After spying the upcoming 2015 Land Rover Discovery Sport this past January and seeing the Discovery Vision concept at the New York auto show, we knew that the next-gen Discovery Sport would take on fresh and forward-thinking styling cues. Thanks to images of a camouflaged prototype of the 2015 Land Rover Discovery Sport, we now can also confirm that (at least in the U.K.) it will arrive with standard third-row seating.
The new Discovery Sport will replace the existing Land Rover Freelander (or LR2 here in the States). Land Rover promises that the Discovery Sport will “[retain] a more compact footprint than traditional 5-seat SUVs,” supporting our predictions that the LR2 replacement will ride on a modified version of the Range Rover Evoque platform. Expect various turbocharged four-cylinder engines and, of course, legitimate off-road capabilities.
In place of the sharp and edgy styling we’ve come to know from the Evoque, the 2015 Land Rover Discovery Sport will sport more rounded lines. The overall shape will largely resemble that of the Discovery Vision concept, with its wide stance, sizable ground clearance, horizontal lines, and set-back C-pillar. Aerodynamic improvements are apparent, noting the revised front fascia and rear roof spoiler.
Our European bureau chief Georg Kacher previously predicted that the 2015 Land Rover Discovery Sport would have third-row seating in a long-wheelbase version of the Discovery Sport, possibly dubbed the Discovery Grand, destined for 2016 or 2017. While that model may still be in the pipeline, this seven-seat Discovery Sport is meant to be a smaller, sleeker alternative to the full-size Discovery which is currently called LR4 in the U.S. For the next generation of these SUVs, though, we expect the Discovery name to supplant both the LR2 and LR4 nameplates, bringing the U.S. stable in step with that of Europe.
Stay tuned for more news about the 2015 Land Rover Discovery Sport and its impending arrival in the U.S. after it debuts in Europe later this year.