What is it?
This is the new Discovery Sport, refreshed after four years in the field not only with the obligatory mid-life makeover of revised bumpers and headlights, but the rather surprising renewal of its entire platform.
That’s an expensive thing for a manufacturer to do, but makes more sense when you realise that the latest Discovery Sport has migrated to Jaguar Land Rover’s new Premium Transverse Architecture (PTA), as used by the latest Evoque, which is built in the same Halewood factory as the smaller Disco. The motivation is still more apparent when you consider that JLR has stated that every one of its models will be electrified by 2020, the PTA platform allowing just that via its 48V electrical architecture.
All Discovery Sports equipped with automatic transmission are fitted with a kinetic energy-harvesting belt-driven starter-generator and storage battery as standard. The power it stores assists the internal combustion engine when there are momentary torque shortfalls.
Further fuel-saving technology includes the automatic disengagement of the rear axle during steady-state cruising to reduce friction losses, while the stop-start system kills the engine as the car’s speed passes below 11mph. More immediately obvious (optional) technology includes the smart interior mirror that effectively removes rear vision-obscuring headrests, pillars and occupants’ heads, and Ground View technology that effectively turns the car transparent ahead of the windscreen base – useful when off-roading in forest or when in city.
Further electrical upgrades include updated infotainment, a new touch panel to control the in-cabin climate and the improved all-terrain response system, as well as wireless phone charging, a reversing camera and tow assist (the Disco Sport is able to lug up to 2500kg).