THE LAND ROVER Discovery Sport has been around from 2015, but it had a dinosaur of an engine — a2.2-litre diesel motor doing duty in it. That motor has been replaced globally by a newer, more efficient one and this update has made it to India as well. It is a familiar engine, we’ve seen it on a bunch of Jaguar cars already – the XE, XF and even the F-Pace. Part of the Ingenium family, it is JLR’s attempt at a new generation of more efficient, cleaner power units. The engines are up to 80kg lighter than their predecessors, and have been engineered to significantly reduce internal friction (by up to 17 per cent) to improve efficiency.
What is different about these engines compared to the older ones is that they have significant advancements in electronically controlling the oil pressure, engine temperature, and piston cooling. They also feature mechanical changes like an offset crank and roller bearings on the cam and balancer shafts. The Discovery Sport gets a 2-litre diesel engine—a 1999cc unit that comes with the option of two power outputs – 148bhp and 178bhp. While the Pure and SE trims come only with the 148bhp output, the HSE and HSE Luxury trims get the option of both outputs. The car we are driving is the HSE 148bhp car. The engines are paired to the same 9-speed automatic gearbox that did duty alongside the older engine.
The most noticeable change over the older engine is the refinement levels. It is really smooth, revs cleanly and there is no clatter. On the go, the engine isn’t noisy as it shuffles up and down the nine cogs on offer. This engine has a new variable geometry turbocharger that allows torque to kick in rather low down. You get peak torque right from 1750rpm and it tapers off only post 3500rpm. The gearbox is a pretty sorted unit as well. It has got a short first gear to keep it moving in off-road conditions, and a tall ninth gear to enhance cruising at high speed. Shifts are seamless and the box is pretty happy being left to its own devices. Nine times out of ten, it knows exactly what you want to do and allows you to do it without intruding, it will happily drop a gear and sometimes two, to give you more punch when you need it. However, the occasional downshift does come in a tad too late. The steering mounted paddles help to a certain extent.
The car is extremely comfortable out on the highway, and returns impressive fuel economy figures as well. We managed to get 16kmpl on the Mumbai-Pun e express way while doing reasonable speeds. All that tinkering to reduce internal friction losses seems to be working! These engines have particular significance to the JLR group as they are going to be used across their range of cars, save for the flagships of each company. The cars equipped with these engines are going to be selling in higher numbers as well, compared to the same models with bigger engines (and price tags). On the suspension and equipment front, things remain the same. It is a bit more laborious around the twisties than its competition, however it can go much further off the road than any of its rivals courtesy the terrain response system. Also, it is the only car in this segment that gets the option of a third row of seats making it a unique proposition at its price point.