Published on June 14th, 2017 | by adventuremag


A Discovery – Not all men are created equal

Not all men are created equal sure we all arrive into this world the same way, we all put on our pants one leg at a time, some are born with a silver spoon and some not, but equality or the lack of it is inbred, it is wrapped and laced through your DNA, black or blond, blue eyed or brown some things you simply do not get to have a say in. That’s why I can’t parallel park, I can’t do it, my sister can’t do it and my dear departed father could not do it. We as a family are destined to drive around suburbs and parking lots looking for those parks where you can just drive into. The overwhelming complexities of the angle, the reverse nature of the steering wheel and the objectivity of fitting ‘this’ car into ‘that’ space would be on a par with splitting the atom. So when Land Rover asked me to come and put the All-New Discovery through its paces I was quite up front – as long as there was no parallel parking I was keen.

Wellington may as well be Fiji from Auckland by the time you have driven through Auckland traffic, parked, had the right amount of soya latte double shots it would have been quicker to fly to Fiji, except Wellington is not Fiji. Our arrival in Wellington is dark and damp, windy and overcast not conducive to a great day of driving. But introductions done we trundled off in our wee mini bus to Boomrock (which to be honest when I first heard of it I thought was a nightclub). The driver pointing out the interesting Wellington highlights on the way – he was not over taxed by his efforts. As we drove deeper and deeper into farmland the area began to grow on me, the sun came out and eventually we arrived at a cliff and it was announced that we had arrived at Boomrock, aptly named as the crushing swell smashed against the rocks hundreds of metres below us.

And there in all its glory on the cliff edge with the back drop of the South Island sat the All-New Discovery. Now not only can I not parallel park I really don’t have the car genes either, the comparison of wheel to weight ratios, off road traction and fuel economy are really a dead end subject for me. Within the first 30-45 seconds of the Land Rover guy’s power point presentation I start to glaze over. The short video they showed had some very cool drone footage from Utah of Discoveries ploughing through the desert. I was also amused how the black Discovery seemed so much smaller than the white one – later to find out it was as I suspected a trick of the light.
The talk over, coffee drunk we met our instructors, suitably youthful and full of enthusiasm. We were each allocated a radio and car. ‘Start your engines’ was the command. That was the first indication all might not go as well as I had hoped and that there could well be parallel parking involved because I could not find a key or a button
Then as a voice from God over the radio came, ‘It’s a button on the left on the dash’. The car fired into life and like a small family of ducks we followed tail to nose to the training area.
At this stage let me point out that these cars are flash, beautifully appointed inside with leather seats, seat warmers, a crazy amount of room and superbly comfortable. I wound down the window and as the chilled wind blew in across from the South Island it looked like it was going to be a super fun day.
First there was setting the many dials and buttons to different settings – if unlike me you do have a full car gene go to the website www.landrover.co.nz and check it out. If not suffice to say you would have to be dumber than me not to be able to figure out the array of settings. There is so much information coming back to the driver – angles of the dangle, tipping degrees, screens showing what wheels are spinning and what not and what ‘diffs’ are locked and what are not, (was not 100% sure of what diffs were but they were underneath).
We then approached a very steep cliff – it was not straight up but it was close and like some scene from a YouTube ‘teens on Baja’ clip we were told to approach the cliff in a set mode at walking pace. I thought what’s the worst that could happen, we could roll back or flip. But impressively the Discovery with little forward momentum climbed this cliff as if it was flat. All you could see going up was blue sky and mocking seagulls. Now feeling confident, and a little cocky, I wanted another crack at the uphill. The tutor guy gave the command go at a slow walking pace. Now I had explained we are not autocar magazine, we are adventure magazine, we are not sit on the couch magazine, so I raised a walking pace to a bit of a jog followed by a quick Usain Bolt impression. Now the Discovery was hitting its straps and bolted up the hill like a wee mountain goat.
You could see the tutor guy was in a bit of a quandary, he was a full on petrol head, and in his inner soul that is exactly what he would have done, but erring on the side of caution reminded me gently about the difference between a slow walking pace and running. Lesson learnt….. Sort of.

We now approached the water section – as mentioned like wee ducks in a row we put the Discovery in mud and rut mode and moved forward – at a walking pace – the blue car went through water up to the door and hardly made a ripple, ducks didn’t even scatter, then the red car the same, then black car. Then me, I wound down the window and looked at tutor guy in the eyes. He knew, I knew, there was a brief connection and a sign of resignation ‘walking pace?’ he encouraged. I smiled and he had a long blink of resignation and I entered the water like a hippo doing a belly flop. The discovery pushed through like it was not even there – this time there was no reminder from the tutor just a wry smile as I went past. We followed like ducks back to the building where we started and there was an amazing lunch. Poached John Dory, venison, the meal was exquisite – no wine as there was more driving to do.
Once refuelled – we then set off for an hour or so across country, there was the odd flick of the dial in different inclines, mud, grass, water etc but the cars drove beautifully. Not being a car person but driving around the cliffs 750 ft. above the Tasman Sea, surrounded by 3000 acres of farmland of Boomrock in a particularly flash 4×4 was a great way to spend the day. Now for those who are a little more car minded Land Rover compressed all the good stuff down to the simple wonders of the All–New Discovery:
The Magnificent Seven: every seat is the best seat in the house
· Flexible interior provides seven full-sized adult seats, instantly configurable from your smartphone using the world-first remote Intelligent Seat Fold technology
. A much loved member of the family: keeping you safe for the last 27 years
· Semi-autonomous safety technology provides the family peace of mind
· Premium interior combines leading design with durable, high-quality materials and space for the whole family
. King of the hill: unstoppable on all surfaces, all terrains and in all weathers
· Land Rover’s full-sized SUV architecture delivers world-beating all-terrain capability
· Lightweight aluminium construction saves 480kg, delivering enhanced efficiency and CO2 emissions from 159g/km*
· Super clean Ingenium family grows with adoption of 240PS, four-cylinder diesel engine with 500Nm of torque
· Towing king: best-in-class 3,500kg towing capacity** and semi-autonomous Advanced Tow Assist take the stress out of difficult reversing manoeuvres
Storage addiction: discover the space for everything
· Up to 2,500-litres of luggage space and clever storage for 21st century family essentials
Connects every generation: Ingenious features that make life easier
· Digital Discovery equipped with up to nine USB ports, six 12-volt charging points and an in-car 3G WiFi hotspot for up to eight devices

Lastly thanks for the invitation from Land Rover (sorry about the big splash) thanks to the tutors (very long suffering) Boomrock was amazing (I’ll find a reason to come back).

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