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The world-conquering Land Rover Discovery is here

Land Rover

The Land Rover Discovery is coming back to America and it looks fantastic. The Land Rover Discovery name was unceremoniously killed off in 2004 in favor of the uninspired names "LR3" and "LR4" (thanks to associations with the Discovery's famously terrible build quality), but the basic layout of the car continued on: seven seats, fantastic views, top-notch exploration and off-road capabilities.

Now the new Land Rover Discovery is here, unveiled this week at the Paris Auto Show. It starts at $49,990 and will go on sale in the middle of next year. It also comes with a litany of features, including the ability to remotely fold the rear two rows from a smartphone app. (Why would you need to do this? I have no idea.)

Aluminum construction knocks 1,000 pounds from the outgoing LR4, helping performance both on and off the beaten path. The car comes with up to nine USB ports, six 12-volt charging points, and a Wi-Fi hotspot. All three rows can be equipped with heated seats, the first two rows can also be cooled, while front passengers can get massaging seats, too.

Want to take your Discovery to the beach or park it for a long bike ride? Land Rover has an "Activity Key" wristband that allows the car to be locked while the regular key is disabled and left inside the car. Land Rover suggests the wristband wearer can then enjoy outdoor activities — running, swimming, or cycling — without needing to haul the key around.

Then there's all the outdoor activities the Discovery itself can engage in: ground clearance is 11.1-inches, while maximum water wading depth is a hair under three feet. There's a 340-horsepower, 332 lb-ft of torque, supercharged 3-liter gasoline V6 or a 254-horsepower turbocharged diesel V6 that churns out 443 lb-ft of torque from 1750 rpm.

If you want to explore the world, this may be the car for you.

Land Rover Discovery Gallery