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Smallest Land Rover goes mild hybrid

Land Rover Discovery Sport gets mild-hybrid diesel in 2020 makeover

22 May 2019

LAND Rover will introduce mild-hybrid assistance technology on diesel engines for the updated 2020 Discovery Sport that is due to land in Australia about October.
Revealed in the United Kingdom overnight, the extensive makeover to the mid-sized luxury SUV will also deliver new styling, a roomier and more flexible premium interior, the latest Terrain 2 off-road capability, upgraded connectivity and new driver safety aids.
Ten petrol and diesel variants – all with seven seats – have been confirmed for Australia initially, although that will grow to 11 in the first half of next year when a plug-in hybrid variant will be added to the line-up.
Just one of those variants has been priced so far – the entry level 147kW petrol Discovery Sport S that will launch at $60,500 plus on-road costs. More prices can be expected next month. 
Land Rover Australia will offer the Discovery Sport in three specification levels – S, SE and HSE. Each of these can be upgraded with an R-Dynamics package.
A lot of the new features and technologies in the latest Discovery Sport have been borrowed from the all-new Range Rover Evoque that touches down in Australian showrooms next week.
These include four turbocharged 2.0-litre engines – two diesel and two petrol – all hooked up to a nine-speed automatic transmission. The Australian petrol line-up kicks off with the 147kW/320Nm P200 in the S, and follows up with the 184kW/365Nm P250 engine in the SE.
The diesels with their new 48-volt mild-hybrid assistance are the 132kW/430Nm D180 in the S and SE, and top-shelf 177kW/500Nm D240 in the flagship HSE.
The mild hybrid system employs a belt-driven starter-generator that uses regenerative braking to charge a lithium-ion battery under the floor and then provides assistance under acceleration to boost performance and reduce fuel consumption.
Land Rover says the engine shuts off under 17km/h when the driver applies the brakes, before redeploying the stored energy to assist the engine under acceleration.
The D180 engine is said to power the Discovery Sport from zero to 100km/h in 10.1 seconds while sipping 5.7 litres per 100km on the combined test cycle.
The more powerful D240 does the dash in 7.9s while drinking 6.4L/100km.
By comparison, the petrol P200 engine does 0-100km/h in 9.2s and uses 7.9L/100km, while the P250 accelerates to 100km/h in 7.8s and uses 8.0L/100km.
In all Discovery Sports, the rear wheels can be disconnected from the driveline when cruising to save fuel, re-engaging in less than 500 milliseconds.
Discovery Sport also gets the new Evoque’s Terrain Response 2 that automatically detects surface changes and adjusts the torque delivery to best suit the conditions.
Another addition is Advanced Tow Assist to make reversing a trailer more intuitive.
A reversing camera becomes standard on all variants. The driver can opt to use this as a rearview mirror by showing the rear camera view on the “smart rearview mirror” that becomes a video screen at the flick of a switch if, for example, the rear view is obscured by a high load in the boot.
A front camera can provide a forward view when off-roading – a handy tool when cresting a ridge or negotiating a steep decline.
Other active safety features include lane keep assist, autonomous emergency braking, front and rear warning and driver drowsiness monitor.
Externally, the latest Discovery Sport is distinguished by new-look LED headlights and redesigned grille and bumpers.
The designers have reworked the interior to give a more premium look to compete with a raft of newer competitors including the Volvo XC60, Audi Q5, BMW X3 and Mercedes-Benz GLC.
It now gets a digital TouchPro infotainment system, more premium materials and new seats across each of the three rows for improved comfort. The middle row also now splits 40:20:40 and gains a slide function, providing 24 combinations. With the two rear seat rows folded, luggage space is 1651 litres.
Second and third row occupants gain individual heating and ventilation controls, along with storage spaces that  include cupholders for the third-row occupants.
A Smart Settings system uses artificial intelligence algorithms to learn driver preferences, adjusting massage and seat positions, music and climate settings and steering column positioning accordingly.
TouchPro infotainment now offers Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smart phone mirroring, along with wireless charging and 4G WiFi hotspot.
In Australia, all Discovery Sports will come standard with a waterproof Activity Key wristband for times when the fob key is not convenient – at the beach, for example.
Launched in Australia in 2015, the current Discovery Sport is made on the same line and on the same premium platform as sister brand Range Rover’s Evoque.
To the end of May, Discovery Sport sales have slipped 25 per cent, to 789 units, in a market segment down 9.8 per cent.
It is now ranked sixth in sales behind its mainly European competitors headed by the Mercedes GLC (1680) and BMW X3 (1672).

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