the planet and using the Discovery made this the most economical of all.
The extreme test was carried out using a Discovery HSE Td6 and is the latest in a series of impressive towing demonstrations completed by the Discovery family. At its 1989 launch, the original Discovery I was used to pull a train and last year the Discovery Sport premium compact SUV towed a trio of rail carriages 85ft above the Rhine River.
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. 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 colors, hitting 27mph (44km/h) along its 10-mile (16km) route.
— Quentin Spottiswoode, Land Rover Product Engineer
The Discovery used its standard eight-speed automatic transmission and four-wheel drive system and was hooked up to the road train using a factory-fitted optional tow bar attachment. The road train itself was even carrying 11-tons of ballast in order to hit the magic 121-ton weight mark1.
With 443-lb. ft. of torque, the Discovery Td6 is well suited to pulling heavy loads. The 254hp 3.0-liter single-turbo engine features low-pressure exhaust recirculation and a two-stage oil pump for improved responses, refinement, and performance. As a result, the 2017 model year diesel derivative delivers an EPA fuel economy of 26mpg highway3.
2018 Model Year Enhancements
For the 2018 model year, the Land Rover Discovery gains new technologies including an optional Interactive Driver Display TFT instrument cluster. The high-resolution panel provides contemporary graphics that create the impression of 3D surfaces with exceptional clarity and allow the driver to personalize the visual display around the two main dials.
All derivatives of the latest Discovery also feature Land Rover InControl® Touch Pro™ infotainment with a 10-inch touchscreen interface on the center console5. Digital connectivity is enhanced with the introduction of 4G Wi-Fi, providing superior connection speeds for up to eight mobile devices on the move4.
An optional second-generation Head-up display technology also provides a full-color display and wider functionality, even projecting 4×4 information and improved navigation displays onto the windshield ahead of the driver2, while Cabin Air Ionization is available on Discovery for the first time, delivering additional passenger comfort.
1) Please do not attempt. The Discovery vehicle is towing well beyond its permissible towing capacity in a one-time, short distance test. When properly equipped, the maximum permissible towing weight for the Discovery Td6 (diesel) is 7,716-lbs and up to 8,201-lbs for the Discovery Si6 gasoline models. Never tow beyond a vehicle’s permissible towing capacity. Please consult the owner’s manual or your local authorized Land Rover Retailer for more details.
(2) These systems are not a substitute for driving safely with due care and attention and will not function under all circumstances, speeds, weather and road conditions, etc. Driver should not assume that these systems will correct errors of judgment in driving. Please consult the owner’s manual or your local authorized Land Rover Retailer for more details.
(3) EPA estimates 21 city/ 26 highway/23 combined mpg. Actual mileage may vary.
(4) The Wi-Fi hotspot is intended for passenger use only. InControl features may require an additional subscription with separate terms and conditions.
(5) Do not use Land Rover InControl® features under conditions that will affect your safety or the safety of others. Driving while distracted can result in loss of vehicle control.
Note: Press release courtesy of Land Rover.