Strong winds bother most people. For us it was a chance to have fun and so with the Land Rover Discovery in our hands we decided to go fly a kite. Really!
IT was that week when the winds were in a very mischievous mood in Qatar. With everything being blown about, most people chose to stay indoors and escape the dust-in-your-eyes situation. As for us, we were up at 6am and
heading up north. Strong winds translate into great waves in XTork lingo and we didn’t want to miss the opportunity. Besides we also had a great excuse to undertake this trip. Two actually. First, we had Land Rover’s all-new Discovery.
Second? We wanted to fly a kite. Why, you ask? You’ll make the ‘Discovery’ as you read on. We had with us Max who has a special skill set which we shall reveal soon. But for now we had a location on the map where we had to get to. That was all. A point where adventure awaited us. We didn’t know if there were proper roads to where we wanted to go. But we couldn’t have picked a better vehicle to get us there. There are offroaders and then there’s the Discovery. It hints (never boasts, British you see) of a pedigree that is incredibly impressive, bordering on legendary. But for now we were munching the miles on the smooth concrete roads of Qatar and we could focus on the luxurious ride that we were in.
This is a beautiful SUV. The slim grille, the sleek wrap-around LED headlights all work together to give it a lean-mean machine look at the front. The blacked out A- and B-pillars accentuate the wraparound feel of the vehicle. This continues at the back with the taillamps which extend towards the side of the SUV. Step inside and it’s like entering a five-star hotel suite. Premium leather blends effortlessly with metal and wood (yes, real handcrafted wood!) to soak you in luxury. The 10-inch touch-screen infotainment system in the HSE variant that we had is a smooth operator. Apart from launching a spaceship or a few other things, you can do pretty much everything with that system. You get cooled seats at the front and with the weather that Qatar is experiencing now, those were turned on at the maximum. For those that like their music, the Discovery comes with a 10-speaker Meridian audio system that gives you the feeling of sitting at the front seat of a concert.
Under the hood, the Discovery HSE Si6 (the variant we had) comes powered with a longitudinal V6 engine. It produces 340 strong horses and 450N-m of torque. That translates into enough power to haul itself out of any tricky terrain. And despite being an SUV, this Land Rover can reach triple digits on the speedometer in just 7.1 seconds. The V6 is mated with an eight-speed automatic transmission. The brains at Land Rover have engineered closely spaced XTORK 2017 Issue 11-V10.indd 30 6/6/17 3:34 PM TUNES ratios, which effect gear changes in just 200 milliseconds. You have paddle shifts to change gears too, which is rewarding when you engage Sport mode.
We had to travel close to 100 kilometres to get to our destination so we had ample time to enjoy the luxury that the Discovery had to offer.
An hour into our journey, Google Maps took us away from the comfort of paved roads. To begin with, we had to tackle a rocky road with a lot of undulations. It was time for Land Rover’s multi-mode Terrain Response 2 system to take over. We left it in auto mode and we coasted over everything as if we were on flat roads. As we moved ahead, the ruts became deeper so we increased the ride height to prevent the Discovery from bottoming out. For speeds below 50kmph, you can increase the ride height by a whopping 75mm. All you need to do is press a button on the central control panel and up you go.