News : Land Rover unveils Discovery Vision Concept

John Slavin

Land Rover Discovery Vision (1)

Land Rover has revealed the Discovery Vision Concept in New York. It previews the upcoming Discovery family of vehicles due to appear from 2015, starting with a smaller Discovery to replace the Freelander and followed by a larger model to replace the current Discovery 4.

The first production car is expected to be offered in a five- or seven-seat layout and will be based on the current Range Rover Evoque underpinnings, so you can expect a starting price of around £30,000 and a similar range of engines. We’re already seeing mules of this model running around the Midlands, with this seven-seater Discovery (below) being snapped by AROnline reader Pete Melville at the weekend. Note the long overhang and rakish flanks – the utilitarian style of the current Freelander will be swept aside by the new Discovery family.

Land Rover Mule

However, looking at the Discovery Vision Concept, the styling is clearly inspired by the current crop of Range Rover vehicles, with Evoque-like front and rear lights, along with a similarly rakish roofline. The interior features typical Land Rover touches like leather and a high-up driving position, but there is more technology than ever before.

There’s a head-up display that projects an augmented forward field of view into the driver’s line of sight, meaning it’s possible to see what’s under the front of the car. The system is designed to help with rough terrain, or when parking in tight spaces.

The steering wheel contains touchscreens for controlling the in-car infotainment system and there are no indicator or light stalks – the functions of both are instead controlled by gestures. There are more touchscreens in the arm rest and centre stack to control everything from video calls to the interior seat layout, which can be arranged with four, five, six or seven seat configurations.

Land Rover Discovery Vision (2)

Being a Land Rover, the Discovery Vision has a host of off-road technologies including laser terrain scanning, something more commonly found in military vehicles. This feature shows the contours of the terrain ahead in the centre console screen, to help with particularly tricky routes. With ‘All-Terrain Coach’ the car will even suggest the best path through the terrain.

The system will also detect the depth of water before the car has even entered it so the driver doesn’t attempt a water crossing that’s too deep. The system will also maintain a safe speed over terrain automatically without input from the driver if required. Another high-tech feature is ‘Remote Control Drive’ which allows the car to be driven short distances at low speeds without even being the driver’s seat. This could be used for exiting a tight parking bay, or for more easily hooking up to a caravan or trailer when driving alone.

With this car being a concept it’s unclear quite how much of this technology will make the production model or, indeed, how much it will cost if it does, but you can expect the production-ready car to include more gadgets and technology than any other Land Rover has featured before – a trend that will be carried on from the existing and rather impressive Range Rover Sport.

Keith Adams
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  1. Having studied the images and read the full ‘yuck-speak’ press pack containing phrases such as ‘gesture’ opening tailgate, not to mention the usual flowery rhetoric from Land Rover’s Chief Designer, Gerry McGovern, I must admit to being rather disappointed by this design concept.

    With Land Rover’s designers having made a considerable effort to establish a new ‘face’ for the Range Rover family of vehicles, in order to distance them from Land Rover branded models, the Discovery Vision looks like it is part of the Range Rover family. There is also the uncomfortable reference to “premium positioning” too, which means it will probably command a significant premium price and have more things on the options list than fitted as standard when compared to the current Freelander. This will, no doubt, mean considerable price overlap with the Range Rover Evoque.

    From the side profile it bears more than a passing resemblance to the surface characteristics of the BMW X5, while that D pillar profile could almost have been lifted straight from a Saab 9-5 estate. Even the horizontal emphasis of the headlamps and tail-lamps is very Range Rover-like. All of which means that if the production car is based heavily on this design concept, it will use the visual association with Range Rover to sell it, rather than the distinctive styling, function appeal and more ‘honest’ pricing of previous and current versions of the Discovery.

    Thankfully the Discovery Vision is merely a design concept that plays a superficial homage to the distinctive design characteristics of the original Discovery family of vehicles. This is not a bad thing as it makes me appreciate the more honest (possibly more simple, even) appeal of the current Freelander and Discovery 4 even more. Both of which are devoid of an encyclopedia of acronyms or catchy phrases dreamt up for labelling new technology.

    For me the lack of pretence in the Freelander and Discovery, not to mention ageing Defender, make them the models I would be more inclined to consider buying.

  2. I think that they have found a seam of gold and are mining it for all they’re worth. Makes sense if buyers are beating a path to your door.

  3. I was underwhelmed when I saw this initially. Like many have stated so far, it appears to have a heavy Saab appearance- no doubt an unfortunate coincidence.
    However- the one line I love is the rear view. The split tailgate line is a nice nod back to the first gen- it made me smile.

  4. Are the new Land Rovers reliable? Have they got rid of the shocking quality gremlins of the past?

  5. Part Range Rover, part Disco, part Evoque – all mixed up and spewed out from a sausage machine. Any individuality or distinctive corners or edges are smoothed away (like, to be fair, most new cars).

    Dull. Boring. I’m sure it’ll sell by the million.

  6. @5, good find 🙂

    I must say it reminds me a great deal of the current Ford Territory sold here in Australia from the front, but with an LR grille.

    I just bought an ’03 Disco 2, auto with leather, petrol. No ACE, no air suspension or electric seats. But at a mere 155km, it’s still going to take a month or two to sort the little niggles.

    My point? I hope to goodness they don’t gesture indicators or seats that only move the same way. Plus what would happen if someone that likes to gesticulate their hands while talking is driving? Indicators going off, lights going off, seats being ejected through the sunroof…

  7. Saw this test car pushing along the M4 Eastbound on Saturday morning. Thought it was an RR Sport off-shoot. Very sleek. Would never have recognized it as a Disco. It’ll undoubtedly be a superb car, but I can’t see a traditional disco buyer purchasing one to park up at Lincolnshire Showground with a horsebox on the back. Be careful Land Rover….

  8. Detracts from the purity of the original workhorse.

    Will sell many, and will be an accurate I.Q test of the buyer demograph.

  9. @7 too true.

    This from the owner of a D2 TD5 workhorse owned by me for the past 4.5 years.

    @1: you are right – D pillar line has been lifted from Saab (I had a 9-5 estate too!) instrument pack looks like a Volvo and nose looks like and Evoque / RR / RR sport

    Will sell by the bucketload to yummy mummies on the school run.

  10. Not sure I am happy with the new more rakish looks or the relentless charge upmarket. That said it’s not meant for the likes of me. It will no doubt prove popular with the chattering classes much to the gain of the all-important GB PLC.

  11. Gerry McGovern has a good track record, so he probably knows what he’s doing. A different front would be nice though.

    If Disco and Freelander move upmarket, maybe something new will appear below?!

  12. The smart money is on this raising JLRs profile even higher and helping to build jobs locally. Every time LR launch a new model or refresh the range people say they are diluting the brand yet each car has been an improvement and a success with buyers. I’m not sure why some see the need to question the intelligence of the buyers but I’ve noticed they have a track record on here of running down British products. While it has elements of the Ford Explorer it will be a totally different level of fit and finish to differentiate it enough. I predict success.

  13. how the the hell will you ever get tall bulky items in the back of that? no high roof at the back like my old tdi. quite nice tho

  14. IM on my Second Discovery(Disco2), I like the Discovery 3 and 4. but IM not keen on those boomerangs someones thrown at the side of this thing (disco5) I think they’ve got the side styling wrong. The concept of the small discovery and large discovery though is a good idea. I have to say Ive always thought “freelander” is a weird meaningless name. Is a freelander someone who wears shorts with no underpants? I would like them to ditch the Freelander name. interestingly “highlander” sounds better but its been “taken” (by the Japs). alex

  15. Looks good and will fit the market perfectly. The Lincolnshire horsebox brigade isn’t a big enough demographic (there just aren’t enough people in the world called Toby to design a car around) – as a global player LR needs something that will sell in U.S, China and throughout Europe. It may lose the connection to the great LRs of old but its a price worth paying to stay in business. I wish LR all the best in sweeping those hideous X5s, Q7s and whatever those Porsches are called (Caveman???) off the road

  16. I think I would prefer that the Disco looked slightly more like the DC100 than the RR (as much as I like the RR-Sport). Dont forget that the Disco has been a very good security blanket for JLR. JLR will need to be very very careful with what they do with the next Disco. Alex

  17. I like it, however I understand the comparisons to a Saab and I am concerned that if the Disco and Range Rover models become too similar they dilute what each other stands for. As @2 Richard has stated “they have found a seam of gold and are mining it for all its worth” very true I think.
    It will sell well but I just hope they tone down the RR and Saab similarities a little.

  18. Apart from the overdose of Saab signatures it’s a good looking car to my eyes but in the mid-rank between utility vehicle and fashion statement. The Discovery has been the vehicle for the upmarket farmer and landed type that wanted something to work for its living. This one is too fashion-oriented and overly stylish. It has lost the honesty needed for what has been the Discovery market up to now. If JLR are looking to re-target the vehicle to different markets they’ve succeeded but if they want current buyers to feel at home I fear they have failed. I really struggle to see how to differentiate this one in style and image terms from the Range Rover Sport or Evoque.

  19. @21, I agree entirely, it would be nice for the Disco to be all things to all men, otherwise those farmers and the like will just hang onto their old models or go elsewhere, Its all well and good folks blathering out the “selling things that people want” or “Good for UK PLC” without knowing what either mean, because another global financial crisis will turn vehicles like this a expensive albatross around JLR’s neck. So what’s wrong with a bread and butter Disco?

    I hope these products do well, but we have a suicidal economy based on credit and housing booms. Not a industrial goliath and prudent population like Germany.

    You can tell we are the fag-end of it when we are constantly carpet bombed with pay day loan offers-banned in most of Europe.

  20. Slartybartfast : well said. still… Ive seen some other images on he Disco concept on the web and Its growing on me. its looks better at other angles. but would prefer it looked different to the otherwise lovely RR. alex

  21. @22 I think selling things that people want means having lots of people beating a path to your door to buy it. Why, what do you think it means? God preserve us

  22. @24, There is a difference between want and need, its ok for the “look at me” merchants I suppose and with that the price will go up, the proposed car hardly lends itself to the hustle and bustle of farm, rural or general utility but has gone needlessly upmarket.

    Never seen a X5 or Cayenne on a farm yet. Is it not enough having the RR’s on the high-end of the market?

    I have nothing against the vehicle I just wish there would be a brickies smile version.

  23. Proud repeat owner of the D3s and D4… Can anyone comment on the size of the boot space on the new Discovery? This, for me, has always been a critical factor for the Discovery. The above wheel arch loading space and high headroom is key.

    Personally, the car is on face inspection too similar to the RR and as previously mentioned will dilute one another.

    Discovery for us – as per its name – means adventure and exploration. More than a car but a way of life!

    • I realise this post was a while ago, but while the floor space is just as good, the boot floor itself is a lot higher, the roof is a lot lower and the D pillars slope inwards from the tail lights up. The rear seats won’t fold flat, the alternative to the lower tailgate is hopeless, while the car is not remotely roof rack friendly.

  24. Land Rover have now decided to no longer roll out barely altered versions of yet to be built cars, such of this “Vision Concept” clone of the future Discovery 5.
    LR says that it only gives others (for “others” , read “Chinese”!) a chance to copy them.
    What is telling is, unlike the Evoque, no one has copied this – not even after 4 years have elapsed. Can anyone guess why?….

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