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The Land Rover Discovery is a mid-size luxury SUV, from the British car maker Land Rover. There have been two generations of the vehicle, the first of which was introduced in 1989 and given a Series II update in 1998. The second generation, titled Discovery 3, launched in 2004 and was marketed in North America as the Land Rover LR3. These second generation models were updated in 2009 as the Discovery 4—Land Rover LR4 for North American markets. The Discovery 5 is currently in pre-production testing and is expected to be revealed during 2016.
On 2 April 2004, Land Rover introduced the Discovery 3, marketed as the LR3 in North America. It retained the key features of the Discovery, such as the stepped roofline and steeply raked windscreen. The LR3 name was chosen for North American markets due to negative quality associations with the Discovery name and (according to Land Rover) a preference in the American market for alpha-numeric model designations – the second generationFreelander was also re-designated for the North American market as the LR2.
Land Rover developed a body construction method for the Discovery 3, marketed as Integrated Body Frame (IBF). The engine bay and passenger compartment are built as a monocoque, then mated to a basic ladder-frame chassis for the gearbox and suspension. Land Rover claims IBF combines the virtues of monocoque and ladder-frame – though it makes for a heavier vehicle than a monocoque construction, compromising performance and agility somewhat but adding strength, toughness and adaptability.