By: IOL Motoring Staff

Whitley, UK - Land Rover has parted with the most revealing pictures yet of its new Discovery Sport, while also announcing that the new SUV will sport seven seats as standard.

The Discovery Sport is expected to replace the current Freelander, and will be the smallest of a new family of Discovery models that will also include a direct replacement for the current Discovery.

Although the pictures are of a camouflaged prototype, they are the clearest indication yet of how the Discovery Sport production model will look when it hits showrooms early in 2015 - although the recent Discovery Vision Concept could also hold a few styling and technology clues.

A number of Discovery Sport Prototypes, complete with a wrap that reveals their '5+2' seating configuration, recently embarked on a final testing and development programme that will take place on several continents.

Despite offering the practicality of seven seats, Land Rover's design director Gerry McGovern says that the SUV still retains “a more compact footprint than traditional 5-seat SUVs.”

The Discovery Sport is likely to be revealed in full at the Paris Motor Show on 2 October, and will be built at the company's Halewood plant in the UK.