These latest spy photos show two late-stage prototypes for the all-new Land Rover Discovery family, which is reportedly only 24 months away from launch.
The entry-level ‘baby’ Discovery will be a direct replacement for today’s Freelander and will be based on a lengthened version of the Evoque’s steel platform.
The test mule seen above is wearing a stretched Evoque body, but it does show that much of the extra space will be behind the rear wheels.
This both addresses the limited boot space of today’s Freelander and opens the way for what’s expected to be a seven-seat version further down the line.
At the other end of the range, the first Discovery 5 mule is equally well disguised. Under the camouflaged exterior of a new Range Rover Sport lie the first clues to the new Discovery flagship.
The prototype is wearing a flatter, more blunt clamshell bonnet and different air intakes in the nose, and there are also fins on the edge of the tailgate which are thought to be a clue to the shape of the Discovery 5’s rear end. The trailing end of the roofline also seems to be flatter than that seen on the new Range Rover Sport.
It’s thought that this mule is an early cooling and aerodynamic prototype, which needs to use the correct intakes, roofline and side profile for testing. The Discovery 5 will be based on the same aluminium architecture as the latest Range Rover and Range Rover Sport and will be built on the same Solihull production line.
Like the current model, it will get seven seats and have much more third-row room than the Sport. However, judging by this mule, its styling won’t be so uncompromising, with the existing model’s upright tailgate and pronounced roof step likely to be sacrificed in favour of a more subtle execution.
Judging by these prototypes, the top and bottom models of the new Discovery family are at least 18 months from being shown in public, with the Discovery 5 likely to arrive first, possibly at the Geneva motor show in March 2015. That would make it the next all-new JLR product after the small Jaguar saloon makes its debut at the Detroit show in January 2015.
The entry-level Discovery could be unveiled at the New York motor show in April 2015, or at Frankfurt in September of that year.