This Australian road train is 234,284 pounds OVER the Discovery’s max tow rating!

Land Rover wants you to know its fifth-generation Discovery SUV is capable – so capable, in fact, that it can flat-tow a semi truck with seven trailers weighing a total of 121 tons a distance of 10 miles. Is this a publicity stunt that’s well beyond what anybody would attempt in their luxury SUV? Of course. But, Land Rover’s point is that the Discovery and its 3.0-liter V-6 turbodiesel Td6 are built to do the extremes. Even with the marketing hype, I can say I’m honestly impressed.

This sort of extreme towing test isn’t new. Land Rover had done similar feats before, as had other automakers like Volkswagen, Porsche, and Toyota – not to mention Chevrolet, Ford, and Ram. Nevertheless, these demonstrations show the importance of low-end torque and traction. Obviously, the Discovery Td6 has plenty of both. Its turbodiesel makes 443 pound-feet of torque that’s routed to all four wheels through a two-speed transfer case with low-range gears. The torque-multiplying transfer case is key to making 443 pound-feet do the work of the semi truck’s turbodiesel engine and its 2,200 pound-feet of torque. The Disco’s use of low range also explains why it topped out at 27 mph. Keep in mind, the Discovery Td6 is rated to tow 7,716 pounds.

What Land Rover didn’t attempt was slowing all that weight. Braking is a huge limiting factor when it comes to max tow ratings. After all, a vehicle and its load have to stop eventually. The Discovery’s brakes just wouldn’t be up to the challenge. That’s partly why the tractor sits between the Discovery and the trailers – to operate each trailers air brakes. That, and because the Discovery doesn’t have a fifth-wheel hitch.

Interestingly enough, a seven-trailer road train is illegal in Australia. The government down under limits road trains to “only” four trailers. Here in the U.S., the DOT caps the number at two. Land Rover says it had to get special permission to conduct the stunt and contract with local authorities to temporarily close the road.


2017 Land Rover Discovery

2017 Land Rover Discovery
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Read our full review on the 2017 Land Rover Discovery.

2017 Land Rover Discovery - Driven

2017 Land Rover Discovery – Driven High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full driven review on the 2017 Land Rover Discovery.

Land Rover Discovery SVX

2018 Land Rover Discovery SVX High Resolution Exterior AutoShow
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Read our full review on the Land Rover Discovery SVX.

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 More
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