New Land Rover Discovery Sport testing details

6 Aug, 2014 10:02am Jordan Bishop

As the new Discovery Sport undergoes finals tests, Land Rover and Virgin Galactic reveal shared development approach

Land Rover has revealed fresh details about its comprehensive testing programme for the new Discovery Sport, highlighting a number of similarities to partner Virgin Galactic’s own prototype development.

According to a statement, the baby Discovery has already been subjected to 9,767 tests, including hot and cold endurance runs in temperatures ranging from -36 degrees to a sweltering 42 degrees Celsius.

The British manufacturer is clearly hoping to whet a few appetites ahead of the Freelander replacement’s scheduled debut at the Paris Motor Show in October, preparation for which has included over 181 test mules cover approximately 750,000 miles over varying terrains. This has included checking handling around racetracks such as the Nurburgring, plus looking into how the Discovery Sport deals with water depths of up to 600mm, 40 degree inclines and 45 degree declines.

It’s this apparent attention to detail that underpins the partnership with Virgin’s soon-to-launch commercial spaceline. Announced in April this year, the arrangement is based on sharing values and experience to help each brand create cutting edge technologies.

Land Rover plus Virgin Galactic

“There is a common philosophy towards engineering between Land Rover and our partners Virgin Galactic,” commented Murray Dietsch, Land Rover’s Programme Director. “We start with an idea and build from there, spending years refining a design and competing virtual testing before the first prototypes see the tarmac.”

Virgin Galactic CEO George Whitesides agreed, and added: “In engineering and design, like Land Rover, our focus is on precision, ingenuity, and unparalleled design.”

While Land Rover prepares for the Discovery Sport to hit showrooms early in 2015, Virgin Galactic is also scaling up it's own plans, and is currently on course for its first full spaceflight later this year.