Land Rover test mule

Take a look at the Land Rover product lineup and you'll be forgiven for getting a little confused. What separates the Freelander/LR2 from the Evoque, or the Discovery/LR4 from the Range Rover and Range Rover Sport? Where does the Defender fit in all of this? Well, Land Rover is in the process of fixing all of that by aligning its product portfolio around three pillars.

One of them will be centered on the next-generation Discovery, which itself is set to grow into a family of its own – and here we have spy shots of one of the first new models planned.

Although it's wearing a lot of bodywork borrowed from the Evoque, our paparazzi on the ground tell us that the test mule pictured here is actually the new baby Defender that's set to replace the Freelander. Only with a twist: what we could have here is a performance version of that vehicle, judging particularly by the large air apertures in the front end and the pair of exhaust tips flanking the trailer hitch at the rear.

Of course it's a little difficult to tell at this point, what with all the lose-fitting panels and camouflage and what have you. But you're welcome to scope them out for yourself and share your thoughts in the Comments section below.

UPDATE: We've just gotten information that the vehicle in these spy shots is actually a mule for the upcoming Jaguar SUV, and not, in fact, a smaller member of the Land Rover Discovery family as we'd originally thought. Intel suggests that the Jaguar is being powered by a 2.0-liter engine, as well. Our spy shooter cannot say why the Jag SUV mules might have changed bodywork, from the shots we'd seen earlier.

Thanks very much to you commenters that spotted this and pointed it out, as well.