Land Rover road testing the new Discovery Sport

Land Rover road testing the new Discovery Sport

Land Rover has been seen testing the new Discovery Sport, which is set to replace the Freelander next year. Spy pictures of the new model were taken on public roads close to the company's base in Warwickshire; even though the car was well disguised, it was still possible to see what the new 4x4 will feature when it gets to the showrooms.

The vehicle on display has a 2.2-litre four-cylinder diesel engine, which is probably going to be one of the chief engines used in the new range of junior SUVs. It is thought that JLR (Jaguar Land Rover) is preparing to bring out an in-house collection of four-cylinder engines - named Ingenium - towards the back end of next year.

The Discovery Sport will have four-wheel and front-wheel drive, which comes as no surprise as it is heavily based on the underpinning steel architecture of the Evoque.

The Discovery Sport is not dissimilar in size to the car that it will replace; however, it will offer more choice, with five- or seven-seat variations. The chief of marketing at Land Rover, Phil Popham, said: "It will be like a compact Discovery, but smaller than the Vision concept car. You'll see it next year."

The replacement strategy of JLR is easy to understand. The company gave the strategy a kick-start at the recent New York Motor Show by setting the stage for the Discovery 5, which will be constructed in lighter aluminium to bring it in line with the Range Rover Sport.

Business is booming at Land Rover and the Evoque is especially popular, racking up sales of 113,000 a year.