With the Defender stepping in to offer buyers a capable, rugged off-roader, there's space for the Discovery brand to refocus.
- shares

The Land Rover Discovery family is likely to expand beyond its current two-model line-up, with the Defender's launch providing an opportunity for the model to reposition itself in new categories.

Speaking to the media at a private unveiling of the new Defender ahead of the Frankfurt motor show, Land Rover’s chief design officer, Gerry McGovern, admitted ‘two doesn’t make a family’ when discussing the current Discovery line-up.

“Discovery sits in that world of versatility. These are the current vehicles, [there is] more to come. For me two doesn’t make a family," McGovern said.

"With Defender coming it gives us an opportunity to maybe re-think what the world of Discovery can be in the future."

The current Discovery family includes the full-size model, as well as the smaller Discover Sport.

Both models have proven to be rather popular in Australia, especially the Sport, and it would be logical for the brand to expand the family downwards to perhaps include a model smaller than the Disco Sport, likely to take on the likes of the Mercedes-Benz GLA, BMW X1 and Audi Q3.

This smaller 'Disco' will likely still wear the Discovery badge, with a new extension to highlight its links to the family.

So far this year (Jan-Aug) Land Rover has sold 1305 full-size Discovery models in Australia with 2055 Discovery Sports to accompany. The addition of a smaller model in time will see the brand better compete with the luxury mainstays, as it currently has no offering to compete in the smaller SUV market.

The new Defender will more than likely take away some of the appeal of the full-size Discovery, as it's expected to bring a lot of the same appeal in terms of versatility and robustness, but with the extra tough of off-road capability that will be unmatched.