In the late 80s and early 90s, Land Rover found itself to be in quite a pickle. For starters, it was now a two-model manufacturer, which is not a great situation to be in for a major car company, but on top of that, its two models were at complete opposites of the market spectrum, leaving a lot of room for competitors in between. The Range Roger was definitely up-market, and more so with every passing year, and its flagship, the Land Rover (which would become the Defender in 1990) was firmly stuck in the mud, on the farm and in the forest. The 1990 Land Rover Discovery was introduced to be a more mainstream vehicle, to occupy the space between the two extremes, and it did very well indeed. It was based on the Range Rover’s chassis, and used many of its parts, including the suspension. It proved a very capable off-roader, too, but was soon plagued with poor reliability.
Like its big brother, the Discovery was powered by a V8, with a displacement of 3.5-liters. It produced 145 horsepower, nothing spectacular, but with plenty of torque to drive all four wheels and allow the Discovery to be a true off-road vehicle. On the road, it could reach a top speed of 102 miles per hour, and accelerate to 60 in 12.5 seconds.
The 1990 Land Rover Discovery was a great success; it soon became the best-selling off-roader in the UK, but the rapid expansion of production came at the price of reliability, which was somewhat fixed in later models.