New 2015 Land Rover Discovery Sport revealed in Paris

2 Oct, 2014 2:30pm Steve Fowler

New Land Rover Discovery Sport shown in Paris - with official pics plus details of the price, specifications and engine options

The new Land Rover Discovery Sport has made its debut in Paris - both inside the show hall and outside on the River Seine. The car was shown to the public for the first time on a huge 80-metre long barge on the River Seine ahead of the main event.

The barge features some obstacles for the Disco Sport to take on and show off its off-road prowess as it floats past the Eiffel Tower and Notre-Dame Cathedral. The barge also features seven pairs of wellington boots, which are supposed to show off the new seven-seater's 5+2 layout.

The Land Rover stand at the Paris Motor Show will reflect the brand's determination to get the Discovery Sport in front of customers: it will only feature the new compact SUV.

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Discovery Sport - the first of three new Land Rovers

The new Range Rover line-up is complete (for now…), while the first of the new Land Rover Defenders won’t make production until at least 2018. But this replacement for the Freelander is the first of at least three models in the new Discovery family, with a new version of the current, larger Discovery due to debut in 2016.

The new Land Rover Discovery Sport model takes a very different approach to the Freelander, yet compared with the new Jaguar XE the Disco seems to be a poor relation. So there’s no all-new iQ [Al] platform and aluminium body – the Discovery Sport sits on a heavily modified version of the platform that’s used for the Freelander and Range Rover Evoque

Land Rover Discovery Sport: engine options

More controversially, there’s no new Ingenium family engine under the bonnet, initially at least. Instead, the Disco Sport launches with just the 187bhp 2.2-litre SD4 engine used elsewhere in the Jaguar Land Rover range.

It drives through a slick nine-speed auto or six-speed manual, four or two-wheel-drive transmission, but emissions of 157g/km and a claimed average of 46mpg are nothing spectacular. Wait until later next year, though, and you can have a Sport with the new eD4 turbodiesel and emissions from around 119g/km.

One engine and two gearboxes are initially offered with prices ranging from £32,395 to £42,995 but the eD4 diesel will arrive later in 2015 with a price tag under £30,000.

At launch there will be four trim levels to choose from – SE, SE Tech (when navigation becomes standard), HSE and HSE Lux – with prices ranging from £32,395 to £42,995.

Land Rover Discovery Sport: design and dimensions

That, however, is unlikely to stop the many thousands who will flock to another stunning Land Rover design from Gerry McGovern and his team. The new car is longer, yet lower and narrower than the Freelander, and while clearly related to the new Range Rovers, shows the different direction the more leisure-orientated Discovery family is taking.

“It’s important to get the right level of differentiation between the families,” McGovern told us. “The Discoveries are more of a radical departure than the Range Rovers, but we’re tailoring vehicles to individual customers’ needs. Existing Discovery owners told us they wanted something more premium and less brutal, so that’s what we’re delivering.”

The car looks more rounded in the flesh than in these photographs, with some stunning detailing around the front lights (with new LED signature) and grille, creases along the sides and the number plate recess on the boot. But it’s the proportions and stance of the car that stand out most – this is a car with all the family friendly features you’d expect of a Discovery, but with a new sense of style and, as the name suggests, sportiness. 

That’s highlighted by the reverse-angled C-pillar. “We’ve given the C-pillar far more attack and angle,” said McGovern. “There’s lots of character to the design and you’ve got to live with the car to see that.” Yet in spite of the sporty looks, visibility for driver and passengers was key.

LR Discovery Sport interior and safety technology

The interior design is dominated by vertical elements – a feature of the new Discovery family – with what McGovern describes as a “premium, but rugged” style. There’s some delicious detailing again, like the ribbed leather on the seats inspired by high-end watch design. 

Versatility remains an important Discovery philosophy and there’ll be seven seats in all UK Sports – although the rearmost seats are only suitable for children, young teens or small adults – and numerous clever cubbies in the cabin.

Tech plays a big part inside with an all-new infotainment system featuring an eight-inch touchscreen which operates like a smartphone with swiping and ‘pinch and zoom’ functionality. 

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Land Rover’s InControl apps feature everything from Internet radio to sat-nav, there’s on-board WiFi and you can specify a 17-speaker Meridian sound system. Plus, between the two main analogue instrument dials is a five-inch TFT screen, which displays key information, including off-road mode.

There’s standard autonomous emergency braking that works at speeds up to 50mph, while a pedestrian airbag will pop out at the base of the windscreen if the car detects an impact. Other advanced safety kit available includes lane departure warning, traffic sign recognition and stability systems to aid towing.

Land Rover Discovery Sport: performance

That heavily modified platform features a clever compact multi-link rear axle that not only offers ride and handling benefits, but also allows a full-size spare wheel to be fitted while still offering decent luggage space inside, even with the foldaway third row seats. 

Although the Sport doesn’t get an all-aluminium bodyshell like the XE, extensive use of stiff yet lightweight materials in the body allows engineers to tune the chassis for the optimum ride and handling balance – it’s been tested on everything from British B-roads to Germany’s Nürburgring race track. Just don’t get too excited – the Sport will only do 0-60mph in 8.4 seconds with a 117mph top speed.

In spite of the sleek body, there’s still 212mm of ground clearance and impressive approach and departure angles for serious off-road work. And that’ll be helped, of course, by a suite of mechanical and electronic engineering trickery to ensure the Discovery Sport is best in class when it goes off-road. 

There’s a Haldex four-wheel-drive system and Terrain Response to tune steering, throttle, gearbox and four-wheel-drive system according to the conditions. And if you really want to get yourself into deep water, the Discovery wades to depths of 600mm.

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Discovery Sport production at Halewood plant

Production of the forthcoming Discovery Sport will take place at its Halewood plant in Merseyside. Around 250 new jobs have also been created to help manage production of the new compact SUV.

More than £200m has been invested in the plant, while the additional jobs to support JLR’s growth will see the Halewood workforce reach 4,750 – more than treble the number employed back in 2010.

Now check out our first ride review of the new Land Rover Discovery Sport and don't forget to tell us what you think of the new Land Rover in the comments section below...

Disqus - noscript

I like the Pictures of the Baby Land Rover Discovery that has been spied

Is it the Grand Evoque not the Baby Discovery

One Evoque's more than enough!b

i just hope they haven't made it yet another variant of the evoque style. these car designers, they're getting a bit lazy, one design for all.

Babies I thought ere small offspring's of their parents not bloody great elephants that seat 7 .

I wonder what they'll call the Discovery's replacement? Hope they use another Royal Navy Survey Ships name. Endeavour. Endurance.

Testing in germany ey?? Why does it say 'Malt Shovel Inn 250yds' in the back ground???
That's in Gaydon!

Can't be a baby Discovery without the "hump" line on the roof!

Agree Smiffy. Testing in Germany with UK Road signs.....

Looks like a cross between Freelander 2 and Evoque! I like it!

So 'three distinct pillars' means making every Land Rover look like a Range Rover? Not a bad thing, but distinct it is not.

One articles says that the Freelander 2 will be replaced by Freelander 3 in late 2014 and the next article says Freelander 2 will be replaced by Baby Land Rover Discover in 2015. Which is which? Are they really going to update the Freelander 2 for 2014 and then make it obsolete by 2015? Confused -- to say the least.

Agree. Something fundamentally wrong with Evoque styling. Why it is so popular(?) is beyond me . Roof line and the waist line almost meet at the rear giving the impression that something has fallen on the roof and the roof has caved in. As a result the rear windows and the tailgate window are too small. And when viewed from the rear Evoque look like Kim K bending over. Ugly .. Ugly and Ugly.

LR have turned to penny-pinching ebrochures on their website now. Their attitude being if you want a brochure made out of paper, ask a dealer. I asked my dealer, who after what seemed like an eternity and left me feeling as if I'd asked for half an hour in bed with his wife, finally handed over a rather scruffy 2013 model year brochure. Sorry LR, you've just lost a customer with your penny-pinching ways.Bring back paper brochures on your website so those of us who prefer them can order them without hassle!

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The replacements for the Freelander and Discovery 4 as well as the introduction of two other models is a 4-5 year project for Land Rover and in time it will all make sense and fit together as a family of cars.

Remember, the Range Rover used to be a single model, but is now a healthy family of three, and will eventually be four.

The Discovery Sport will be a huge leap from Freelander - a similar leap as the Discovery 3 was from the 2 in 2003/4.

The price for an entry level will be around £28K not £25K.

Lets hope the new engines are good!

Agree that tree brochures should be easily available, though I prefer most of my reading matter in e form.

Entry Level price will be around the £25k mark, any higher for the base model DS, any higher and it will push it out of the fleet and business markets, and will make he DSXL and D4 D4XL into RR territory.

Wrong. Entry price is £27 to £28k. The current Freelander is available as an S entry model, which few customers buy. The HSE trim level is far more popular than the S model, with the average for Freelander 2 being around £29K.

Land Rover will be looking for at least a £4K increase on the older model. historically, Land Rover has been seen as a cheaper alternative to Range Rover. With the introduction of the Discovery Range, Land. Rover will be offering customers something different to the Range Rover cars, not cheaper. The new car will be aimed pretty much squarely at the X3 as the ultimate family SUV in its class. Yes, The car will take sales off the. Époque, but only when the Range is complete will customers be able to decide properly which brand is for them.

Ps: sorry for all the spelling mistakes. Replied on iPad and it won't let me change the mistakes.

Sorry but on this occasion you are incorrect, the base cost will be roughly the same, with higher models creeping up in price.

They need and will have a base model of that price to tempt people in.

Well, we'll see when prices are confirmed. the Discovery Sport is

One of Land Rover's big appeals is how Iconic they look, and how they are instantly recognisable as a Land Rover. They should all share DNA as they are all part of the Land Rover brand, but have their own distinct features. It could be worse, they could all of gone with how Audi went...!

Where does it say " Malt Shovel Inn 250 yds" and why are they driving on the right if they are in Gaydon?

Shame it looks nothing like the concept which looks fantastic. I was almost ready to order one. When are these designers just going to have the bottle to go for it once and for all?

That's how Evoques are made - they take a Discovery, lift it upside down to 5 metres then drop it on the roof - puts 10k on the price

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