Truck and SUV manufacturers just love to show off their vehicles’ towing capacities in outlandish ways. In 2012, a Toyota Tundra hauled the Space Shuttle Endeavour across the Manchester Bridge in Los Angeles. A few months ago, Porsche set a Guinness record by towing an Airbus A380 using a Cayenne S Diesel. And now, Land Rover wants a piece of the action, using a Discovery Td6 diesel to pull a 121-ton Australian road train (think massive, long-distance semitruck and you’ll be close).
But unlike those other two headline-grabbing hauls, the Discovery actually towed the massive trailer a significant distance: 9.9 miles (15.84 kilometers) at speeds of up to 27 mph (43.2 kph). The road train in question consisted of seven trailers, a 13-ton tractor unit, and 10 tons of ballast, spanning 328 feet. Regulations experts will note that’s nearly double Australia’s 175.5-foot limit for road trains, which are also limited to just four trailers. Land Rover received special permission to pull the machines along a section of the Lasseter Highway.
Now, we should acknowledge a few caveats: The tractor unit was used to allow the trailers to retain their hydraulic brakes, and obviously, the road was temporarily closed to public traffic. But other than that, the Discovery did all of the work hauling the machines. Its drivetrain was left completely stock, and it hitched to the road train using its optional, factory-installed towbar.
Land Rover coordinated the stunt to publicize model-year 2018 updates to its popular mid-sized SUV. Now optional on the Discovery is an interactive TFT-display instrument panel, featuring high-definition graphics and digital gauge readouts. Furthermore, the gently updated Disco gets cabin air ionization purification for the first time, and a second-generation heads-up display is on offer as well.
With a towing capacity of 7,716 pounds, the Discovery Td6 is already a capable machine, producing 254 hp and 443 lb-ft (600 Nm) from its 3.0-liter turbodiesel V-6. The Land Rover also boasts available driver-assistance features such as Advanced Tow Assist, which allows the driver to reverse-steer the trailer easily using the Terrain Response knob.