The Discovery Sport is the car maker’s biggest-selling model and crucial to its success, as Jaguar Land Rover tries to reverse the company’s fortunes. Land Rover sales fell 6.9% year on year in 2018 and, earlier this month, 4500 job losses were confirmed at JLR.
The Discovery Sport is one of three models that Land Rover hopes will spark a major turnaround this year. The new Evoque, revealed late last year, goes on sale in April, while deliveries of the facelifted Discovery Sport will start in October. The other key vehicle is the new Defender, to be revealed in autumn, ahead of 2020 sales.
The Discovery Sport, which replaced the Freelander, has until now only received minor updates since going on sale in 2014. This year’s more extensive facelift, by contrast, is expected to see the Discovery Sport through until at least 2023, when an all-new model will be launched.
A new architecture and an overhauled interior will be the biggest changes to the model. Exterior tweaks will be subtle, with an overall enhancement of the current design plus updated headlights and bumpers.
Currently sitting on the D8 platform, the updated Discovery Sport moves over to the Premium Transverse Architecture, which underpins the new Evoque. Crucially, this mixed-material platform allows for electrification and enables more interior space to be created.
Inside, the Discovery Sport will closely echo the second-generation Evoque with an overhauled interior. The model has long needed a more modern cabin that appeals to buyers and is in line with the rest of the Land Rover range, most of which has received new interiors over the past two years.
Land Rover’s ethical textiles will be made available, intended as a premium alternative to leather, and plastics throughout will be of a higher perceived quality than before.