Land Rover is set to unveil a new 4x4 concept at next week’s 2014 New York auto show, and not only will it preview the future design direction of an expanded Discovery-badged SUV range, but it’s packed with new off-road-aiding technology too.
The design of the Discovery Vision concept remains under wraps until 16 April 2014, but ahead of its debut Land Rover has revealed the show car will feature its new Transparent Bonnet technology.
Transparent Bonnet? So it’s like a Corvette ZR1 with a perspex panel in its hood?
Not quite. Instead, cameras located in the Discovery Vision’s grille feed images to a head-up display, which in turn creates a ‘see-through’ augmented reality view of the ground beneath the car. Besides whatever surface you’re clambering over being visible – likely to be the kerb outside the kids’ primary school – the Transparent Bonnet tech also shows the position of the front tyres, and can display other information like your speed and revs, plus the tilt angles of the car.
'As our vehicles become more capable and autonomous off-road, we will ensure the driver has the confidence to allow the car to continue to progress, over any terrain,' said Jaguar Land Rover’s director of research and technology, Dr Wolfgang Epple. 'We are developing new technologies including the Transparent Bonnet to give drivers an augmented view of reality to help them tackle anything from the toughest off-road route to the tight confines of an urban car park.'
Anything else I should know about the new Discovery Vision concept?
Just as the Range Stormer concept from 2004 signalled the expansion of the Range Rover brand – it now encompasses the full-size original, plus the Sport and the Evoque – the Discovery Vision is the start of the growth of the Discovery badge. The Discovery name will soon be found on both a direct replacement for the Disco, and the next Freelander (due later this year), and both will take design inspiration from the Discovery Vision, which is much sleeker than the slab-sided Discos that have gone before.
Current Disco customers might not love it, but Land Rover’s owner Tata needs the Discovery and Freelander replacements to become huge sales successes like the three Range Rovers, and that starts with a more ‘fashionable’ set of clothes. Even Land Rover itself now lists its key principles as ‘emotive design, unrivalled capability and ultimate versatility’…
Come back to CAR on 16 April to see the Land Rover Discovery Vision concept in full.
>> Click here to see the first teaser shots of the Land Rover Discovery Vision concept