Land Rover stopped people in their tracks this month as the Discovery Sport towed three luxury train carriages weighing 108 tons along a railway track in a demonstration of towing capability.
This incredible feat took place at Museumsbahn Stein am Rhein in Switzerland, crossing the River Rhine on the gorgeous Hemishofen bridge – a historic steel span measuring 935 feet long and soaring 85 feet above the valley floor.
The 10 kilometer journey put the compact Discovery Sport’s pulling power to the ultimate test. Though the Discovery Sport has a certified maximum towing weight of 2,500kg, it was able to pull 60 times its own weight, powered by Jaguar Land Rover’s 180PS Ingenium diesel engine providing 430Nm of torque. In addition, the Discovery Sport benefitted from Land Rover’s portfolio of 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 stunt.
The vehicle’s drivetrain remained unchanged; the only modification being the fitment of rail wheels by specialists Aquarius Railroad Technologies, to act as ‘stabilizers’. Unlike the 1989 Discovery tow, Discovery Sport completed the impressive pull without the aid of low-range gears, instead using its state-of-the-art 9-speed automatic gearbox and Terrain Response technology to generate the necessary traction. Land Rover’s All Terrain Progress Control (ATPC) system was also engaged at the press of a button during the tow, to maximize traction at a set speed. Acting much like a low-speed cruise control, ATPC allows the driver to focus on the road, or in this case the railway, ahead.
Towing is in Land Rover’s DNA, and Discovery Sport is no exception. Over the years, Land Rover has introduced game-changing technologies that help take the stress out of towing for our customers.