‘Wade Mode’ Beckons Overlanders to Test the Mettle of the 2021 Discovery

This week, Land Rover revealed the refreshed 2021 Discovery. And among the new features, of which there are several, there’s one that has us buzzing with excitement: Wade Mode. But we’ll get to that in a bit.

Land Rover leads its press release touting the new Disco with the mention of the brand’s second-generation Electric Vehicle Architecture (EVA 2.0). It’s this new architecture that powers the ‘21 Disco, enabling a suite of new technologies.


Photo: Land Rover

Photo: Land Rover

Inside, the new technology takes the form of a bigger infotainment screen in the center dash, which is now 11.4 inches across — 48% larger than the one it replaces.

More than just a bigger screen, the updated Land Rover Pivi Pro1 infotainment system includes a dedicated battery. This enables the system to boot up even more quickly, as it doesn’t have to wait for the rest of the vehicle to fully power up. And once it’s fired up, owners can run either Apple CarPlay or Android Auto on the big, high-definition touchscreen.

Working behind the scenes are not one but two LTE modems. With dual modems onboard, passengers can both stream media while the vehicle downloads over-the-air (OTA) updates.


Photo: Land Rover

Photo: Land Rover

Also out of sight is a new cabin air filter system that meets the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Particulate Matter 2.5 (PM2.5) rating. The system uses sensors to monitor air quality and automatically utilizes various filters to prevent particulates from entering the cabin, ensuring the air you and your passengers breathe inside the Disco is as clean as possible.

In addition to some tech updates, Land Rover engineers bestowed upon the famed British 4×4 largest SUV a new inline 3.0-liter six-cylinder “Ingenium” engine (backed by mild-hybrid technology) for the 2021 model year.

Altogether, the 3.0-powered Discovery puts out 355 horsepower sent to all four wheels through Land Rover’s new Terrain Response 2 system. And that new Terrain Response 2 system includes “Wade Mode,” designed to optimize water fording.


Photo: Land Rover

Photo: Land Rover

When the driver disengages Wade Mode, the Discovery automatically engages the brakes thereby scrubbing away any water on the brake discs. This ensures that when the driver goes to hit the brakes, they’re clear of water, mud, and other contaminants, thereby making sure braking power is at its full potential.

While new technology is always appreciated, we’re most excited about the Discovery’s new inline-six engine and the updated Terrain Response system. There’s something about an inline-six that’s just intoxicating — the heaps of torque they produce.


Photo: Land Rover

Photo: Land Rover

Add to a torque-y and efficient power plant to a rig with more extreme off-road capabilities and an 8,200-pound tow rating, and we’re sold.

Well, actually, we’re not totally sold yet.

Although the 2021 Discovery starts at $53,900, the Disco powered by that new 3.0-liter six-cylinder starts at $61,900 — a pretty penny to be sure. But is it worth it? We will have to wait and see for ourselves.


Header image: Land Rover

Written by Nick Jaynes. You can follow Nick @nickjaynes

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