The new nomenclature means the creation of a new Discovery ‘family’ of vehicles, with the Discovery Sport to sit beneath the existing Discovery in much the same way as the Range Rover Sport sits below the regular Range Rover.
More models are expected to come under the broader ‘Discovery’ nameplate, though whether they’re smaller or larger is not yet public knowledge. The model push comes as UK-based Jaguar Land Rover enjoys strong lines of investment from its Indian owner Tata.
The Land Rover Discovery Sport will, according to JLR, build on the current Freelander’s reputation for off-road nous and agility but bring far greater versatility to the table, including a 5+2 seating configuration as standard.
“The one criticism around Freelander from customers was it’s not as versatile, it doesn’t use space as effectively as they would like. Discovery Sport will actually do exactly that. It will be the most versatile compact SUV,” JLR global operations director Phil Popham told CarAdvice earlier this year.
Today’s video does not give much away, though it shows a large high-definition central screen beset by a row of buttons unlike those in the Range Rover line-up. It also shows the 60:40 middle row of seats raking forwards and the third row folding out, plus a massive panoramic sunroof.
The Discovery Sport puzzle is being pieced together quite thoroughly, with its reveal now jut two weeks away. Thinly-veiled images of the car’s exterior are already in the public domain courtesy of JLR, revealing a sleeker and more Range Rover-esque styling language.
We also know the baby Disco will in time use JLR’s new UK-made Ingenium petrol and diesel engine line, which will premiere in the new Jaguar XE mid-sized sedan that will premiere early next month, though possibly not from launch due to initial production constraints. Various UK media outlets have reported it may get a version of the Freelander's 2.2-litre diesel unit initially.