I think I fell in love again. Located right next door in my state is an enticing SUV which I didn’t even know existed. And now that I do, my heart longs for this 1990 Land Rover Discovery 200TDi. Its two-door SUV body, five-speed manual transmission and smoky turbodiesel make me weak in the knees, so I have to make you feel the same thing.
The Land Rover Discovery I hit the trails in 1989. It rides on the same chassis and uses the same four-wheel-drive system as the Range Rover, but at a price that appeals to a wide range of buyers. Because the Range Rover had abandoned its humble beginnings to become a luxury SUV, the Disco filled the void of the family off-roader. But the Discovery was more than that as it would bring some interesting ideas to the table. Let’s explore them as we worship this 1990 Land Rover Discovery 200TDi on Cars & Bids.
Right off the bat, it’s easy to point out that the Discovery has quite a distinctive body. It originally launched as a three-door (two if you don’t count the hatchback) before gaining a five-door model in 1990. No matter which one you got, your Discovery had a stepped roof with alpine windows superior.
Here in America, the Range Rover was enjoying success, but competition from American brands and Japanese off-roaders convinced Land Rover that it needed reinforcement. In 1994 the Discovery left its factory in Solihull, UK, for America. We’ve never had the Discovery without rear doors, and that’s one way this Discovery is very different.
Although Land Rover couldn’t beat the competition in terms of reliability, it stood out from the pack with its off-road capabilities and quirks. By the time the Discovery arrived in America, the SUV had already proven itself on the Camel Trophygo on hikes that others couldn’t survive.
Open the doors of this Discovery and you’ll discover a familiar interior.
Here, the Discovery breaks with family tradition. Like Land Rover San Antonio Remarks, it aimed to become a lifestyle accessory. These had magazine racks and a center console Land Rover bag that you could take with you. Everyone was seated high and there was tons of visibility.
I mean, look how thin those A-pillars are!
The interior had other neat tricks ranging from using the roof space for storage to air conditioning vents for those in the back. You could even get jump seats behind the second row. David Tracy notice a little on these seats when a Discovery ended up in his garden.
While the Discovery slotted under the Range Rover, Land Rover had fun making the SUV its own thing.
This discovery is not only a rarity for the American three-door. I’m sure by now you’ve noticed the gear stick. Yes, the driver can row alone with a five-speed manual transmission.
This sends power to all four wheels using a 2.5-liter turbodiesel inline-four that develops 111 horsepower and 195 lb-ft of torque.
You’d be right to point out that you’re getting less power here than the 3.9-liter gas with 182 horsepower and 232 lb-ft of torque. V8 found in the American Discovery specification. And fun fact about the gasoline engine: it originally came from Buick!
Yet America never got the combination of diesel, manual and three-door Discovery. This makes it a rarity. Plus, the seller claims to score 35 mpg with this Discovery, which you can’t say about the V8 model.
This Discovery was repainted in its original Corallin Red in 2017 and then imported from Spain to America in February 2021. The seller picked it up in December 2021 and has only managed to drive 1,100 miles since then.
Why such a short property? Apparently the owner bought it just for a road trip. It served its purpose, so the owner is ready to get rid of it.
The Discovery would be another hit for Land Rover and it would continue to see successive generations. Today, it too has become a luxury vehicle like the Range Rover but it’s still an all-terrain beast.
Fortunately, my bank account will have too few zeros by the end of this auction in four days. Otherwise, I should probably buy it myself, then curse myself for drooling over it. If you have the funds, it is currently bidding $10,000 on Cars & Bids.