The heavily revised Land Rover Discovery Sport, likely to be revealed by early 2019, will get a heavily updated platform to deliver much-improved ride comfort, greater boot space and room for underbody lithium ion batteries for new hybrid models.
First reported by Autocar in July, Land Rover is ramping up testing of its facelifted Discovery Sport, as these latest spy shots show, as it readies for launch next year.
The addition of hybrid drivetrains is the key development for the Discovery Sport’s future. Although details are still scarce, the range-topping hybrid line-up will use a new three-cylinder Ingenium engine coupled to an electric motor/transmission.
The 300V plug-in version has lithium ion batteries mounted under the central floor section and could have CO2 emissions as low as 45g/km.
There is no news yet on whether the cheaper mild-hybrid models will use electrified turbochargers or a belt-assist starter/generator, but both will be essential offerings as diesel comes under further scrutiny from legislators.
Jaguar Land Rover’s bestseller – like its Halewood stablemate, the Evoque – will be built on a significantly updated platform called the Premium Transverse Architecture (PTA), which is notably stiffer than the current D8 platform.
Small revisions to body design is said to have reduced wind noise and cut drag by around 10%, helping to improve cabin refinement. Also promised is a “40% better” throttle response thanks to a newly engineered engine mount design and transmission.
The new electrical architecture allows a projected virtual reality view of the ground obscured by the car’s nose and a new “smart rear- view mirror”.
The reworking of the interior and exterior remains secret but Discovery-series brand values call for “versatility, intelligence and breadth of capability” so expect a more rugged exterior treatment with less resemblance to today’s Range Rovers.
Another possibility is a notable improvement in interior quality and design, as its sophisticated Volvo XC60 rival is selling extremely well.
In March 2018, 16,227 XC60s were sold worldwide, compared with 14,671 Discovery Sports. By June, monthly XC60 sales had soared to 19,534.
In the first four months of 2018, Discovery Sport sales fell 18% compared to the same period in 2017.