Land Rover unveils 2020 Discovery Sport with mild-hybrid powertrain option
Land Rover has announced a new Discovery Sport for the 2020 model year. The new SUV features a new exterior design, upgraded tech inside, and a 48-V mild-hybrid powertrain option. The extended seating for up to seven, time-tested off-road gear, and signature Land Rover design remain intact.
A more compact sport utility fitting underneath the larger Discovery model, the Discovery Sport is built on the new Land Rover Premium Transverse Architecture and boasts a body that is 13 percent stiffer than its predecessor, to which rigidly-mounted subframes are attached, making for a quieter ride and improving safety in the event of a collision.
The 2020 model retains the familiar clamshell hood, rising beltline, and tapering roof of the previo9us models, while changes include the more refined front and rear bumpers, a more robust-appearing grille and new signature LED lights front and rear as standard.
Inside, Land Rover updated the 5+2 seating arrangement with up to 24 seat-fold combinations to maximize versatility enabled by the a 40:20:40 split-fold in the second row. Another seating upgrade is the addition of massage as an option for the first time in the Discovery Sport.
The new center console features an improved 10-inch touchscreen infotainment system as its centerpiece, and Land Rover has also added more premium materials inside, including the option of a new LuxTex non-leather, environmentally friendly upholstery made from recycled polyester microfiber.
Land Rover says the 2020 Discovery Sport was designed with electrification in mind, and now adds a 48-volt mild hybrid (MHEV) system under the hood. This system is optional and comes directly from the Range Rover Evoque, which introduced it back in 2018. The MHEV powertrain allows the SUV to shut down its engine at speeds under 11 mph (17.7 km/h) and use the brake regeneration system to store power in batteries located underneath the floor. This power can then be used to help propel the vehicle by an electric motor integrated into the transmission.
Also new is a smart rearview mirror called ClearSight Rear View. This mirror swaps from a physical mirror to an HD video screen with a button press to then show the view from the vehicle's rearview camera. This system is an improvement on a similar system used by Rover, adding a wider 50-degree field of vision and moving the rear camera to above the rear window for a more natural viewpoint.
Another camera system, offering 180-degrees of view, called ClearSight Ground View, allows the driver to see (virtually) through the vehicle's bonnet to eyeball obstacles such as curbs, rocks, potholes, and the like. This is the next-generation of Rover's "Transparent Bonnet" technology unveiled in 2014.
Other technologies added to the 2020 Land Rover Discovery Sport include wireless device charging, 4G Wi-Fi hotspot capability, and more USB and 12-volt connection points. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are also standard on the new-generation Land Rover InControl TouchPro infotainment system interface. This new system uses artificial intelligence to learn driver preferences and adjust comfort items accordingly.
The new 2020 Discovery Sport retains the Land Rover reputation for off-road capability with water fording to a depth of up to 23.6 in (0.6 m) and two drivetrain options for all-wheel drive are featured. A new towing assist system is also added, with the option of towing up to 4,409 lb (2,000 kg).
Several advanced driver assistance and safety systems are available, including adaptive cruise control, steering assistance to center the vehicle in its lane, and Driver Condition Monitor to alert drowsy and inattentive drivers.
The 2020 Land Rover Discovery Sport will enter showrooms in North America mid-year, with pricing and fuel economy numbers to be announced closer to the vehicle's launch date.
Source: Land Rover