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2020 August
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Car and Driver: Strength Training: Land Rover Tows a Train in Switzerland

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Land-Rover-Discovery-Sport-Train-Switzerland

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Jaguar Land Rover’s marketing department has been on a tear with creative publicity stunts. They’ve sent an F-Pace racing through a 63-foot-high loop-the-loop, sent Range Rovers off-roading in a Boeing 747, had an XF do a high-wire act, and most recently, closed Manhattan’s Park Avenue Tunnel so we could reach illegal—and deafening—speeds in the F-type SVR. Now they’ve hitched a Land Rover Discovery Sport to a train in Switzerland, for no other reason than to prove it can drag 238,000 pounds across a pretty iron bridge.

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Much as with the Toyota Tundra’s space-shuttle pull in 2012, the science behind tugging this extraordinary weight comes from overcoming the load’s rolling resistance. Not much torque is required—particularly not at 8 mph—but a certain degree of frame strength is mandatory, especially in a unibody. The Disco Sport was equipped with the 2.0-liter turbo-diesel four-cylinder engine (not available here), which puts out 317 lb-ft of torque, and a nine-speed automatic transmission. The only mods were a set of small train wheels bolted to the underbody for stability. All four stock tires rode on the center of the rails. We’re betting, however, that this particular Disco Sport won’t pass muster as a Certified Pre-Owned Land Rover.

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While the stuntmen played around in Switzerland, the company brass opened a $341 million plant in Brazil, its first ever in the region, to crank out Disco Sport and Range Rover Evoque models for the Latin American market. But that’s sort of boring business. Let’s watch these trucks in more ridiculous situations on YouTube.

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