Land Rover unveils a new concept at the New York Motor Show that will form the basis of a new, wider Discovery range. It includes a lot of lasers. Awesome.[Not a valid template]
Some may say that this Land Rover Discovery Vision Concept SUV is basically the next Land Rover Discovery/LR4. But there’s more to it than that. This previews a new Discovery range from Land Rover, in a similar vein to the Range Rover… er, range. There will be a family of Discovery models, and this concept gives us a pretty good idea of the design theme underpinning them. Think a regular Discovery, a Discovery Sport and… well, others.
Unveiled ahead of the New York Motor Show, the Discovery Vision Concept shows off not only the overall look of the new family, but also some of the tech within it. We’ve already had a sneaky preview of the Transparent Bonnet head-up display, but other funky gadgets include smart glass, intelligent laser headlamps and gesture control, as well as Terrain Response with Remote Control Drive, and something called Laser Terrain Scanning. Oh yeah, lasers. Pew pew!
This is a space-age Land Rover, as evidenced by its unveiling alongside a scale model of the Virgin Galactic spacecraft on board the USS Intrepid aircraft carrier in Manhattan.
Design wise, the new concept pays obvious homage to other models in the Land Rover line-up, including the Range Rover, Range Rover Sport and Evoque. But it also retains previous Discovery/LR4 features, such as the asymmetric tailgate.
Designed with practicality as a key aspect, it features seats that fold flat and can slide forwards are backwards via a touchscreen menu to change from a standard seven-seat layout to a six-seater, five-seater or even a four-seat ‘limousine’ set up. Detachable stroller-style luggage is integrrated into the doors, and there are various accessories designed into the seatbacks.
The tailgate contains a deployable rear sill step and a folding bench seat. Land Rover describes it as a ‘flexible event platform with social seating for active lifestyles’. Right.
Now, the gadgets. Smart Glass brings augmented reality to the windows (finally, right?), while the doors, indicators, headlamps and seatback screens can be operated by gesture control. Hopefully that won’t mean that when you flip someone off, the door opens. Remote Control Drive lets the driver manoeuvre the car at very low speed when not actually inside it. Sounds like a recipe for disaster and/or fun, but it’s intended to be useful when undertaking extreme off-roading or coupling a trailer, for instance.
The lasers? Laser headlamps track objects and dip the beam automatically to improve safety, while laser referencing projects markings, symbols and imagery onto ground surfaces to help navigate tight gaps. Laser Terrain Scanning uses infrared lasers in the front fog-lamps to scan the terrain being driver upon, and render a contour map on the cockpit display. Pair this map with the All-Terrain Coach guidance system to chart out a path through tricky terrain. Which sounds awesomely futuristic. Oh, and then there’s Wade Aid, which uses laser to measure the depth or water before you go into it.
The particular vehicle, we’re reliably informed, won’t become a production car itself, but it does show in what direction Land Rover is thinking for a future Discovery line. And it looks pretty badass.