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Land Rover previews Discovery Sport

LR2 replacement set to go on sale next year, will feature '5+2' seating.

By AutoWeek 5 hours ago

Land Rover has taken to using camouflage not only as a means to disguise the prototypes and pre-preduction cars, but also a canvas to give sneak peeks at upcoming cars. And while the recently-revealed Range Rover SVR wore a wrap meant to evoke a lightning bolt, Land Rover is giving the world a preview of the upcoming Discovery Sport by peeling back the camo a bit to give everyone a look inside.

Land Rover has been developing a replacement for the Freelander, which has been called the LR2 in North America since the 2008 version was offered here, and this is it. If you'll recall, the Discovery is no longer called the Discovery in North America as it is in other markets; ours is called the LR4. So the Discovery Sport will be taking over for the LR2 rather than being a spin-off based on the larger LR4.

The company has decided not to offer a smaller if not necessarily sportier version of the LR4, as it did with the three-door version of the 1989 original (don't bother looking for them on eBay, they weren't sold in North America), with the Discovery Sport taking on that role instead. And the upcoming midsize SUV is expected to use a version of the Range Rover Evoque chassis.

Land Rover hasn't released too many details about the upcoming Discovery Sport, which is set to go on sale in 2015 as a 2016 model, though in these images the company is touting the presence of a third-row seat. The Discovery Sport is set to offer 5+2 seating, now that that attribute has slowly become a must for makers of large and mid-size SUVs. As far as engines go, the Discovery Sport is expected (though not confirmed) to receive the four-cylinder engines found in the Evoque.

Land Rover says that the prototypes are in their final testing stages, and we can expect to see a production version later in the fall. Land Rover isn't pulling back more of the camo as the Discovery Sport has for all intents and purposes already been seen. We wouldn't be surprised if the pricing closely tracks that of the departing LR2 once it is announced at a later date.

-- Jay Ramey

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