The Land Rover Discovery Concept being unveiled at the New York International Motor Show tomorrow is billed as a vision into the future of Land Rover’s new family of leisure vehicles.
From 2015, the Discovery nameplate will be borne by a range of vehicles pitched at the premium, lifestyle-orientated SUV market, in the same way that the Range Rover family encompasses the Evoque, Range Rover Sport and luxury Range Rover.
The concept marks 25 years of the Discovery nameplate.
Land Rover says that it’s a vision of a premium and thoroughly modern lifestyle vehicle that is a radical departure from the Discovery model that exists today.
Its compact appearance has been achieved through styling elements such as wrap-around headlamps and tail lamps and the short front and rear overhangs.
Land Rover is pitching it as a showcase for its latest technology. The Discovery Vision Concept’s doors are operated by gesture control. With no need for handles, the resulting clean surfaces and tight panel gaps are said to impart a sense of modernity.
The side mirrors have embedded cameras, which augment the view of the driver through the windows, providing an extended field of vision while parking and reversing. Below the doors, steps automatically deploy from the sills to ease entry and egress.
Traditional Discovery elements such as the split tailgate have been retained, and although the concept’s version is a one-piece design it references the original car’s versatility by incorporating extra seating. The tailgate is also gesture-controlled.
The interior of the Discovery Vision Concept features premium leather, open pore grey wood veneer and polished and brushed aluminium finishes. There is seating for seven adults across three rows.
The seats in the second and third rows are able to slide backwards and forwards fully, both independently and as a complete row, fitting flush with the seat ahead or behind them, and also fold flat. Their layout is selected from the menu on the console touchscreen.
The steering wheel incorporates two small touchscreens to operate the infotainment system, and with turn signals and headlamp functions operated by gesture control, indicator stalks are absent, creating more visual space and less clutter around the driver. This also affords a clear view of the instrument cluster, which features a high-definition screen with a three million pixel resolution.
The top of the facia has a leather-wrapped, aerofoil-shaped structure for a light, with a central “arm” containing another two high-resolution touchscreens which display the vehicle’s system menus.
Further down along the console is a rotary gearshift control, familiar in current Land Rovers and Jaguars. In this application, the rotary control rises as the driver’s hand approaches it, while a secondary rotary control operates vehicle functions such as the Terrain Response and Tow Assist system.
The Discovery Vision Concept’s cabin is finished in Foglizzo H20w, a premium leather that is specially treated to make it completely washable, while the Nubuck inserts on the first- and second-row seats feature Foglizzo H203 treatment that makes them oil- and water-repellent.
(article source: Paul Hudson, Telegraph.co.uk, 15 April 2014)