Land Rover will launch its all-new, fifth-generation Discovery mid 2017, and with it, a host of new technology including Advanced Tow Assist that will make trailer work easy, even for first time users.
The new technology is impressive, as we found out during a sneak-preview test drive during the recent Los Angeles motor show, where we were invited to climb aboard and reverse a trailer laden with a reasonably-sized Zodiac RIB.
Reversing a trailer down a boat ramp or into a parking spot can be a nightmare, even for more experienced boaties, let alone a first-time boat owner. Steering inputs need to be slow and precise, otherwise things can go horribly wrong – we’ve all been there.
Land Rover’s latest tech includes Advanced Tow Assist – effectively, towing for dummies, as we learned on-board the yet-to-be-released new Discovery.
And although we tested it by towing a boat, it works in the same way with a caravan, horse float or just a simple box trailer. It’s then that the trajectory lines appear on the feed from the cameras on the door mirrors.
First, the driver needs to configure the system on the touchscreen by entering key trailer details, like boat or caravan, for example.
The 10-inch touchscreen displays the road behind along with responsive guide lines showing the intended path of travel, but this can be altered using the Terrain Response (even while moving) allowing for minor tweaks, should you notice additional obstacles behind.
It’s a semi-autonomous technology, which automatically takes over all the steering inputs, leaving the driver to worry about only the foot pedals (brake and throttle) – so reversing a trailer becomes an absolute cinch, as the vehicle is effectively steered using the rotary controller only.
The all-new Discovery is underpinned by Land Rover's latest lightweight aluminium architecture, which effectively sheds up to 480kg from the outgoing model.
And along with the new styling, the Land Rover-badged flagship will also offer the company's latest four-cylinder Ingenium engines with 132kW and 177kW, and 430Nm and 500Nm respectively, as well as the six-cylinder Td6 engine armed with 190kW of power and 600Nm or torque.
Like its predecessor, the new Disco is a full-size seven-seat SUV, only this time it adds in-house developed, and easy to use, Intelligent Seat Fold technology, which allows users to reconfigure second and third rows if seating from the rear of the car, or remotely via a smartphone app.
The interior is all-new too, and features a more premium look and feel, as well as JLR's latest InControl Touch Pro infotainmnt system, with more connectivity and intuitivness that ever before. There's up to nine USB ports, six 12-volt charge points and an in-car WiFi hotspot for up to eight devices.
Watch the video demonstration of Advanced Tow Assist above.