Land Rover will introduce a new generation of its venerable Discovery SUV in 2017, which will replace the LR4 and mark the return of the Discovery name to U.S. shores. According to a report from Automotive News, the next-generation Discovery could take the place of the current-generation Range Rover in the lineup since Land Rover sees an opportunity to move the Range Rover line upmarket. This means the Range Rover will effectively become a competitor to ultra-luxury SUVs like the Bentley Bentayga and Rolls-Royce’s upcoming SUV, which could be named the Cullinan.
In an interview with Automotive News, Land Rover design boss Gerry McGovern revealed that the Range Rover line will become more luxurious while the Discovery and Discovery Sport slot underneath it. McGovern also believes that the Range Rover line has yet to reach its price ceiling, which could indicate that the brand may be going after a more affluent clientele, with off-road-capable SUVs that also happens to be opulent. McGovern also noted that he doesn’t see a Range Rover becoming a true seven-seat SUV because the Discovery will fill that role. However, he also indicated that the 5+2 configuration, which is available on the Range Rover and Range Rover Sport, will likely remain.
Moving the Range Rover upmarket could not only see the Discovery step into the segment it formerly occupied but also lead to a member of the upcoming Defender family to fill the spot of the current LR4 (Discovery in other global markets). Currently, the most luxurious Range Rover available is the long wheelbase SVAutobiography model, which seats four and starts at a cool $200,490 including destination.