Meet the Land Rover Discovery Vision concept – a car with gesture controls, laser headlights and an invisible bonnet.
Oh, and you can drive it by remote control.
Yep, this new concept – which Wheels has been given exclusive access to ahead of tomorrow’s New York motor show – allows a “driver to manoeuvre the car at very low speed while not actually seated inside it”.
Instead drivers control the car via a removable section of the centre console, or by their smartphone or tablet.
Land Rover sees the function being used for extreme off-roading, coupling a trailer or driving through gates, to avoid repeatedly getting in and out of the car.
But don’t think the Discovery Vision is a one-trick pony – it’s bristling with cutting-edge tech.
Laser headlights, similar to those in BMW’s i8 sports car, double a driver’s vision at night, infrared laser sensors provide detailed information on upcoming terrain, and all seven seats can be moved via the central console into four different configurations – headlined by a four-seat ‘limousine’ mode.
Doors are opened by gesture commands (so no doorhandles, anywhere), even the steering wheel has touchscreens, and clever cameras in the car’s grille project images of the road underneath onto smartglass in the windscreen – effectively making the bonnet ‘invisible’.
But, while all this sounds impressive, this Discovery concept is much more than a tech fest. It’s way more important than that.
Look past the gizmos and take in its styling and what you’re seeing is a very glimpse at a whole family of future Land Rover Discovery models.
Early talk is that as many as four new Discovery variants will stem from the concept, with Land Rover keen to expand the Discovery brand in the way it has with Range Rover.
As for the styling, Land Rover has a reputation for building the production car first, then jazzing it up to create a concept.
So imagine smaller wheels (the concept rides on 23-inch rims), wack on some doorhandles, and you’re pretty close to the real thing.
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Click here to read the full range review of the Land Rover Discovery