Today Land Rover unveiled the 2015 Discovery Sport, the brand's new premium compact SUV and first of the new Discovery family of vehicles, in a video hosted on LandRoverUSA.com. The new Discovery Sport debut video, shot at Spaceport America, New Mexico, was released in conjunction with the announcement of the Land Rover "Galactic Discovery" competition, offering groups of aspiring astronauts a chance to win a once-in-a-lifetime trip to space with three friends for the ultimate adventure.
Phil Popham, Jaguar Land Rover Group Marketing Director, said, "Only Land Rover could offer this incredible opportunity: the chance to win the most spectacular group journey of a lifetime. Our heritage is rooted in adventure, exploration and a desire to go above and beyond, and nothing embodies this spirit of discovery more than a trip to space."
Created to deliver a refined combination of capability and versatility in an efficient compact SUV, the Discovery Sport features a 240hp turbocharged 2.0L engine with a nine-speed automatic transmission and standard four-wheel drive packaged with "5+2" seven passenger seating. From a design perspective, the Discovery Sport defines the new Discovery family with optimized volume, proportions and stance. Its design and engineering result in a dynamic profile and excellent interior space featuring high-quality materials, elegantly integrated storage solutions and a Sports Command Driving Position. Long-travel suspension and a new multi-link rear suspension allow the Discovery Sport to be comfortable and refined on-road, while retaining the breadth of all-terrain capability for which Land Rover is renowned.
"Our challenge has been to combine premium design with exceptional versatility; the two attributes must work in harmony," said Gerry McGovern, Land Rover Design Director and Chief Creative Officer. "I'm proud to say we've achieved that; the Discovery Sport vehicle's dynamic design will resonate on an emotional level with consumers, and in my opinion, this vehicle is more versatile than any other premium compact SUV."
Designed and engineered at the Land Rover Development Center in the UK, the Discovery Sport will be produced at the company's award-winning manufacturing facility in Halewood, Liverpool, in the United Kingdom. It goes on sale in early 2015, with a starting price of $37,995*.
Land Rover and Virgin Galactic
The all-new Discovery Sport and the incredible Virgin Galactic space flight competition film was created at Spaceport America, New Mexico, which will be the base for the Virgin Galactic sub-orbital space flights. The film features a group of the world's greatest-living adventurers and personalities that Land Rover has assembled to back the Galactic Discovery mission, including legendary British explorer, Sir Ranulph Fiennes; entrepreneur and founder of Virgin Galactic, Sir Richard Branson; British adventurer and Land Rover ambassador, Bear Grylls, and former actress and wildlife campaigner, Virginia McKenna.
The Galactic Discovery collaboration signals the next phase of two pioneering companies – Land Rover and Virgin Galactic – working together to push the boundaries of travel and adventure for the next generation. A global partnership between the brands was announced in New York in April this year, on the eve of the New York Auto Show. When flights begin, a fleet of Land Rover vehicles will play a key role in the Virgin Galactic space experience, with future astronauts driving in the vehicles from the spaceport in New Mexico to the spaceship to begin their trip across the final frontier.
Over the next four months, as part of the launch of the new Discovery Sport, Land Rover will seek out the world's most adventurous spirits across 29 countries. Land Rover and Virgin Galactic will announce country winners in mid-November from which a winning foursome will be selected as the campaign culminates in December 2014. This is the first time that a competition has offered the chance to win a trip to space and the winners will be among the first pioneering travelers to view the earth from space and experience out-of-seat zero gravity.
Grylls will play a hands-on role in helping the winning group prepare for their voyage beyond the final frontier. He said, "This prize really is the ultimate adventure of a lifetime. I've stood on top of Mount Everest and looked up at the black above me, thinking 'there's only one place higher to go now'. As humans, it is in our DNA to go where people have never been before, and now four friends have the opportunity to do that."
To enter the competition, aspiring astronauts from across the globe are being asked to produce a 30-second video, or a still image, that demonstrates their spirit of adventure, choose three friends to join them on their space adventure and submit it via landrover.us/space. George Whitesides, CEO of Virgin Galactic, said, "We share the same spirit of adventure and exploration as Land Rover and it inspires everything we do. Democratizing space and giving individuals around the world from all walks of life an opportunity to see the Earth from above is at the heart of our mission as a spaceline."
Land Rover and Virgin Galactic are now exploring potential collaborations, projects and the development of immersive experiences for customers. They are also actively working together on joint STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education programs, which encourage young people to aspire to a future in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Both brands see the huge potential to develop their partnership to inspire others and motivate more young people to pursue careers in these vitally important fields.