2020 Land Rover Discovery Sport.
2020 Land Rover Discovery Sport.

Startling change to new Land Rover

IT'S the car out to impress mums, dads, toddlers and pooches in one adventurous swoop.

Land Rover is adopting some radical new engines with its latest family SUV, the Discovery Sport.

There was a time when cars often had more cylinders than seats.

The new Land Rover Discovery Sport has a tiny three-cylinder engine.
The new Land Rover Discovery Sport has a tiny three-cylinder engine.

But the British brand has flipped the formula with the latest Discovery Sport, which provides seating for up to seven people and will soon come with a tiny three-cylinder engine.

It's shaping up to be the first seven-seat SUV powered by a three-cylinder engine that is half the capacity of some rivals.

But the key to the 1.5-litre triple is the addition of an electric motor as part of a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) setup.

The Sport will also be offered with a new four-wheel drive system that can temporarily disconnect drive to the rear wheels, saving fuel when two-wheel drive is all that's needed.

Inside, there are USB ports to all three rows of seats and the option of separate temperature controls for each row.

Despite the lack of a big burly engine the Discovery Sport is still capable off-road.
Despite the lack of a big burly engine the Discovery Sport is still capable off-road.

There's also a removable storage tray in the centre console with built-in cupholders, so you theoretically don't need the cardboard drinks tray on a Maccas run.

The new Discovery Sport also makes a big technology play with a 4G Wi-Fi hotspot that connects up to eight devices and tablet computer holders for the middle row seats.

There's also a smart rear vision mirror that uses the rear camera to project a wider field of view on the mirror screen, in turn effectively seeing through any people or luggage that would normally block the view out back.

A digital rear view mirror increases the visibility out the back of the vehicle.
A digital rear view mirror increases the visibility out the back of the vehicle.

Those game enough to venture off-road can use the ClearSight Ground View, which uses cameras to provide a view of the road ahead "effectively making the bonnet invisible".

All of which is designed to make the latest Sport rough and capable as well as city stylish.

"Discovery Sport is the perfect balance of Land Rover capability and modern-day convenience," says chief engineer Simon Barnes. "Every bit of technology throughout the cabin is there to make this vehicle easier to use, whether improving rear visibility, remembering the driver's cabin preferences or keeping everyone safe."

New tech that allows users to see through the bonnet helps during tough off-road conditions.
New tech that allows users to see through the bonnet helps during tough off-road conditions.

Reinforcing its thoughtfulness, the new Sport will be offered with myriad "Pet Pack" accessories, including a quilted load space liner, retractable pet access ramp, spill resistant bowls and - if things all go wrong and Fido makes a mess - a portable rinse system.

There are even dog bandannas (in small or medium) and a tartan dog lead.


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