The hotly anticipated replacement for Land Rover’s Freelander series, the Discovery Sport, has been launced at the Virgin Galactic HQ in the U.S., Spaceport America. A defining part of the design has been to keep the family look as an evolution of the Freelander and clearly stamp the DNA of the Discovery range.
Spearheading what will be a revamped Discovery range, the Sport comes in a 5+2 seating configuration, features some high quality interior work including a new vertically mounted centre console graphic, multiple USB and 12V charging points to provide flexibility for the family and some innovative under the skin engineering, including a new multilink rear axle, which allows for the extra space to be found in the rear. Under the attractively styled front end will be a choice of two 420Nm diesel engines at 2.2L capacity or a petrol engine at 2.0L. A nine speed auto comes standard with the petrol whilst that or a six speed manual will be the transmission of choice with the oiler.
Although a seemingly smaller vehicle, it will not lack the ability of the fabled Land Rover range. Engineered with the off roadminded driver in its sights, the Discovery Sport will allow approach and departure angles of 25 and 31 degrees, whilst breakover is 21 degrees. It’s a swimmer, with wading depth rated at 600 mm, the legendary Terrain Response software is standard, whilst the aforementioned multilink axle meets up with long travel suspension to offer a class leading ride and off road ability package. Safety isn’t forgotten,with the addition of a pedestrian airbag (first in class again), a high strength bodyshell with ultra high strength steel and aluminuim construction plus autonomous braking.
The interior also features a HUD (Head Up Display), eight inch navitainment system and tilt/slide second row seating.
Phil Popham, Jaguar Land Rover Group Marketing Director, said: “Not only does Discovery Sport mark the introduction of the first new member of our expanding Discovery family, it also brings the versatility of 5+2 seating to the compact premium SUV market,” and “Discovery Sport’s versatility is a key differentiator. It is quite simply the most accomplished vehicle in its segment.”
Manufacture of the new Discovery Sport is due to commence soon, with sales due to commence in May of 2015, for Land Rover’s 170 plus country markets. The launch has also seen the unveiling of a worldwide competition, with four people able to win the chance to fly with Land Rover’s commercial partner, Virgin Galactic. Details can be found here: https://gotospace.landrover.com/au and details on the Discovery Sport can be found at www.landrover.com.au