New Land Rover Discovery Vision Concept: details and pics

15 Apr, 2014 1:34pm Steve Fowler

New three-model Land Rover Discovery range previewed by Discovery Vision Concept at New York Motor Show 2014

Land Rover Discovery Vision Concept: exterior design

Next to each other, the old and new Discovery models look very different, but there are clear links: the stepped roof that hints at the stadium-style seating inside and the asymmetrical number plate indent that references the old tailgate.

New design features are set to become just as iconic, though, with the car following McGovern’s mantra that every line has to have a purpose. “The reverse C-pillar gives the car its speed,” he said. “We’ve produced a very dramatic, distinctive silhouette that’s very premium, but with a visual robustness. It has more modernity with flush glazing and smooth surfaces, while the rear spoiler gives visual balance to the roof.

“The car hides its size well – as with the Range Rover, we’ve used visual trickery, with lamps that wrap around to make the car look compact and a higher butt to make it look athletic.” At the back, a single-piece tailgate replaces the current car’s split doors. 

Land Rover Discovery Vision Concept side

“This delivered the design we wanted, but also gave us a lower load height and wider ingress – it’s more volumous than before,” explained McGovern. A clever slide-out section does the job of the old lower tailgate as somewhere to sit, and it can be reconfigured as a bike rack.

The concept features Rolls-Royce-style rear-hinged back doors to provide a great view of the interior – all opened via gesture control. But could that feature make it into production? “I’m a big fan of the ’61 Lincoln – as is Ratan Tata
– so you never know…” said McGovern.

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While there’s no mention of what’s under the bonnet of the Vision Concept – we can expect the new range of Ingenium engines and hybrid technology to feature in production cars – the cabin tech is a big part of the story. “It’s as much about the inside as the outside,” explained McGovern. “In some respects, the car’s designed from the inside out.

“The vertical section of the dash pays homage to the Discovery, with the vertical dominant over the horizontal, unlike the Range Rover. It’s reductive inside, but there’s lots of detail and design – an incredible ambience. It’s very light and airy. The interior is an exercise in versatility, with the three rows of seats totally reconfigurable.”

Land Rover Discovery Vision Concept: interior design

All five rear chairs in the Land Rover Discovery Vision Concept are controlled via the dash’s large touchscreen, with bases that flip up theatre-style to slide forward, or fold flat to create tables. “We did the third-row seats in a different colour, as they’re the first-class seats. You can fold the others out of the way to produce space like in a limo – that’s important.”

Land Rover Discovery Vision Concept dash

Even the leather is super-advanced. Called Foglizzo H20, it’s washable and totally oil and water-repellent. And, of course, there’s a full-length panoramic roof that features gentle lighting. Practicality remains a Discovery strong point, with wheeled bags fitted in the doors and even a modern take on the curry hook. The lower touchscreen flips up to reveal more storage and wireless smartphone charging. Gesture control plays a big part, using motion sensors to switch on lights and indicators, and activate the rotary gearshift.