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Future models - Land Rover - Discovery Sport

Paris show: Land Rover Discovery Sport revealed

Singled out: The Discovery Sport is so important to the future of Land Rover that the all-new SUV was the only vehicle on the Land Rover stand at the Paris Motor media preview.

Land Rover dumps Freelander for all-new Discovery Sport

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Land Rover logo3 Oct 2014

LAND ROVER says its new Land Rover Discovery Sport will bring fresh customers to the British off-road vehicle brand when it becomes the new entry model to the range after the death of the Freelander next year.

The Discovery Sport was officially unveiled at the Paris motor show this week ahead of its Australian arrival in April 2015.

Speaking to GoAuto last month, Land Rover Australia public affairs executive James Scrimshaw said that while the Discovery Sport would take the Freelander's place as the brand's new compact SUV it was not a direct replacement for Freelander.

“The car was designed from the outset to be different to Freelander,” he said.

With its clam-shell bonnet, two-bar hexagonal mesh grille and wrap around headlights the Discovery Sport’s face is reminiscent of the Range Rover Evoque with which much of the front architecture is shared. From the B-pillar back, however, the platform is all-new.

The Discovery Sport uses a lightweight bodyshell made from aluminium and steel.

It is 4590mm long - 239mm shorter than the seven-seat Discovery. A third row of two seats folds out of the cargo area.

Land Rover design director and chief creative officer Gerry McGovern said the Discovery Sport was the most accomplished vehicle in its segment and said he expected it to draw a new type of buyer to the Land Rover brand.

“(It is) designed and engineered to be the world’s most capable and versatile premium compact SUV,” he said. “This is a vehicle that will appeal not only to existing Land Rover customers but to a whole new group of people who may never have considered Land Rover before.” Three variants will be available - the TD4 powered by a 110kW/400Nm 2.2-litre turbo-diesel four-cylinder engine the SD4 with the same engine but making 140kW/420Nm and the Si4 with its 2.0-litre 177kW/340Nm turbo-petrol four cylinder.

The diesels come with a choice of six-speed manual gearbox or nine-speed automatic transmission, while the petrol is nine-speed auto only.

Buyers will be able to choose from three three trim levels – SE, HSE and the top-of-the-range HSE luxury.

Inside the plush cabin a slab-like dashboard has strong lines with an integrated eight-inch screen for the new infotainment system to be rolled out across the Discovery range.

The Discovery Sport is being promoted as capable off road vehicle but with car-like ride and handling honed by testing at the Nurburgring Nordschleife. A new multi-link rear axle has been a key element in the SUV’s on-road dynamics.

Land Rover said the Sport’s design cues hint at the future look of the Discovery range.

Emphasising the importance of the Discovery Sport to Land Rover it was the only vehicle exhibited by the British brand at the media preview day at the Paris motor show.

Australian prices will be announced closer to the Discovery Sport’s local launch in April 2015 with cars available for sale from May.

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