For years, a torquey turbo diesel engine has been the default powerplant for the majority of Land Rover Discoveries on the road.

Given its off-roading intent and sheer size, the 3.0-litre diesel V6 makes perfect sense, especially given its silky smoothness and class-leading torque among its direct competitors.

By Alex Forrest

Then, in June 2014, we saw the introduction of the SCV6, a supercharged V6 petrol engine which took the place of the thirsty and slow-selling 5.0-litre V8 petrol Discovery.

The SCV6 brings with it some of the technology from the V8 such as direct fuel injection and all-aluminium construction. It also introduces forced induction, which helps it push out 250kW at 6,500rpm and 450Nm between 3,500 and 5,000rpm.

As you’d expect, those outputs are less than the V8’s 276kW and 510Nm, but not by much, which is impressive given the V6 is a considerably smaller engine.

The other significant advantage brought by the supercharged V6 is its fuel efficiency and emissions, which compared to the V8 are down 18 per cent and 15 per cent respectively.  Further, the V6’s four-valve cylinder heads are made of recycled aluminium.

Still, when compared to the diesel, the petrol V6 uses more fuel and produces more CO2 emissions.

The petrol Discovery is completely different to drive compared with the diesel.

Instead of the diesel’s muted deep rumble and huge torque that’s available from virtually standstill, the V6 brings a characteristic supercharger whine, though it’s far from intrusive.

Power and torque delivery from the petrol powerplant is much more linear, rather than coming in the one big helping at low revs as it does in the diesel.

The other features that make the Disco the success it has been for so long are also present in the petrol V6 incarnation.

Like its diesel siblings, the petrol V6 sends its power through an eight-speed gearbox – controlled manually by paddle shifters – and then through a two-speed transfer case.

Land Rover’s proven and much-imitated Terrain Select off road drive mode functionality remains in the petrol version, and is among its best assets, along with its brilliant visibility from all seats and good overall build quality.

Land Rover Discovery SCV6 SE Specifications

Price driveaway (as tested): $84,900 plus on road costs
Engine: 3.0-litre supercharged petrol V6
Power: 250kW @ 6,500rpm
Torque: 450Nm @ 3,500-5,000rpm
Claimed fuel economy: 12litres/100km
ANCAP Rating: Not rated
CO2 Emissions: 285g/km