Land Rover started testing its new Discovery Sport in Navi Mumbai, near Mumbai, ahead of its official launch in India which is scheduled to commence in August-2015.
Set to replace the nine-year-old Freelander 2, the new Discover Sport picks up the task of being the brand’s entry-level model. The first in a new line of Discovery-badged SUVs, it will be offered with seven seats for the first time in a small Land Rover and first in its segment. It will compete with the likes of the Audi Q5, BMW X3, Volvo XC60 and the Mercedes M-Class (Mercedes GLE).
High-quality materials and finishes typical of Land Rover also distinguish the driving experience.
Design-wise, the Discovery Sport takes several cues from the Discovery Vision concept, showcased at the 2014 New York Auto Show. The inside will be familiar to anyone who’s stepped inside a modern Land Rover, with a straight horizontal dashboard punctuated by a strong vertical centre console, although the design appears plainer than the car’s plusher Range Rover siblings.
For India there’s no word on whether the Discovery Sport will get an older 2.2-litre four-cylinder diesel engine or the modern 2.0-liter JLR-developed Ingenium diesel engine. However, the previous report suggested that 2.2-litre motor will be available in both, 147 bhp and 187 bhp states of tune, mated to a 9-speed automatic transmission with 4WD capability as standard.
Designed and engineered at the Land Rover Development Center in the UK, the Discovery Sport will be produced at the company’s award-winning manufacturing facility in Halewood, Liverpool, in the United Kingdom. For India, it will be imported via the CKD route and assembled at the Jaguar Land Rover plant in Chakan, near Pune.
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GALLERY: Land Rover Discovery Sport