Extensively wrapped in the usual black-and-white masking tape, the smallest model to wear the Land Rover badge retains its boxy exterior design, but with an obvious nod to the Range Rover Sport in the form of the sweptback headlights and bulkier front end.
This is also repeated to an extent at the rear where the facia, despite being almost entirely unidentifiable, sports what appears to be light cluster derived from the full-size Discovery and an overall look that again seems to have come from the Sport.
Inside, the Sport will likely take inspiration from the Range Rover Velar with the inclusion of the Touch Pro Duo infotainment system, the all-digital instrument cluster on top-spec models and an extensively updated range of safety and driver assistance systems.
According to a report from Britain’s Autocar, the changes will be than just skin deep in that the Sport will be completely new underneath. Dropping the current model’s D8 platform that can trace its roots back to 2006 and the Volvo S80 when Land Rover was still owned by Ford, the Sport will debut with Jaguar Land Rover’s new Premium Transverse Architecture (PTA) that is also expected to underpin the next Evoque.
Claimed to be both stronger, stiffer and lighter than the D8, the PTA also caters for a plug-in hybrid powertrain, which the publication claims will team an 300-volt electric motor with an all-new three-cylinder Ingenium turbo-petrol that will bring emissions to as low as 45g/km.
Given the amount of disguise adorning the prototype, expect the new Discovery Sport to make its official world unveiling early next year.
IMAGES from autocar.co.uk