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Speed up the Land Rover Discovery Sport: when less can be more

You must remember the Range Rover Sport V8 that we accelerated in August last year: a 4,85 m, 2,310 kg and 510 hp liner, in which everything was extreme. Luxury, comfort, staggering, performance, thirst for fuel and of course, price: over half a million reais – penthouse penthouse on four wheels, yacht on the asphalt, make your metaphor.

What we have to show in today’s evaluation is the most important car of the line up of the brand, the great entry door that came with the mission to replace Freelander 2 and to be a shorter and dynamic version of the (future) new Discovery . A vehicle whose top-of-the-line version costs less than half the Sport V8, has half a tonne less in the balance, lighter in terms of powertrain and off-road capability, but has a lot of its grandeur and luxury, features a more functional set For use on daily basis and is more comfortable and spacious than the Evoque, which costs more expensive. Sugared the palate?

Here is the Land Rover Discovery Sport, which arrives at dealerships this month, with a label starting at R $ 179,900 and up to R $ 232 thousand for the HSE Luxury version, which we evaluate. Its importance explains the fact that it starts being produced in the new Brazilian factory of Itatiaia (RJ) from 2016, becoming the first Land Rover manufactured in the Country (the old Defender was manufactured by CKD process). Until then, it will continue to be imported from the Halewood plant in England, where its predecessor Freelander 2 was made. As usual, let’s start by introducing the menu.

Discovery Sport came to Brazil in three versions, all with the same Evoque engine, manufactured in the Ford plant of Valencia: 2.0 turbo Ecoboost gasoline, 240 hp at 5,500 rpm, 34,6 mkgf of torque between 1,750 and 4,000 rpm, Married to the ZF 9HP nine-speed automatic transmission, and Terrain Response’s four-wheel drive system. According to Land Rover, the model reaches 100 km / h in 8.2 s, maximum 200 km / h. The GPS navigator is optional on all versions, as well as the third row of seats (which includes folding systems, air conditioning and reduced spare parts), which comes standard in Europe.

Land Rover Discovery Sport SE (R $ 179,900): dual zone air conditioning, seven air bags, multimedia system with 8 “touchscreen, USB, iPod, auxiliary and Bluetooth inputs, rain and twilight sensors, leather seats and fabric , Cruise control, rear parking sensor with rear camera, 80W audio system with six loudspeakers, trailer stability assistant, ramp descent assistants (HDC), traction and stability controls, full steppe Size

Land Rover Discovery Sport HSE: adds to the panoramic sunroof set, signature LED xenon headlights, 18 “alloy wheels, leather seats with electrical adjustments, front parking sensor, USB input and output Air conditioning for rear passengers, 250W audio system with 10 speakers plus subwoofer, silver finishes on the bumper.

Land Rover Discovery Sport HSE Luxury (R $ 232,000): all of the above, plus 19 “wheels, premium carpets, premium leather seats Windsor with memory in the settings (front with climate control), rear center headrest support, customizable internal lighting , Meridian 825W audio system with 16 speakers plus subwoofer, tinting glass for sunrays.

For Discovery Sport, Land Rover has announced a five-year plan of basic revisions for the full price of $ 990. These reviews include oil changes and filters (oil, air, fuel, cabin) as well as brake fluid.

Skin similar, other skeleton

Looking at the picture below, it is clear that the Discovery Sport flirts with the visual idea of ​​being a shortened version of the Range Rover Sport (4.59 m versus 4.85 m, wheelbase 2.74 m – 21 cm shorter) . But under this similar skin is a rather different skeleton – and we’re not just talking about the difference of the supercharger V8 for the turbocharged four-in-line.

If the Range Rover uses a sophisticated all-aluminum monobloc, with riveted and glued instead of welded plates (a process also employed in the Jaguar F-Type), the Discovery Sport takes a slightly more mundane solution: steel monoblock combined with some Aluminum body panels (hood, roof and trunk), material that is also present in the upper suspension arms. Exactly like Evoque and Freelander 2, its platform is the LR-MS, a 90% modified and enhanced version of the Ford EUCD (“European D-class”), which also structures the Volvo XC60, V60 and S60.

The hive-type grille and the C-pillar pulled out of the body and reversed forward remain like the legacies of the Freelander family and Discovery, but throughout the rest the Sport makes very clear the recent influences that have revolutionized the brand. Narrow, beveled lanterns and headlamps with various sets of plans in LED signature and light cannon; Ascending waist line and descending ceiling line; A certain conceptual feel (Evoque), but combined with large windows and solid pillars (Range Rover Sport).

The result is a vehicle of respectable proportions, a sense of sophistication, but more user-friendly in the city than the older brothers of Range Rover. At the same time, it offers more sociability in terms of space, natural lighting and aeration than Evoque.

The first reception when pulling the massive knob of the Land Rover is olfactory: the slightly sweet scent of Windsor leather, exclusive to the HSE Luxury version, almost as good as the Range Rover Oxford leather – it’s even smoother and softer. The feeling is of walking into a shoe store.

Soon after, you are greeted by an environment that inspires sophistication and robustness, somewhat reminiscent of the concept of booths – note the panel of wide, flat faces. It sits below the Evoque (with which it shares the cluster of instruments) in terms of finishes, especially in the central console and multimedia center region – note the small, rectangular buttons of plain black plastic without the same sophistication of the siblings Of Range Rover – but it’s still a high-end interior.

The 8 “center screen of the multimedia touchscreen system has an interesting Dual View technology, present in other vehicles of the brand. It allows the front passenger to watch the television or a DVD with a headset (the vehicle comes with three games), while the driver uses the GPS or radio system – it is not a screen division, but a An intricate game of refraction. The clear plastics that cover the door panels and the underside of the panel have a very fine texture of sand grains, quite soft, and reflect the light very much like the leather on the seats and the upper face of the panel.

Steering ergonomics are very typical of an SUV: high floor and high hip, something between the Evoque and the Range Rover Sport. It is comfortable, does not incite sports steering, but has good ergonomics of use, resembling a luxury sedan. The pedals deserved aluminum cover: the exposed rubber strips perception of value to anyone who notices them …

Unsurprisingly, the rear space is better here than in the four-door Evoque. They are eight centimeters more between wheelbases (2.74 m vs. 2.66 m), a further roofline and larger rear sway, allowing the seat back to sit at a more relaxed angle. The vehicle allows four adults of 1.80 m to travel very well accommodated – the central part of the seat allows a fifth passenger, not as comfortable as the others.

For all uses

Like all Land Rover, Discovery Sport offers off-road capability. The ground clearance is 21.2 cm (the same as the Freelander 2), has the capacity to cross flooded stretches up to 60 cm in height (10 cm more), but lost a little in angles of attack and break- Over in relation to the predecessor: 25º and 21º respectively, reduction of 6º and 2º. The angle of exit is the same, 31º. This urbanization of the Land Rover has much to do with the luxury profile of the buyer of this type of vehicle, who will make alternative tracks and will pass through heavily punished lands, but will not reach the extreme level as was the profile of the old Discovery of the 1980s.

The transmission solutions are very reminiscent of those incorporated by the Jeep Renegade Trailhawk: its first gear has a very short bearing and plays the role of reduced when requested on off-road, under normal conditions it only drives on the front wheels and a viscous coupling system sends up to 50 % Of torque for rear wheels according to ECU detects tire slipping (this ratio may vary severely according to the selected panel mapping: sand, snow, mud, asphalt). There is wizard for ramps descent (very useful in wet mud), plus stability assistant to tow trailers and the already expected ESP and traction control.

Discovery Sport, despite its name, works with more relaxed suspension loads than the Evoque. This, coupled with its longer wheelbase and about four inches taller, makes it much more comfortable to face the pit of our asphalt – basically you do not deviate from anything other than craters. And even they can face it, making clear that their proposal involves a wider use than the purely asphalt oriented BMW X3 and Audi Q5. On the other hand, dynamically it has less of a crossover footprint, like the Evoque, and more of a true SUV: a little more body roll, slightly less accurate answers, limited feedback from the steering system to the Limit of adhesion. But it still offers a good amount of grip for its category.

The central question, in fact, is that the vehicle does not even propose to it. At 1,841 kg, its 240 hp and 34.6 mkgf of torque are sufficient to provide good performance, but not sporty. The focus is on overcoming slopes, carrying loads, overtaking on the road, braking with great safety (the wheels have 325 mm in front and 300 mm behind). In the end, no matter how enthusiastic you are, you quickly realize that the cheap here is to use it as an executive cruiser: a good road and city rhythm without the ocean of fury and sound of the big brother Range Rover Sport.

As a reference for consumption, at 100 km / h constant I got an average of 12 km / l. At road speed, fluctuating between 120 and 135 km / h with ups and downs, consumption dropped to 10 km / l. In the city, with little traffic, 8 km / l. They are good averages if we consider their size and mass. But of course: a little more aluminum in this body would be very welcome!

The new gateway to the Land Rover world has hit the mark and has resolved the extreme shortage caused by the aging Freelander 2 (which, he believes, is still for sale). Its sleek design and luxurious interior design left it half-way in value perception over the expensive Range Rover Sport – and it was not many people who were surprised to discover that the Land is actually there to fight X3 And Q5 and that could cost almost a third of the Range. The differences turn out to be out of sight: in addition to the brass 510 hp V8 engine and sophisticated transmission, the Range Rover Sport has variable-load dampers, electronically adjustable height, double-A arms in the front and monobloc and all-aluminum body – and Of course, it is much bigger and more luxurious.

That said, the big question is the size of the hot potato Discovery Sport left in the hands of the Evoque. After all, both have the same mechanical base, but the Discovery is more spacious behind, wheel more comfortable, has more trunk and has better visibility. The Range Rover has in its hands the trump card of the extremely bold design and a better internal finish, but does this guarantee that customers will pay between 20,000 and 50,000 reais more? Certainly there will be cannibalization, which is still good for the brand: with Discovery Sport, in fact the Land Rover ends up widening the spread of potential buyers, embracing those who felt that the four-door Evoque was tight or hard suspension. The tendency is that the Evoque, little by little, become a vehicle of more specific profile than at present.

Standard features:

Dual zone air conditioning, seven air bags, multimedia system with 8 “touch screen, USB, iPod, auxiliary and Bluetooth inputs, rain and twilight sensors, cruise control, front and rear parking sensors (HDC), traction and stability controls, full size steppe, panoramic sunroof, signature LED xenon headlights, 19 “alloy wheels, , Leather seats with power and memory settings (air conditioning), USB inputs and rear air conditioning for rear passengers, silver finishes on bumper, 825W Meridian audio system with 16 speakers plus subwoofer, tinted glass Of solar rays.

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