We’ve known this for quite some time now through rumors and industry rumblings, but it was never confirmed until now; Land Rover will create a new sub-brand called the "Discovery" and launch the new lineup to fill this sub-brand starting in 2015. To put this into perspective, this is precisely what the maker has done with its Range Rover lineup: Range Rover Evoque , Range Rover Sport and Range Rover .
We didn’t receive any real details on what’s in store for the new Discovery lineup, as Land Rover only confirmed its plans. Figuring out part of the plans, however, is not too hard. The Discovery lineup is going to be the more laid-back of the Land Rover lines, and will include the baby Land Rover that we’ve caught testing before — the likely replacement for the LR2 — a replacement for the larger LR4, and finally an Evoque-sized or smaller compact crossover .
The new Discovery lineup will ride on the Range Rover’s aluminum chassis that is resized to fit each model.
So, this means that we will soon have the Range Rover luxury line and the Discovery leisure lineup, but that leaves a big gap in the utility segment. Don’t fret though, because we hear that Land Rover is planning to use the Defender name for the utility-style models in its revised lineup.
This not only simplifies the Land Rover lineup for buyers, as they can now pick a Land Rover that precisely suits their needs, but it also puts all of the other luxury SUV makers on notice that Land Rover has the guns locked and loaded, and it’s coming for blood this time...
My only fear is that Land Rover may dilute its brand a little too much by releasing too many models, but by breaking things up into smaller sub-brands, it may be able to avoid the confusion caused when automakers release too many of one type of vehicle.
Stay tuned to TopSpeed.com for updates on this Land Rover shuffling.
Click past the jump to read more about the 2016 Land Rover Baby Discovery.
We’ve seen the Baby Discovery out testing many times, and it has really fed the fire of Land Rover’s splitting into sub-brands. We suspect this model is the replacement to the Freelander — the LR2 in the States — but it will not keep that name once the split happens. There are still no rumors on the potential naming system, but it’ll likely be similar to the Range Rover sub-brand naming system, meaning this may carry the name Discovery Sport.
Regardless of the name, we expect to see the new lineup in time for the 2015 model year in Europe, which means it may be a 2016 model here in the U.S. It is expected to have both five- and seven-passenger variants, and will take aim at the upcoming BMW X4.