The new Discovery Sport has all the torques.
Publicity stunts involving diesel cars and big, heavy objects aren't a new thing. We still remember Volkswagen's 'here's a V10 diesel Touareg towing a 747' demonstration, and Toyota used the retirement of the Space Shuttle as a PR exercise for its Tundra pick-up. Truth be told, they're not quite as impressive as they're claimed to be (in the Touareg's case, an awful lot of modifications were made before the car set off), but it's still pretty cool to see. So we've no qualms with Land Rover deciding to pull a 100-ton train with a Discovery Sport.
What makes the Land Rover Discovery Sport stunt that bit more interesting, though, is that the car doing the train towing is bone stock. Okay, so some guiding wheels to stop the SUV from squirming about over the tracks were fitted, but otherwise it's mechanically identical to the Discovery Sport you'll find in your nearest Land Rover dealership. Plus, it's a neat little demonstration of the 2.0-liter diesel 'Ingenium' engine - in the guise of this TD4-spec car, the four-cylinder motor only produces 180 hp and 317 lb-ft of torque, which again makes this train-pulling press release fodder that bit more noteworthy (remember, that aforementioned highly modified Touareg V10 had, at 627 lb-ft, nearly twice the torque.
Is it a groundbreaking achievement, considering the low rolling resistance from the wheels? Probably not. But seeing a mid-sized SUV with 180-hp tow a train more than 60 times its weight over six miles is pretty spectacular in anyone's book, so we'll rein in our cynicism for the time being and let you decide for yourselves if it's awesome or not.