From The Land Rover Chronicle:
A new Discovery is penciled in for 2005. The Discovery III will use an all new platform which will be shared with the Defender replacement also for 2005 and the baby Range Rover in 2006. Key features: expect more ground clearance, higher approach and departure angles, better on road handling and better off-road ability.
The price for the new Discovery will remain very close to the base price of the outgoing model, but the base petrol engine ( V8 ) will be replaced with a modified Jaguar V6. This new V6 will deliver around the same bhp with slightly less torque than the V8 it replaces. Of course the new V8 will also be from Jaguar and will command a higher price of around $5,000 more than the V6. A new line of Turbo diesel engines will appear ( although probably not in North America ), the new joint venture Ford/Peugeot 2.7 V6 TD will produce around the same bhp as the petrol V6, but with almost as much torque as the petrol V8.
The exterior for Discovery will be a revolution rather than an evolution. Key features: Rear mounted spare tire will move inside, new split tailgate similar to Range Rover's, optional long wheelbase, optional air-suspension, overall look much sportier.
We have also had reports that the Discovery Series III will feature a monocoque platform based on engineering experience from the Range Rover mk. 3. The Defender will also feature a monocoque platform by 2005. Some may argue that moving the Discovery over to a monocoque platform will destroy its off-road ability. However, we feel that it can only enhance things; many magazines have found that the Range Rover mk. 3 is actually better off-road that the Defender in many circumstances, and if this technology moves over to the Discovery, it too will hold the same sort of off-road prowess.
For information on the Discovery Series IIa, click here.
Discovery III and Range Stormer