Land Rover today showed off the towing capabilities of a standard Discovery Sport by using one to tow three luxury train carriages weighing over 100 tonnes along a railway track on a 10km journey through the Rhine region of Northern Switzerland.
Although the Discovery Sport, powered by Jaguar Land Rover’s 180PS Ingenium diesel engine with 430Nm of torque,has a certified maximum towing weight of 2.5 tonnes, it was able to pull 60 times its own weight, benefiting from Land Rover’s towing and traction technologies such as Terrain Response, Tow Assist, Tow Hitch Assist and All Terrain Progress Control – a semi-autonomous off-road driving system that automatically manages engine output and braking, to complete the tow.
The vehicle’s drivetrain remained unchanged, with the only modification being the fitment of rail wheels by specialists Aquarius Railroad Technologies, to act as ‘stabilisers’.
It completed the impressive pull without the aid of a low-range gearbox, instead using its state-of-the-art nine-speed automatic gearbox and Terrain Response technology to generate the necessary traction.
“Over the years, we have introduced game-changing towing technologies to take the stress out of towing for our customers.
“I’ve spent most of my career travelling to the most punishing parts of the world to test Land Rovers in grueling conditions, yet this is the most extreme towing test I’ve ever done,” said Jaguar Land Rover lead engineer for stability control systems Karl Richards.
The train-pulling feat was undertaken on 10km of track at the Museumsbahn Stein am Rhein in Switzerland, crossing the River Rhine on the dramatic Hemishofen bridge – a historic steel span measuring 935 feet long and soaring 85 feet above the valley floor.
The Discovery Sport is the first member of Land Rover’s new Discovery family and was awarded a Five Star Euro NCAP rating at launch.