This picture reveals the interior of the new Land Rover Discovery Sport for the first time. The Discovery Sport is Land Rover’s new compact seven-seater model, which will replace the current Freelander in 2015, slotting beneath the new full-size Land Rover Discovery 5 in the British 4x4 maker’s family.
The image reveals that the Discovery Sport will tone down much of the futuristic, minimalist design that featured on the Land Rover Discovery Vision concept car revealed at the 2014 New York Motor Show. However, familiar Land Rover cabin cues remain, like the large central touchscreen display, the tall, upright dashboard, and the hooded instrument dials fitted into deep Evoque-style lenses.
In a break with the outgoing Freelander’s design, moving the cabin air vents from beside the screen to underneath it has allowed Land Rover to stretch the display’s size, and add extra buttons either side for menu shortcuts.
The rest of the switchgear for the climate control system is hidden under a rudimentary disguise, but is expected to follow the Land Rover norm of large rotary dials controlling temperature and fan speed.
This Discovery Sport test mule is fitted with a manual gearbox. It’s likely that Land Rover will seek to offer an entry-level Discovery Sport fitted with a manual and front-wheel drive, aimed at snaring buyers from the lower end of the BMW X3 and Audi Q5 range.
Four-wheel drive will of course feature on pricier Discovery Sport models, along with Land Rover’s Terrain Response off-road technology, and the nine-speed automatic gearbox already offered in the Range Rover Evoque.
With a smarter cabin, the option of seven-seat capacity, and more rakish looks inspired by the Discovery Vision concept, it’s likely the Discovery Sport will be priced a little higher than the ageing Freelander, which costs from £23,710. More details will be revealed closer to the Discovery Sport’s debut at the Paris motor show in October 2014.