You’ve heard of land trains, right? They’re those big, articulated lorries that drag several trailers across the vast expanses of the Australian outback. Well, a Land Rover Discovery has just towed one, and it didn’t even break a sweat.
Yep, it’s a PR stunt organised by Land Rover, but you’ve got to hand it to the new Discovery for being such a machine. Pulling 100 metres, or seven trailers, of Australian land train is no mean feat.
And before you say that the stunt was obviously done by some modified, kitted-out Discovery with a million Newton-metres of torque, Land Rover says that the feat was performed by a totally standard Discovery.
The Discovery in question was the Td6 model, which comes with a 3.0-litre diesel engine. It may only develop 250-odd bhp, but its low-down torque means that it’s got a certified towing capacity of 3,500 kg.
That towing capacity might be selling the Discovery a little short, though – for this stunt, it towed a 110-tonne land train for 16 km down a closed section of the Lasseter Highway in northern Australia.
The man behind the wheel of the Discovery was John Bilato, managing director of haulage specialist G&S Transport, and he didn’t reckon the feat would be possible.
“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 gearchanges under that amount of load was genuinely impressive,” he said.
The whole shebang was held to announce the arrival of the 2018 model of the new Discovery. Not much has changed since the new car was initially launched earlier this year, but there are some additional niceties.
For example, the Discovery is now available with Jaguar Land Rover’s four-cylinder petrol engine, which develops around 300 bhp and 400 Nm of torque and will almost certainly be available in this region. Alas, the diesel-engined one that pulled the land train probably won’t.
Elsewhere, you get a new instrument cluster and Jaguar Land Rover’s new 10-inch touchscreen interface.
Otherwise, though, the Discovery remains much the same as it was at launch – i.e. mighty impressive.