British luxury SUV giant Land Rover will replace the Freelander2 with the new Discovery Sport and images of the 7 seat SUV have just been leaked onto the interweb. Featuring a length of 4.59 meters, the Freelander2’s replacement is longer by about 190 mm. The additional length translates to two extra seats, making for a seven seat layout and this feature should acquit the new SUV well, especially against five seat rivals such as the Audi Q5, the BMW X3, the Volvo XC60 and the Mercedes Benz M-Class luxury crossovers.
With the arrival of the 2015 Land Rover Discover Sport SUV, the Freelander2 goes into retirement, after a production run that spanned 17 years across two generations. International sales of the Land Rover Discovery Sport will begin in early 2015, and expect the SUV to arrive into India a few months after its goes on sale internationally. Like the Freelander2, the Discovery Sport SUV will be assembled at the Jaguar-Land Rover assembly facility at Chikhli, off Pune, from completely knocked down (CKD) kits. The new SUV will use a modified platform borrowed from the outgoing Freelander2 and the Evoque.
Apart from the seven seat layout and larger dimensions, the 2015 Discovery Sport is designed to offer off-roading cred to match its predecessor with a 600 mm water wading ability and a 212 mm ground clearance to boot. A key change in the rear suspension involves the replacement of MacPherson struts with multi-link suspension that is more compact. The suspension change is to liberate more room on the SUV’s cabin for the third row passengers and to also improve the Discovery Sport’s ride quality. The engines of the Discovery Sport ditch the longitudinal layout found on the Freelander2, for a more compact, transverse mounting.
On the Discovery Sport, the 2.2 liter-4 cylinder turbo diesel engine will be carried over from the Freelander2 SUV, and this engine will be available in 187 Bhp-420 Nm and 148 Bhp-420 Nm states of tune. 6 speed manual and 9 speed automatic transmissions will be offered with the turbo diesel engine. The diesel engine, in the lower state of tune, will power the front wheel driven Discovery Sport. Jaguar-Land Rover’s Ingenium range of turbo petrol and turbo diesel inline-4 cylinders will make it to the Discovery Sport in a couple of summers.
The Discovery Sport will feature a new, all wheel drive system with a Haldex clutch that handles torque transmission between the wheels. Land Rover’s famed Terrain Response system comes standard on the SUV. Other new features on the Discovery Sport include a pedestrian airbag, an autonomous emergency brake assist system and an eight inch infotainment system. The Discovery Sport SUV’s prices will start at about 10 % more than the outgoing Freelander2 SUV, and the 148 Bhp diesel model – due later – is expected to undercut the outgoing model.