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Land Rover Discovery Sport Facelift To Spawn Plug-In Hybrid Variant

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Land Rover will want to keep up the Discovery Sport’s sales momentum.

The Discovery Sport is Land Rover's fastest-selling model of all time. To keep up this sales momentum, the sporty SUV will be getting a makeover next year to keep the styling fresh. According to Autocar, the Discovery Sport facelift, which is expected to arrive by early 2019, will also spawn a plug-in hybrid variant in-line with the Range Rover Sport plug-in hybrid introduced last year. It will form part of Jaguar's plan to introduce an electrified variant of every model by 2020.

The refreshed Discovery Sport will ride on a heavily updated version of Land Rover's D8 platform that will offer much-improved ride comfort, greater cargo space space and room for underbody lithium ion batteries for new hybrid models. Details are scarce for now, but it's believed the range-topping hybrid line-up will use a new three-cylinder Ingenium engine mated to an electric motor and transmission. The 300V plug-in version reportedly has lithium ion batteries mounted under the central floor section. It isn't clear, however, if the cheaper mild-hybrid models will use electrified turbochargers or a belt-assist starter.

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Autocar also reports that modiifications made to the body design have reduced wind noise and cut drag by around 10 percent to make the cabin more refined. Throttle response is also said to be "40 percent better" thanks to a newly engineered engine mount design and transmission. Also expect the updated Discovery Sport to have a more rugged exterior to differentiate it from the Range Rover. Interior quality should also improve given the success of the Volvo XC60. In the US, the Discovery Sport is only offered with a 240-horsepower 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder gasoline engine mated to a nine-speed automatic transmission.