Pictured here in transit with a 1.5-litre engine suspected to be of three-cylinder specification and mated to a small electric motor, the BMW X3 rival wears camouflaging on its front bumper and rear section, showing mild aesthetic adjustments will be made here. This powertrain will be shared with the Evoque, which has also been spotted in development with the plug-in hybrid setup.
The same is expected for the car’s back bumper and lights, although this early test car looks to be wearing the current Discovery's parts. A previously spotted car bearing a tweaked rear bumper also appears to reveal a higher-specification petrol variant, as shown by the cutaways for two tailpipes, but the car is running with a diesel engine.
Th turbocharged four-cylinder 2.0-litre Ingenium diesel isn’t expected to receive any major adjustments with the facelift, but the Discovery Sport drivetrain range will gain a new hybrid option as part of Jaguar Land Rover’s push to introduce an electrified variant of every model by 2020.
The Discovery Sport will receive a petrol-hybrid powertrain that’s based on a 1.5-litre three-cylinder engine, shared with the upcoming Range Rover Evoque plug-in hybrid.
This all-new three-pot and electric motor system will enable around 30 miles of pure electric driving, as well as improved fuel economy. It’s essentially a smaller version of the 2.0-litre petrol-based drivetrain that will be used in the Range Rover and Range Rover Sport PHEVs, which are due later this year.
Along with technical and exterior upgrades, the Discovery Sport will gain Land Rover’s much improved cabin infotainment, although it’s likely to retain a centre console screen with dials beneath, rather than gain the more advanced multi-screen set-up of the new and considerably pricier Velar.
Land Rover has remained typically quiet about its Discovery Sport updates, but the car’s production life cycle suggests it’ll reach showrooms later in 2018. When it does, no major change to the car’s pricing is predicted. The current car starts at £28,355, close to £6000 cheaper than the X3. A plug-in hybrid variant would likely be the most expensive powertrain variant in the range.