Land Rover Discovery Sport
Land Rover has revealed the eagerly awaited arrival to the Freelander the Discovery Sport at Spaceport America. Wait….what? Why is it called a Discovery and not a Freelander? Well, you see, the Freelander never set the world on fire so what they have decided to do is ditch the Freelander name and try and emulate the success that they had with the Range Rover and Range Rover Sport family. The Sport is going to be cheaper than the main Discovery that will be revealed sometime next year.
The design is not far of the Vision Discovery Concept that was unveiled a couple of months ago. I was not the biggest fan of the concept but seeing the design applied to a production model, I believe that Land Rover has nailed it.
The Discovery Sport has some design touches that manages to span the entire Land Rover/ Range Rover family while still having an identity of its own. It is 80mm longer than the Freelander but 15mm lower and has a shape that at 0.36 is very aerodynamic for an SUV.
Inside, if you were expecting something very high-tec looking, then you would be disappointed. But it’s traditional look definitely looks very robust and one that would withstand the occasional knocks and scrapes with ease.
Niceties include an eight-inch screen and in control apps for things like 3G hotspot control and emergency services access. You also get a heads-up display and a long list of optional extras.
The extra length giving to the Discovery Sport over the Freelander means that Land Rover are able to squeeze in two extra seats giving the SUV a 5+2 interior layout. The last row of seats can fold flat into the boot for increased storage capacity.
Underneath the Discovery Sport, is a platform that is very similar to that found in the Range Rover Evoque. The body is made from a mixture of high strength steel and aluminium. This has helped keep the wait of the Discovery Sport down to a very respectable 1817kg. The Discovery Sport is available in either 2WD or 4WD but the 4WD version has impressive off-road performance with approach, departure and breakover angles of 25, 31 and 21 degrees respectively, Terrain Response® technology, and the ability to wade to 600mm.
At launch in January, the Discovery Sport will be powered by either a 240 horsepower 2.0-Litre turbocharged petrol engine or a 190 horsepower 2.2-Litre turbodiesel (diesel power only available in the UK), which features stop-start technology, high-pressure direct injection, low-friction internal components and smart regenerative charging for outstanding performance. Both versions are available with a choice of a six speed manual transmission or a nine-speed automatic.
At the Discovery's reveal, Land Rover also launched the Land Rover Galactic Discovery competition. Four friends are set to win a once-in-a-lifetime trip to space with Land Rover's global partner, Virgin Galactic as part of an innovative digital competition at www.landrover.com/gotospace.
The Land Rover Discovery Sport will have a starting price in the UK and US just below £30,000 and sub $40,000 respectively.