Land Rover has taken the wraps off its thoroughly updated Discovery Sport, handing its compact seven-seater SUV electrified engines, fresh technology and an overhauled platform.
The Whitley-based firm says the three-row cabin is “more comfortable” and quieter than before, and now features a completely new infotainment interface and the latest connectivity (plus a more flexible seating arrangement, with up to 24 combinations). Land Rover furthermore claims improved small-item stowage across all rows and a 20 percent increase in fuel tank capacity (to 67 litres).
The latest Premium Transverse Architecture underpins a new body that is some 13 percent stiffer than that of its predecessor.
Styling, though, is familiar, with design cues such as the clamshell bonnet, rising beltline and tapered roof remaining. Still, Land Rover says the proportions of the vehicle have been “optimised to project a more striking visual”, with new LED head- and taillamps as well as an updated front grille and bumpers leading the exterior updates.
The 48-volt mild hybrid electric powertrain now offered in the Discovery Sport in Europe uses an engine-mounted belt-integrated starter generator to harvest energy usually lost during deceleration and stores it in an under-floor battery. Expected to be offered across the range of four-cylinder Ingenium petrol and diesel engines, the mild hybrid models will eventually be joined by a plug-in hybrid variant.
In South Africa, however, it seems 48-volt mild hybrid tech won’t be offered from launch towards the end of 2019, with the local range instead comprising diesel and petrol engines paired with an updated ZF nine-speed transmission.
The 2,0-litre diesel (wearing the D180 badge) will offer 132 kW and 430 N.m, while returning a claimed fuel consumption of 5,8 L/100 km. The P250 petrol engine boasts outputs of 183 kW and 365 N.m, with a claimed consumption of 8,0 L/100 km. The aforementioned plug-in hybrid model (wearing the P300e badge), meanwhile, is expected to join the range in South Africa in 2020.
New tech set to be offered in the updated model includes the brand’s “smart rear-view mirror” (which transforms the mirror into a video screen at the flick of a switch) and the “ground view” system (which projects camera imagery offering a virtual 180-degree view beneath the vehicle onto the touchscreen). Wireless charging for mobile devices is also new for the Discovery Sport, as is a 4G WiFi hotspot. USB ports and 12-volt plugs will be offered in all three rows, as will individual ventilation controls.
The Discovery Sport is again expected to be offered in base, S, SE and HSE trim, with the option of adding the R-Dynamic package.