Not everything Land Rover touches turns to aluminum. The latest Range Rover and Range Rover Sport? Well, yes, those have gone completely in with the lightweight metal structure–but not the dashing Evoque compact crossover.
And not the replacement for the Land Rover LR2, which should draw its last breath for the current model year. Its replacement will be the 2015 Land Rover Discovery Sport, which serves as a coming-out for a new company styling theme, and a new naming structure.
The Discovery Sport owes some of its underpinnings to the steel-bodied Evoque, which itself evolved from the LR2. But it’s been stretched and pulled into a longer, wider form. It wears some aluminum body panels, but not down to its core. It’s still a compact SUV, but now it’s one good for seating seven passengers when its rearmost fold-away seats are counted.
2015 Land Rover Discovery Sport Price and Review
The Discovery Sport is bigger in all directions than the outgoing LR2. The SUV’s front end falls in line with the automaker’s latest design language thanks to styling cues such as sharp, elongated halogen headlights and a thin radiator grille, while daytime running lights designed to look like a compass hint at the Sport’s off-road capacity. Out back, the Discovery Sport features an upright hatch and tail lamps that are loosely inspired by the ones found on the smaller Evoque.
Buyers will be able to choose from nine exterior colors and five alloy wheel designs offered with either silver or gloss black finishes. A two-tone paint job will be available at an extra cost, and an optional Black Pack will bring gloss black trim on the grille, the door mirrors and the front fender vents as well as blacked-out emblems.
2015 Land Rover Discovery Sport Release Date and Price
The new Discovery Sport is expected to hit the showrooms in early 2015 with a base price of $38,025 (destination charge included), which makes it the least expensive Land Rover available in North America. The greatest advantage that comes with the 2015 Land Rover Discovery Sport is its large cabin and cargo space that allows the use of the third-row seating. With its 180.7-inches in length, which is 9-inches longer than the current Evoque, it can accomodate up to seven passengers, but the third row is intended mainly for small children. However, the 2015 Discovery Sport doesn’t get the all-new iQ aluminum platform featured by the new Jaguar XE. Instead, it will be based on a substantially modified version of the same platform that already underpins the Freelander and Evoque models.
2015 Land Rover Discovery Sport . When it comes to exterior styling, the 2015 Land Rover Discovery Sport offers a truly stunning design. Gerry McGovern and his team made the new compact SUV lower and narrower compared with the Freelander, making it more akin to Range Rovers. On the other hand, the British carmaker is expecting its Discovery family to offer an overall leisure-orientated feel in contrast with the luxurious Range Rover lineup. But generally speaking, the new look is definitely more premium than what we’ve been expecting from the Discovery models thus far.
The Discovery Sport offers seating for up to seven passengers in a 2 + 3 + 2 configuration, a setup made possible by the more generous dimensions, but the third row is designed primarily for small children. Both the third and the second row of seats can fold flat into the floor when extra cargo space is needed.
The dashboard features a simple, functional design and the bulk of the switches are neatly arranged on the center console. The analog instrument cluster packs a five-inch thin-film transistor (TFT) screen that can be configured by the driver to provide a wide array of information about the vehicle and its surroundings.
An eight-inch color touch screen on the dashboard runs the next generation of Land Rover’s infotainment system. Select Discovery Sport models can be fitted with Jaguar – Land Rover’s InControl Apps technology, a smartphone integration software designed to work seamlessly with both Apple and Android devices. Passengers can access the bulk of their phone’s features on the touch screen and use additional purpose-designed apps to book a hotel room, get parking information, check traffic and make conference calls.
Well-equipped models offer LED headlights, a panoramic sunroof, heated front seats, power-adjustable second-row seats and voice commands in addition to four 12-volt outlets and six USB ports.
Under the Hood
At launch, the Discovery Sport will be exclusively offered with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that generates 240 horsepower at 5,500 rpms and 250 lb-ft. of torque from 1,750 rpms. The four-banger traces its roots to Ford’s EcoBoost engine, making it one of the last vestige from the era when Land Rover was bundled together with Jaguar, Volvo and Aston Martin under the Premium Automotive Group umbrella.
The 2.0-liter will send power to all four wheels via a nine-speed automatic transmission developed by ZF and a Haldex all-wheel drive system. Performance data and fuel economy figures will be published closer to the Sport’s on-sale date.
Buyers in Europe will have access to a 2.2-liter four-cylinder turbodiesel engine fitted with start/stop technology, but the oil-burner is not likely to make its way on this side of the pond. Similarly, the Sport’s six-speed manual transmission will remain on the Old Continent.
Land Rover promises the Sport is fairly capable off-road thanks in part to 8.3 inches of ground clearance. The SUV boasts approach, departure and breakover angles of 25, 31 and 21 degrees, respectively, and the lower trim on the bumper can be removed to increase the approach angle if needed. The Sport is designed to tackle 45-degree gradients and drive through 23 inches of water.
The latest generation of Land Rover’s Terrain Response technology increases the Sport’s off-road chops. Terrain Response has four modes: General, Grass/Gravel/Snow, Mud and Ruts and Sand. Terrain Response also includes a host of driving aids such as hill descent control, dynamic stability control, electronic traction control, roll stability control and gradient release control. A lane departure warning system, autonomous emergency braking, park assist and traffic sign recognition are available at an extra cost to help the Sport navigate the urban jungle.
The 2015 Land Rover Discovery Sport will go on sale in early 2015. The SUV will start at $37,995 before a mandatory $925 destination charge is factored in.
2015 Discovery Sport SUV Specs
The 2015 Land Rover Discovery Sport will be powered by a single four-cylinder powertrain. It is a turbocharged 2.0-liter that makes 240 horsepower and 250 pound-feet of torque, coupled with the ZF nine-speed automatic transmission. The same drivetrain can be found in the current Evoque which has the fuel economy of 21-mpg city/30 mpg highway. The Discovery Sport is expected to deliver a similar fuel economy, while its top speed should reach 124 mph. Also, it officially needs 7.8 seconds to go from 0 to 60 mph.
The new Discovery Sport will be loaded with all sorts of technology and safety features. An all-new infotainment system will feature an eight-inch touchscreen that has the ability to operate as a smarthphone with „pinch and zoom“ functionality. Also, Land Rover’s InControl apps include a wide range of features, including satellite navigation, Internet radio, on-board WiFi and 17-speaker Meridian sound system. Between the two main analogue instrument dials there will be a five-inch TFT screen that displays various information. Among the safety features offered with the 2015 Land Rover Discovery Sport, expect autonomous emergency braking that can be activated at speeds below 50 mph, with a pedestrian airbag at the base of the windshield. Some of the other safety systems include lane departure warning and traffic sign recognition.
The upcoming 2015 Land Rover Discovery Sport will be produced at the Halewood plant in Merseyside, England.
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