Land Rover Sets Out to ‘Rediscover’ the Compact SUV Segment

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Source: Land Rover

Land Rover (NYSE:TTM) has been on fire recently with its overhauled slate of new vehicles, from the range-topping Range Rover to the entry-level Evoque. Hoping to cash in on that sales magic (the Range Rover was the fastest selling vehicle in August, with a sales turnover time of 12 days), Land Rover has pulled the ropes off the new Discovery Sport, which bumps the Evoque from its place on the bottom of Land Rover’s ladder as sort of an ‘Evoque Lite.’

At $37,995 at its cheapest, the Discovery Sport will undercut the Evoque by about about $4,000, making it the most affordable Land Rover on the market when it hits early next year. It’s slated to replace the now thoroughly dated LR2, and it costs about $1,000 more than the former. This means that it’s playing in the same arena as the new Lincoln MKC, the Audi Q5, BMW X3, and Mercedes GLK in terms of pricing and equipment, but the Discovery will be the only member of its class to offer a 5+2 seating configuration.

“Our challenge has been to combine premium design with exceptional versatility; the two attributes must work in harmony,” Gerry McGovern, Land Rover’s Design Director and Chief Creative Officer said in the company’s press blast. “I’m proud to say we’ve achieved that; Discovery Sport’s dynamic design will resonate on an emotional level with consumers, and this vehicle is more versatile than any other premium compact SUV on the market.”

At base, the Discovery will come standard with Land Rover’s 240 horsepower 2.0 liter four-cylinder turbocharged gasoline engine, with diesel options available internationally. It wasn’t announced, but it’s not hard to imagine that the supercharged V6 might find its way in as an optional extra down the road; that unit is already available in other Range Rover models, and in many of Jaguar’s cars as well. The Discovery will use the nine-speed automatic transmission that’s made by ZF and also found in the Evoque.