Land Rover’s most affordable model, the Discovery Sport, looks set to gain a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) powertrain when the next generation arrives in 2020, giving the British marque a like-for-like rival to the XC40 T5 Twin Engine PHEV that’s due around the same time.
And besides the addition of a battery-powered low-emissions variant, the current Disco Sport’s D8 platform will be ditched in favour of Jaguar Land Rover’s Premium Transverse Architecture (PTA), bringing a tauter chassis that should improve handling and ride comfort. The bigger chassis will also accommodate a broader boot and provide the space required to fit a lithium-ion battery pack under the floor.
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Naturally, styling will also see a significant step change at the same time, though there’s currently no solid indication of precisely how it will look at this early stage.
Details about the 2020 Discovery Sport’s 300-volt hybrid powertrain are still thin on the ground, but, as UK outlet Autocar reports, it’s expected to incorporate a new three-cylinder Ingenium engine coupled to an electric motor/transmission.
As well as the range-topping PHEV variant, it’s understood Land Rover is planning at least one mild hybrid version, to help bring the Discovery Sport range into line with tough new 2020 European emissions standards.
Meanwhile, the conventionally-powered four-cylinder turbo versions will also become more efficient, with new transmissions and revised engine mount designs to improve throttle response by 40 percent. Drag will also be reduced, which should also mitigate wind noise as well as lower fuel consumption.
The 2020 Discovery Sport is also expected to receive a significant interior makeover to give it a more premium feel. Expect influence from the bigger Discovery, and perhaps even some trickle-down from partner brand Range Rover .
The Discovery Sport PHEV will add to a growing stable of electrified Jaguar Land Rover models, which already includes the Range Rover, Range Rover Sport and all-electric Jaguar I-Pace.