Winter testing photos of a sporty-looking Land Rover Discovery Sport suggest the introduction of a 2.0-litre turbo petrol variant to the UK

A hot version of the Land Rover Discovery Sport SUV could be in development, based on these recent spy shots.

Caught in Scandinavia in last few weeks of the winter testing season, the Discovery Sport prototype has a newly designed nose cone. Autocar’s spy photographers also say that this test vehicle is powered by a 2.0-litre turbo petrol engine, making it almost certainly a prototype fitted with the JLR’s upcoming, all-new Ingenium unit. 

The new Land Rover Discovery has been revealed - read more and get your first look here

But a combination of the subtly more aggressive styling of this nose cone and the extra air intake capacity hints at that this Discovery Sport could be powered by a performance version of the Ingenium petrol engine.

Although not radically different from that used by the current model, the new nose has a wider main air intake and narrower mounting area for the aluminium ‘bash plate’. 

The air intakes on the front corners of the car are also bigger and shaped more like the auxiliary intakes used by the Range Rover Sport SVR and also featured on the new Evoque Convertible. 

Close examination of the spy shots also seem to show small air intakes on the lower edges of the nose cone, which could well be cooling ducts for the front brakes. The slot-like air intake directly under the radiator grille is also noticeably slimmer than on today’s production car.

New Ingenium petrol with 298bhp

Currently, a petrol engine is not offered to UK buyers of the Discovery Sport, although one is sold in the US and Australia. It uses a Ford-derived 238bhp unit hooked up to a nine-speed automatic gearbox and could hit 60mph in a relatively sprightly 7.8sec.  Judging by this prototype, any hot Ingenium petrol Discovery Sport is at least 18 months from being launchded, and sources say this version of this engine will be good for around 298bhp. However, officially, Land Rover says there are currently no plans to sell a petrol-powered Discovery Sport in the UK. The turbo 2.0-litre petrol engine is also expected to be offered in the Jaguar XE saloon.

Hot versions are profitable niche

A hot Discovery Sport will be something of a departure for the Land Rover brand, but it’s clearly a profitable niche that cannot be ignored. Expect any production car to benefit from a subtle styling additions and more dramatic rear end, with a redesigned rear bumper and tailgate spoiler.

Bigger wheels - 20in at least - and brakes will also be used, and the interior will be significantly visually enhanced. All-wheel drive and the nine-speed auto ’box will be standard issue.

Pricing is expected to be north of £44,000 price tag demanded for the current HSE Luxury range-topping model. It’s likely that potential buyers of the first properly sporting Land Rover are unlikely to get much change from £50,000.

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Comments
11

22 March 2016

So JLR has no plans to launch a petrol version in the UK, but here are details of the wheels, brakes, body and interior changes, 0-60 time, launch timescale and even the price?

That's a lot of detail from a few 'spy' shots of a Disco Sport in the snow with a couple of different bits of plastic on the front. Anyone would think the author had been briefed...

22 March 2016
DiscoVeronica wrote:

So JLR has no plans to launch a petrol version in the UK, but here are details of the wheels, brakes, body and interior changes, 0-60 time, launch timescale and even the price?

That's a lot of detail from a few 'spy' shots of a Disco Sport in the snow with a couple of different bits of plastic on the front. Anyone would think the author had been briefed...

Agreed.


22 March 2016

...DiscoVeronica, you appear to be confusing the JLR PR department with an impartial motoring magazine-oh no wait, my mistake...

22 March 2016

I have criticised the pro JLR bias in this magazine before, but you are being s bit over the top here. HH most likely has had an off the record briefing - would you prefer that he refuse all such information until the official launch? And you are missing the main story - why has the petrol Ingenium taken so long to come to market?

22 March 2016
scrap wrote:

HH most likely has had an off the record briefing - would you prefer that he refuse all such information until the official launch?

Were that to be the case, I would hope that as a professional writer he might be able to do a rather better job of covering his tracks than he has managed here.

scrap wrote:

And you are missing the main story - why has the petrol Ingenium taken so long to come to market?

Is it the bigger story? Perhaps JLR has just decided to stick with diesel for the Disco Sport for now, and concentrate petrol Ingenia on the Jaguar range.
To the cynical reader, this might look like a case of 'look, we won't/can't do a petrol Disco Sport right now, but before you go off and buy an X3 or whatever, here's what you could've won if you'd been a bit more patient'

26 March 2016
scrap wrote:

I have criticised the pro JLR bias in this magazine before, but you are being s bit over the top here. HH most likely has had an off the record briefing - would you prefer that he refuse all such information until the official launch? And you are missing the main story - why has the petrol Ingenium taken so long to come to market?

I expect the slow introduction of the ingenium petrol engine is due to two things only, the relatively small size of JLR and the time available to the number of engineers available compared with the German big three and the low numbers of 2.0 litre petrol engined cars that are sold throughout Europe. I believe VW does not even bother trying to sell any petrol Passat's in the UK.

22 March 2016

Why not! Probably limited appeal in the UK for a hot petrol SUV, but will help with the brand image. It will sell in reasonable numbers in the US, and possibly China.

As long as they don't do a coupe version (like the X6) of the Disco Sport, I am happy!

22 March 2016

Coupe version already exists. It's called the Evoque.

22 March 2016

Bit ironic they're launching a sporty version of something badged as "Discovery Sport"! Until they can compete with Merc/ BMW/ Audi on a decent range of engines they've got more hype than hope I'm afraid.

22 March 2016
earl grey wrote:

Bit ironic they're launching a sporty version of something badged as "Discovery Sport"!

"Sources at JLR couldn't confirm or deny the designation of the new model, which may or may not exist, but you might not be too wide of the mark were you to expect the badge to say 'Discovery Sport Sport', with the second 'Sport' at a 12-degree angle in red script, quite possibly Pantone 185..." ;-)

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