• 2017 Discovery Debut Includes Record-breaking Lego Bridge, Bear Grylls, Helicopters, Water Fording, & a Lego Sail Boat!

Land Rover pull out all the stops for its Disco debut

The all-new 2017 Land Rover Discovery got a jump start of the 2016 Paris Motor Show by debuting in London a day before. It’s clear to see why Land Rover couldn’t wait – the automaker dumped the idea of a boring debut in favor of a live-action show with crazy stunts.

The action got started with a presentation of the Discovery’s history. Land Rover broke out its Heritage Collection, its own in-house museum of vehicles. Included in the lineup was the original Discovery, complete with awesome 1980s graphics. Then the Discovery 2, the 1990s-era Disco that brought more luxury to the Disco nameplate. Then The Discovery 3 rolled out, the first all-new design since the original debuted in 1989. The current Discovery 4 followed, looking like it just left the assembly line. Following that were off-road competition versions of each, including the original Camel Trophy truck, the G4 Challenge Discovery, and the 1 Millionth Discovery built.

The attention turned to the sky as a helicopter hovered overhead. Bear Grylls, the famous British survivalist and TV star, repelled by rope down onto a bridge built entirely of Lego blocks. Modeled after Tower Bridge in London, the 43-foot-tall structure contains 5.8 million Lego pieces and features a functional drawbridge section. It now holds the Guinness World Record for the largest Lego structure in the world.

If that’s not enough, Land Rover’s sailing team drove a 2017 Discovery though a pool of water under the bridge while pulling a Lego model of their sailboat. Two other Discoverys climbed the raised drawbridge sections, showing off their off-road capabilities.

The crazy display only lacked fireworks or explosions – or perhaps a rock band being lowered in by a crane. Of course, Land Rover spilled many of the juicy details regarding the all-new Discovery.

Continue reading for more information.

Why It Matters

Leave it up to Land Rover to create such an over-the-top display for the 2017 Discovery’s debut. There’s no reason not to; after all, the Discovery is Land Rover’s bread-n-butter product that sits at the center of its vehicle lineup. The large-scale stunt also shows the company is willing to try big things to garner headline space. Obviously it worked as I’m writing this story. What’s more important – you’re currently reading it. Reader can turn into customers, so the big display is ultimately designed to attract attention to the automaker’s newest product.

Mark McNabb
Mark McNabb was a contributor at TopSpeed from 2013 to 2018. Growing up, Mark always had a mind for tinkering on random items throughout his home and dad’s garage, including a 1953 Ford Mainline and 1971 Corvette Stingray.  Read full bio
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Press Release

Land Rover has revealed the New Discovery seven-seat SUV by breaking a Guinness World Record for the largest LEGO structure ever built.

Long-term Land Rover Discovery owners Bear Grylls, Sir Ben Ainslie and Zara Phillips took part in the dynamic live reveal of Land Rover’s most versatile model around a 13-metre high LEGO version of London’s Tower Bridge.

The New Discovery embodies Land Rover’s drive to go Above and Beyond, combining British desirability with an unstoppable spirit of adventure. It is highly desirable with unrivalled capability and technology like no other.

Gerry McGovern, Land Rover’s Chief Design Officer, said: “New Discovery redefines the large SUV. Land Rover’s design and engineering teams have revolutionised the Discovery DNA to create a highly desirable, extremely versatile and hugely capable premium SUV.”

Everyday ingenuity has been at the heart of the Discovery for the last 27 years, with more than 1.2 million customers to date. The new Discovery is for the digital age. Ingenious technology keeps your family safe, connected and confident on all surfaces, all terrains and in all weathers to ensure your destination is reached.

The fifth-generation model benefits from Land Rover’s strong, safe and light full-size SUV architecture, delivering comfort and adaptability like no other.

The reveal set was made from 5,805,846 individual LEGO bricks, breaking the previous Guinness World Record by 470,646 pieces. Laid end to end, the bricks would stretch for almost 200 miles, or from Tower Bridge in London to Paris.

Led by the UK’s only LEGO Certified Professional, Duncan Titmarsh, it took five months for expert LEGO Master Builders in the UK to construct the incredible Tower Bridge structure. It was erected in the grounds of Packington Hall, Warwickshire, UK – close to Land Rover’s Solihull plant, where New Discovery will be produced.

As part of the dramatic reveal sequence, British adventurer Bear Grylls appeared in typically exciting fashion by abseiling from the top of the huge Tower Bridge installation, through the open drawbridge and onto the stage beside the New Discovery.

The finale was Land Rover BAR Team Principal Sir Ben Ainslie driving his sailing team through 900mm-deep water under the bridge – demonstrating the unrivalled capability and versatility of Land Rover’s new SUV. Sir Ben towed a LEGO replica of the Land Rover BAR boat, a 186,500-brick meticulous model of the boat that will challenge for next year’s America’s Cup.

The model of Tower Bridge was flanked by two LEGO ‘Discovery Zones’ celebrating 27 years of Land Rover Discovery heritage. An Equestrian Zone, hosted by accomplished rider Zara Phillips, featured a typically British picnic scene made entirely from LEGO bricks. The Bear Grylls Adventure Zone included a LEGO fire and boulders to represent a scene from a typical mountain exploration.

New Discovery represents the next step in Land Rover’s journey of transformation from cogs to code and is designed, engineered and manufactured with the help of some of the 1,300 talented young engineers currently on the company’s leading training programmes. Jaguar Land Rover is one of UK’s leading recruiter of graduates and apprentices: 3,000 have joined in the past six years and 400 new recruits have just started on the 2016 intake.

Bear Grylls said: “I have developed a powerful bond with Land Rover vehicles over the years and to me they embody that spirit of adventure coupled with a rugged reliability that also serves the needs of a young family. The Land Rover Discovery is invaluable on expeditions, whether filming in deserts, jungles or mountains, yet it’s still the perfect vehicle for the family’s everyday use. It’s a proud moment to be here with Land Rover revealing the New Discovery to the world.”

Emma Owen, LEGO UK and Ireland Spokeswoman, said: “We are thrilled that Jaguar Land Rover has used LEGO bricks to add some Guinness World Record-breaking creativity to the launch of the latest Discovery. This is an epic, outstanding build that absolutely captures the imagination in a way we haven’t seen before. With LEGO bricks and some imagination you really can build anything!”

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Press release

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