After some teasing and one awesome concept vehicle, Land Rover has officially unveiled its all-new Discovery Sport. Like all models bearing the Land Rover badge, the Discovery Sport needs to perfectly combine off-road capabilities and a luxurious feel.
The Discovery Sport will take the place of the outdated LR2 here in the U.S., and it will arrive with a body style that takes a little from the Range Rover line and a bit from the Evoque. From the front and rear, it is easy to tell that this is an all-new model, but the side profile view is distinctly Land Rover, making this models great for new buyers but acceptable to Land rover traditionalists.
Inside the cabin, the new Discovery Sport pulls off some incredible magic tricks, as it manages to cram enough seats into this 180.7-inch-long SUV to fit seven people. This capacity is courtesy of a unique 5+2 seating configuration, but keep in mind that like most 2+2 setups, the rearmost seats are not suitable for full-size adults on a long journey. As with all Land Rovers, the Discovery Sport’s cabin is fully loaded with goodies, like sliding and reclining second-row seats, a five-inch TFT display in the instrument cluster, soft-touch rotary controls, and more.
The greasy bits of the new Disco Sport are pulled straight from the Evoque lineup. This nets the new SUV a turbocharged, 2.0-liter engine that produces 240 horsepower at 5,500 rpm and 250 pound-feet of twist at 1,750 revs. Mated to this engine is the new, ZF-sourced 9HP48 nine-speed auto transmission, which is technically an eight-speed gearbox with a super-low first gear that it only uses in certain situations — it typically starts in second gear. As a Land Rover, all-wheel drive is, of course, a standard feature, as is Land Rover Terrain Response.
Likely the most shocking part of this entire reveal is the base price of this brand-new SUV. Land Rover has priced it from a relatively affordable $37,995 plus a $925 destination fee. For those keeping tabs, that is only $1,395 more than the outgoing LR2. Like all Land Rovers, this price will quickly shoot up with optional equipment.
The Discovery Sport will hit U.S. dealers in early 2015, which will make it a 2016 model year.