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2015 Land Rover Discovery Sport revealed

New Freelander-replacing Discovery Sport promises segment-best versatility and capability.

Land Rover has revealed the first official digital images of the new Discovery Sport SUV, eight months ahead of the Freelander-replacement’s international on-sale date. 

The Discovery Sport is set to compete with the new Lexus NX, Audi Q5 and BMW X3, Land Rover claims the new Discovery Sport is the world’s most versatile and capable premium compact SUV.

“Our challenge has been to combine premium design with exceptional versatility; the two attributes must work in harmony,” Land Rover design boss Gerry McGovern said. 

Optional occasional third row seating -taking the passenger count up to seven - is unique to the Discover Sport’s segment, without growing externally beyond its premium rivals.

Key to packaging the extra row of seats is an all-new compact multilink rear suspension design that also promises sufficient travel for off-road use. 

Land Rover claims the new Discovery Sport is the world’s most versatile and capable premium compact SUV.

Also aiding the Discovery Sport to live up to its off-road heritage is an official approach, departure and rampover angles of angle of 25, 31, and 21 degrees respectively, a wading depth of 600mm, and Land Rover’s Terrain Response off-road traction control system. 

Featuring a similar tall-boy stance and tapering beltline as the Discovery Vision Concept shown at the New York motor show in April, the production Discovery Sport features deeper head and taillights than the larger concept, but a strong family resemblance to the rest of the Land Rover/Range Rover lineup. 

The new body is a blend of high-strength steel and aluminium, and packages a pedestrian airbag, auto emergency braking to deliver on safety expectations.

The interior design is a significant step ahead of the current Freelander, promising tilt and slide second row seating, clever storage spaces, along with up to four 12V power sockets and six USB ports to keep up with the demands of modern electronic devices. An 8-inch multimedia screen and heads-up display will also feature. 

From launch, the exclusively all-wheel drive Discovery Sport will be available with versions of the existing Si4 2.0-litre petrol turbo and 2.2-litre turbodiesel engines, with efficiency-boosting stop/start and regenerative braking along with a choice of six-speed manual or Land Rover’s new nine-speed automatic transmission.