Land Rover Discovery Vision Concept unveiled in New York can be driven from outside the vehicle and has a ‘see-through’ bonnet.
The future of the Discovery has been revealed. Land Rover unveiled its Discovery Vision Concept in New York a day before the International Auto Show – and with it the sort of technologies we could see crammed into future models.
The Discovery Vision Concept showcases Land Rover’s vision for the model, which this year celebrates its 25th birthday. Four new SUVs will wear the badge, according to reports, including a five-seat and seven-seat Freelander replacement built in the Evoque platform and a seven-seater rugged off-roader in the style of the Toyota Land Cruiser.
The fourth new Discovery will actually be the Discovery’s direct replacement albeit with more of a focus on luxury. Reports say this model will most closely resemble the Vision Concept. It will be built on the same aluminium underpinnings used by the Range Rover and Range Rover Sport.
“The Discovery Concept vehicle represents a Vision of our future family of leisure SUVs,” Land Rover design director Gerry McGovern said. “Its modern, relevant and compelling design is a significant shift from Discovery as we know it, while well considered practicality, configurability and Land Rover’s capability seamlessly blend to create a highly desirable vehicle that connects on an emotional level.”
Arguably the most interesting technology in the Vision Concept is called Remote Control Drive. This allows the driver to drive their car at very low speeds while outside the vehicle, making it easier to couple a trailer or navigate particularly dangerous terrain.
Up front are laser headlamps, which can track objects to maximise visibility. There’s also laser referencing for navigation, which projects symbols, markings and other imagery onto the road ahead. No more panicking whether you need to turn now or later ─ you’ll see an arrow on the actual road.
Land Rover’s Transparent Bonnet lets the driver look through the bonnet and engine bay to the ground below, offering new levels of visibility and awareness of the terrain below. A camera feeds a view of the vehicle below to a head-up display that projects the image onto the windscreen. Nifty, huh?
One odd inclusion is part of the ‘next-generation Human-Machine Interface’ (HMI). Land Rover says passengers will be able to video call each other through 1- infotainment displays in the back of the seats. As if turning your head was hardship.
The inside of the Discovery Vision Concept is a versatile place. The seats can be converted from a seven-seater to six-seat, five-seat or even a four-seat ‘limousine’ mode that offers maximum legroom and sees the middle chair become a table. Adjusting the seat layout can be done from the touchscreen.
Two types of washable and water and oil-repelling Foglizzo premium leather, wood veneer, luxurious metals and Harris Tweed detailing make up the interior, which is designed to feel ‘uniquely British’. Suicide doors (doors that open backwards) make it easy for passengers to clamber in and out.
The five-seat Freelander is expected to be unveiled later in 2014. Stay tuned for more details.