By: IOL Motoring Staff
Whitley, England - The Land Rover Discovery is being completely reinvented as a whole 'family' of SUV models and the first to break cover is called the Discovery Sport.
The Discovery Sport replaces the Freelander and it's smaller than the current Discovery, which will continue to be sold alongside the new model until its own replacement arrives further down the line.
A PRACTICAL LANDY
The Sport takes most of its design inspiration from the recent Discovery Vision Concept and the front and rear ends remain faithful to the design language originally introduced by the Range Rover Evoque. But the Discovery Sport will be positioned as a more rational alternative to the latter.
Land Rover describes this new baby as "the world's most versatile and capable premium compact SUV" and its practicality should be a big selling point, with the new Landy offering seating for seven in a '5+2' seating configuration, which basically means space for five adults and two children.
ON AND OFF THE BEATEN TRACK
Its versatility also extends to the terrains upon which it claims to be capable - which should be just about everywhere. Expect it to dish up a comfy ride, as Land Rover describes the long-travel suspension as "supple" and there's also an "innovative" rear axle that claims to make it rewarding to drive on tar.
For bundu bashing, the Sport boasts approach, departure and breakover angles of 25, 31 and 21 degrees respectively as well as the ability to wade through 600mm-deep water and the latest version of Land Rover's Terrain Response system is on hand to help with traction on not-so-ideal surfaces.
Initially the Discovery Sport will be available only with Land Rover's 140kW 2.2-litre turbodiesel engine, mated to either a six-speed manual or nine-speed automatic gearbox, but the range will be expanded later in 2015 to include a front-wheel drive model with a more efficient eD4 turbodiesel motor.
The Discovery Sport is an advanced piece of engineering within its context, featuring a lightweight body shell build from a combination of aluminium and high-strength steel and offering a glut of modern features. These include a pedestrian airbag (a first in this class) as well as emergency auto-braking and an eight-inch touch-screen infotainment system.
WIN A TRIP TO SPACE!
The Discovery Sport could also send you into outer space, literally. Land Rover is running a worldwide competition that will allow one lucky winner to take three friends on a trip to space with Virgin Galactic. Enter HERE.
Back in the real world, the Discovery Sport will hit South African showrooms during the first quarter of 2015, following its public reveal at the Paris Motor Show in early October this year.