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2015 Land Rover Discovery Sport Poses for Cameras in Paris

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 10/3/2014 Scott Burgess

It was an introduction befitting the Queen of England, as trumpets wailed and hundreds of people watched in Paris. Debuting for the public at the Paris Motor Show, the 2015 Land Rover Discovery Sport was first seen floating on a barge along the Seine the day before the show began in a special presentation to journalists. The big debut included two Discovery Sports climbing wooden hills constructed on the barge and then driving through water nearly two-feet deep in front of a set of giant rubber boots.

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Spectacle aside, the Discovery Sport promises a new look, a heft of new technologies, and other changes to enhance performance. Though it bears the name of the larger Land Rover Discovery (LR4 in the U.S.), the new 2015 Land Rover Discovery Sport has more in common with the Land Rover Freelander (LR2 in the U.S.) and Range Rover Evoque, including some of its front architecture and transverse engine layout and 2.0-liter turbocharged I-4 rated 240 hp and 250 lb-ft of torque. An electric power-assisted steering system (EPAS), nine-speed automatic, and a Haldex all-wheel drive system are standard.

© Provided by MotorTrend The adaptive transmission, which can skip gears during aggressive downshifts, normally starts in second gear, though first gear can be manually selected for low-range off-road driving or for maximum acceleration. Off-road technologies made possible by the fancy Haldex all-wheel-drive and Terrain Response systems include Hill Descent Control (HDC), Gradient Release Control (GRC), Roll Stability Control (RSC), Dynamic Stability Control (DSC), Electronic Traction Control (ETC), and Engine Drag Torque Control (EDC).

Despite its unibody construction and transverse engine layout, the 2015 Discovery Sport is ready for towing with the standard Trailer Stability, Tow Assist, and Tow Hitch Assist systems. Available driver assistance systems include Park Assist (parallel and perpendicular parking spaces), Lane Departure Warning, and Traffic Sign Recognition.

Although it rides on a 3.1-inch longer wheelbase (107.9 inches) and is only 8.8 inches longer overall (180.7 inches), a new compact rear suspension allows for an optional third-row seat for up to seven-passenger seating. Weight is kept in check through extensive use of high-strength steel, ultra-high-strength boron steel, and aluminum used throughout the chassis and body.

Jason Udy contributed to this post.

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