The Discovery Vision Concept, revealed at the New York International Auto Show, features an exterior design that is drastically different to the current-generation Discovery, leaning more towards the style of the latest Range Rovers with its wrap-around style headlights and taillights.
It’s been 25 years since the first Discovery was launched, and up until this point the Discovery badge has made a reputation for being the utilitarian/luxury vehicle in the Land Rover family. Land Rover says the Discovery is now on a journey and is set to change the face of the next generation, with the badge set to appear on a range of vehicles.
The full-sized SUV concept pays homage to the Discovery with its stepped roof design, colour-coded C-pillars, and the asymmetrical graphic element on the rear tailgate.
The Concept’s headlights use laser technology that is capable of releasing an even beam of pure white light over 300-metres long, with the quality said to be closer to daylight. On-board hi-definition cameras automatically detect oncoming traffic to instantly dip relevant parts of the beam to avoid glare to other motorists.
The fog lights are capable of emitting infrared and coloured lasers that assist the car’s Laser Terrain Scanning; a technology that provides the driver with a visual reference to better understand the lay of the land.
The doors features a handle-free design that can be opened with gesture control. The same technique can also be used to open the single-piece tailgate.
The Concept uses Land Rover’s unique Transparent Bonnet system; cameras located under the vehicle’s grille project video through the head-up display onto windscreen. By doing this the driver can see what’s beneath the bonnet area, creating a see-through effect.
Using the vehicle’s localised WiFi, the driver is able to step outside the vehicle and use a smart phone or tablet to operate the vehicle remotely. This mode would be used in extreme circumstances where it would be easier to guide the car over rough terrain using an outside vantage point, or, to drive the car through a gate so you don’t have to hop back in to move the car forward.
The seven-seat layout can be changed to six, five or four-seat-mode; four-seat ‘limousine’ mode means rear passengers are treated to huge amounts of legroom, while five and six-seat-mode means seats in the middle row can be folded up for convenience.
In addition to the remarkable seating design, the Discovery Vision Concept features a social seating platform that is deployed from under the boot floor. With the one-piece tailgate used as a canopy, the ‘social seat’ can be used to sit and view sporting events, and the like.
The interior styling takes further cues from the new breed of Range Rovers, especially the centre console. A rotary gearshift control rises when the driver’s hand approaches, as does the secondary rotary dial that controls functions such as Terrain Response and Tow Assist.
Two small touchscreens on the steering wheel can be used to operate the infotainment system, while indicator stalks have been left out in favour of a series of particular gesture controls to operate indicator and headlamp use.
Another standout feature inside the Discovery Concept is the SkyLight cabin light that is built into the structural cross-beam below the panoramic glass roof. The light can be adjusted by using hand gesture from within the cabin.
Possibly the most outstanding thing the Discovery Vision Concept previews is a technology called smart glass. The futuristic concept is capable of displaying imagery like a computer screen on every inch of glass that surrounds the cabin. Eye-movement sensors follow the driver’s eyes and display relevant information about the surrounding environment as you look around. The glasshouse is otherwise entirely transparent like regular glass when not in demand.
The Concept features 23-inch split-five-spoke Aero Viper wheels and Tribeca Grey paintwork.