What Is It?
Land Rover Discovery Vision Concept
What's It About?
The Land Rover Discovery Vision Concept is a showcase of technology and design that hints at the expanded lineup of Discovery models that are slated to start rolling out next year.
When Does It Go on Sale?
Since this is only a concept, it won't ever go on sale to the public. If you want something like it, you'll have to wait until next year when the production version of the next-generation Discovery arrives.
What Unique Features Does It Offer?
Concept cars are built to show what might be coming along a few years from now, and the Discovery Vision Concept has some trick features to look forward to.
One of its more prominent technologies is its "transparent hood" feature. It uses cameras below the grille of the vehicle to see the ground ahead and then displays the images on the windshield to produce the effect of a see-through hood. It's designed mainly for tricky off-road situations that demand precise placement of the front wheels.
If that's not enough help for you, the Discovery also has foglights equipped with infrared lasers that can scan the terrain and then produce an image on the instrument panel for the driver's reference. The lasers are also capable of changing to a visible color spectrum so they can project warning signals onto the terrain ahead. So if you're not sure you can fit into a tight space, the laser can project the width of the vehicle onto the ground ahead to let you know before you try.
And finally, the Discovery Vision is also capable of being remotely controlled through a smartphone or tablet app. So should the terrain demand a closer look from outside the vehicle, you can simply whip out your cell phone and guide it through from a safe distance.
If you're looking for something a little more useful in day-to-day driving, this Discovery features reconfigurable seats that can either fold up or lay flat to allow for several different configurations. You can push the second-row chairs all the way forward to give third-row passengers limolike space or simply fold down the middle section of the second row to create a table for the outer passengers. It's a level of versatility usually reserved for minivans, not slick-looking SUVs packed with lasers.
What Will the Production Version Look Like?
Land Rover officials were quick to point out that the Discovery Vision Concept isn't some thinly veiled concept that will arrive with a few minor design tweaks a year from now. Instead, Land Rover says that it's gearing up to unleash an entire lineup of Discovery-badged vehicles with varying degrees of size and capabilities. So, much like the Range Rover line that goes from the compact Evoque on the lower end all the way to the extended-wheelbase model at the top end, there will be many Discovery variations to choose from, and they won't all look like this concept.
What Models Will It Compete Against?
Audi Q7: Although Audi's midsize crossover is not blessed with the kind of off-road chops that the Discovery is sure to have, the German rival is gearing up for a redesign of its own that will no doubt deliver plenty of technology and style.
BMW X5: Like the Audi, the BMW X5 isn't much off-road, but it's more than capable on the road where most owners spend their time. The X5 was updated in 2014 so it already has all the latest gadgets, along with a diesel engine option.
Infiniti QX60: This three-row luxury crossover has plenty of room for passengers and a sleek design that has made it one of the best-selling vehicles in the brand's lineup.
Should You Wait for It?
If you like Land Rover's progressive new styling direction and you really want a midsize, three-row SUV with some off-road capability, the new Discovery is likely worth the wait. If all you really want is a luxurious, all-weather crossover, however, there are plenty of other competitors that are available now.