Our spy photographers caught what is expected to be called the Land Rover Discovery Sport, a replacement for the current Land Rover Freelander/LR2. The new Land Rover Discovery Sport will reportedly debut in 2015 with a five-passenger layout, while an elongated seven-passenger Land Rover Discovery Grand could arrive by 2016 or 2017.
The Land Rover Discovery Sport is based on a modified version of the Range Rover Evoque platform, and is reportedly codenamed L550. As these spy photos show, the Discovery Sport has a more rounded, aerodynamic nose than the Evoque, a more traditional horizontal roofline, high ground clearance, and a small roof spoiler above the slightly convex liftgate. As European correspondent Georg Kacher reported, the Discovery Sport will continue to pack tough chassis components allowing for, “for serious off-road use.” Four-cylinder engines will be the only choices, thanks to an $800 million investment at Land Rover’s engine factory in Wolverhampton, England. The 2014 Land Rover LR2 and the Range Rover Evoque both currently use a 2.0-liter turbo-four engine.
Kacher also confirmed that Land Rover will launch a long-wheelbase version of the Discovery Sport in late 2016 or early 2017. It will be able to seat seven passengers and could be called Discovery Grand. Incidentally, the next-generation Range Rover Evoque, due in 2019, will thus be based on the new platform that debuts for the Land Rover Discovery Sport.
Expect more details on the Land Rover Discovery Sport to trickle out in the next year before the car makes its official debut.