Special-edition models are the big news for 2002 on Land Rovers smaller midsize model. Land Rover displayed a Discovery Series II Kalahari at the New York Auto Show in April 2001. The Kalahari goes on sale in October 2001.
Inspired by a Land Rover Adventure program called The Great Kalahari, its intended as the first of a series of Kalahari editions to be issued by Land Rover Special Vehicles. Special Kalahari features include a Saudi/Gulf-states front bumper and grille, wraparound brush bar and lamp guards, rear ladder and a roof rack with a steel mesh floor. Only 300 will be produced for 2002 in three colors: Borrego Yellow, Tangiers Orange and Bonatti Grey.
Revamped for 1999 as the Series II, the Discovery is a less-expensive companion to the Range Rover flagship of luxury offroad vehicles. A lower-priced SD model arrived for 2001, accompanied by a midlevel LE and top-of-the-line SE. For 2002, the lineup includes an SD, SE and HSE, the latter of which is fitted with a new grille and roof rack, as well as 18-inch Hurricane wheels. Ford recently acquired the British automaker from BMW, adding Land Rover to its Premier Automotive Group of luxury brands, which also includes Aston Martin, Jaguar, Lincoln, Mercury and Volvo.
Riding a 100-inch wheelbase and measuring 185.2 inches long overall, the Discovery Series II is 74.4 inches wide and 76.4 inches high, which makes it taller than the full-size Chevrolet Suburban. A full-size spare tire is mounted on the tailgate, which opens to the right. SE and HSE models are equipped with dual sunroofs.
Seating for five occupants is standard, and a pair of rear jump seats that face forward are optional. Middle and rear seats fold to create 63.3 cubic feet of cargo space. Leather upholstery, a rear-seat DVD entertainment system and a navigation system are standard in the HSE version.
Under the Hood
Land Rovers aluminum 4.0-liter V-8 engine makes 188 horsepower and drives a four-speed-automatic transmission. Permanently engaged four-wheel drive splits power as needed. A two-speed transfer case incorporates a Low range for extreme offroad conditions. Four-wheel traction control is standard. Standard Hill Descent Control kicks in on steep downgrades to help keep the pace suitable for the terrain. Options include an air-spring self-leveling rear suspension and Active Cornering Enhancement that stiffens to reduce body lean in turns. All-disc antilock brakes are standard.