Land Rover revealed the new Discovery Sport, a versatile premium compact SUV that is the first member of the new Discovery vehicle family. A dynamic design with a compact footprint provides seven-passenger seating in a "5+2" configuration. The 2015 Discovery Sport will deliver a highly refined combination of performance, safety and efficiency thanks to a body shell of high-strength steel and lightweight aluminum, a 240hp turbocharged 2.0-liter engine, nine-speed automatic transmission and standard all-wheel drive.
New Land Rover innovations debut in the Discovery Sport, including available Autonomous Emergency Braking and a new touchscreen infotainment system.
"The launch of Discovery Sport is a pivotal moment in the 66-year history of Land Rover," said Phil Popham, Jaguar Land Rover Group Marketing Director. "Not only does it 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."
Designed and engineered at the Land Rover Development Center in the UK, the Discovery Sport will be produced at the company's award-winning manufacturing facility in Halewood, Liverpool, in the United Kingdom. It goes on sale in early 2015 alongside the existing seven-seat Land Rover LR4 in the US, which is sold as the Discovery in over 170 markets worldwide.
The progressive design of the Discovery Sport sets the tone for a new generation of Land Rover Discovery premium SUVs. A dynamic, emotional design sets the Discovery Sport apart from luxury competitors, yet this new model also offers greater versatility than other premium compact SUVs. Its seven-seat capability and elegantly integrated storage areas make the Discovery Sport an ideal family vehicle. High-quality materials and finishes typical of Land Rover also distinguish the driving experience.
Roomy Interior, Compact Footprint
Some compact SUVs go for visual impact. Others prioritize space usage and versatility. The new Land Rover Discovery Sport combines the two and also offers the brand's renowned all-terrain capability, with the ability to scale a 45-degree incline.
Built on a 107.9-inch (2,741mm) wheelbase for ride smoothness and generous middle-row legroom, the Discovery Sport nevertheless could take a "compacts only" parking space with its 180.7-inch. (4.59 mm) overall length. The vehicle's proportions put the wheels out at the corners, contributing to both a low center of gravity and a "planted" stance.
Aside from the overall shape, details including a clamshell hood and distinctive two-bar grille with hexagonal mesh connect it to its' Land Rover identity. Large outboard air intakes and LED fog lamps in the front bumper convey a strong sense of "sport," while the slim, wraparound headlamps are reminiscent of designs used on Range Rover vehicles. Round daytime-running lights (DRLs) are punctuated at four equal intervals to represent the points of a compass, a nod to the vehicle's considerable capabilities.
Halogen headlamps and DRLs will be standard, and available trim upgrades will include Xenon headlamps and LEDs (light emitting diodes) for the DRLs. The tail lamp design echoes the headlamps' slim, wraparound design, accentuating the dynamic bodylines.
A pronounced step from the rear edge of the hood into the rising beltline, combined with a roofline that tapers subtly downward toward the rear, creates a dramatic profile and sense of motion. The C-pillar rakes dramatically forward toward the gloss-black window surrounds, allowing for an optional contrast roof design.
A new blade-like interpretation of the signature Land Rover fender vents sweeps into a dynamic bodyline that continues to the rear of the vehicle. The robust wheel-arch moldings pay homage to Land Rover heritage.
With the design comes function, too, especially with regard to reducing wind noise. An acoustic laminated windshield, along with the vehicle's aerodynamic details -- such as specially shaped A-pillars and door mirrors - help create a hushed cabin. Aerodynamic detailing at the rear helps to reduce road grime or dirt picked up by the body, especially on unpaved roads or in winter driving. Skid plates are functional and create a design element repeated front and rear.
At the rear of the vehicle, the spoiler features inner extensions that improve aerodynamic efficiency. Advanced LED light-pipe technology used for the center high-mount stoplight (CHMSL) uses creates a slender and elegant ribbon of light.
The Discovery Sport will offer a wide palette of exterior color options: Fuji White, Santorini Black, Corris Grey, Indus Silver, Loire Blue, Scotia Grey, Kaikoura Stone, Firenze Red, and a limited edition color, Yulong White.
An available "Black Pack" trim package emphasizes the vehicle's sporty stance, with gloss-black used for the grille, door mirror caps, front fender vents, and badging. The package also includes a choice of 19- or 20-inch alloy wheels. A contrast roof, available in Santorini Black, extends to the base of the A-pillars.
LAND ROVER ENGINEERING
At the core of the new Land Rover Discovery Sport is the outstanding capability that's been the hallmark of the company's vehicles for nearly half a century. As it has done with all its models, Land Rover instilled the Discovery Sport with a compelling combination of off-road capability and on-road dynamics. Interior packaging and safety innovations make the new model an ideal family vehicle, while extensive use of intelligent lightweight materials and an efficient powertrain reduce fuel costs and environmental impact.
Lightweight Unibody with Multi-link Rear Suspension
The Land Rover Discovery Sport body shell uses a combination of high-strength steel, ultra high-strength boron steel and lightweight aluminum. Hot-stamped boron steel is used in key parts of the crash safety cell, including the A- and B-pillars, enabling them to have a slim design for excellent visibility.
The hood, front fenders, roof and tailgate are aluminum. Using the lightweight material at the vehicle's extremes, far from the center of gravity, contributes to enhanced agility.
The new platform shares some front end architecture and components with the award-winning Range Rover Evoque, including a magnesium crossbeam for high torsional rigidity and reduced weight.
Turbocharged Power and Efficiency
The new Land Rover Discovery gets its efficient power from the same turbocharged four-cylinder gasoline engine as the Range Rover Evoque. A nine-speed automatic transmission and Haldex All-Wheel Drive are both standard, for confident on-road handling and all-terrain capability.
The 2.0-liter gasoline engine features an advanced low-inertia turbocharger, high-pressure direct fuel injection and variable valve timing to deliver exceptional driveability throughout the rev range. Twin balancer shafts ensure high levels of refinement. Smart regenerative charging prioritizes charging the battery while the vehicle is decelerating, reducing the electrical system's demands on the engine.
Producing 240hp at 5,500rpm and 250 lb.-ft. of torque from 1,750 RPM, the all-alloy engine offers excellent performance and flexibility from a light, compact package. Specially treated piston rings and tappets minimize friction for optimal efficiency, and a sheet-metal exhaust manifold helps to warm up the engine quickly to reduce emissions during short drives.
Nine-speed Automatic Transmission
The ZF 9HP48 nine-speed automatic transmission, also featured in the Range Rover Evoque, uses closely spaced gear ratios to provide seamless response and allow for a very low first gear and powerful mid-range acceleration. Second gear, which is approximately equivalent to first gear in transmissions with fewer ratios, is used to start off from a standstill to maximize efficiency and refinement. Drivers can, however, manually select first gear when maximum acceleration is required or for a low ratio in challenging off-road situations. A rotary gearshift controller rises silently from the center console when the engine is started. Steering wheel paddle shifters offer complete driver control for dynamic driving, precision off-road maneuvers and manual gear selection while towing.