Land Rover has confirmed that the new Discovery Sport will have a third row of seats as standard in the UK. The news means that the Freelander is not only growing into a baby Discovery by name, but also adopting big brother’s seven-seater layout.
This handful of official press photos reveals the 2015 Land Rover Discovery Sport in an unusual quasi-disguise. In fact, promotional livery would be a more accurate description, since Land Rover wants everyone to know that the Disco Sport will be a seven-seater.
The wrap on this prototype outlines the position of the two rearmost seats. It’s telling that Land Rover describes them as +2 seats, in the mould of the Qashqai +2’s occasional rear pews. You’ll still be needing to rely upon a full-fat Discovery if you want to transport seven adults in comfort.
Land Rover Discovery Sport: the seven-seat plan
It makes sense to give next year’s Freelander replacement an extra pair of seats. While Range Rovers will increasingly offer sporty styling and imperious quality on road and off, Land Rovers are being tilted towards a more utilitarian and useful slant to appeal to families urban and rural.
In fact, the rugged Discovery has proven such a hit for Land Rover that its bluff family transport focus is likely to imbue all future LR models in future.
And to ram that point home, Land Rover is wrapping all future Disco Sport models in this seven-seater livery. This is what happens when marketing departments get their hands on prototype development schedules…
Not all markets will get the new SUV in seven-seat guise, but all UK-bound models rolling off the Halewood line will have a full complement of seats as standard, the company has confirmed.
‘As you would expect from a Discovery, the versatile Discovery Sport will feature 5+2 seating in the UK, offering spacious load space and configurable seating, while still retaining a more compact footprint than traditional five-seat SUVs,’ said Gerry McGovern, design director and chief creative officer for Land Rover.
When is the new Land Rover Discovery Sport launching?
Expect to see the new Disco Sport at the 2014 Paris motor show, ahead of UK sales in spring 2015.