Land Rover's new car for 2015 will be called Discovery Sport, the firm announced in New York today. The compact SUV – a seven-seater to replace Freelander in the model line-up – is expected to go on UK sale very early in the new year, with prices estimated to be slightly below the Range Rover Evoque's.
Announcing the new nameplate, Land Rover chief creative officer Gerry McGovern said: 'The Discovery Sport will be the most versatile and capable SUV in its segment. It's the first expression of the Discovery Vision Concept unveiled here in New York.'
The Discovery badge will expand to cover a family of cars – the small Sport, and a full-size replacement for today's Mk4 Discovery, which is previewed more closely by this week's concept car and due to arrive in 2016. But the concept's look will also strongly influence the baby Discovery.
The Discovery Sport will be based on a heavily reworked version of the Evoque's largely steel platform; it isn't primarily aluminium like the new Range Rover, Range Sport and forthcoming big Discovery.
The new car will be around the same size as the outgoing Freelander, but will be much more space efficient to accommodate seven seats. Versatility is etched into the Discovery brand bible, which means a highly configurable interior which can transform from a one-seat load-lugger to a seven-person family hauler.
Power will come from transversely mounted, four-cylinder petrol and diesel engines. While the Discovery Sport will get the new Ingenium engine family, it's not certain the turbocharged, all-aluminium fourpots will be ready for its market introduction in January. Jaguar's small saloon – the forthcoming XE – might be first with the boxfresh engines instead: it arrives in April 2015.