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Land Rover previews Discovery Vision Concept ahead of NY show

Thu, 03 Apr 2014

Land Rover has given a first taste of the Discovery Vision Concept, which will debut at the New York International Auto Show later this month. The concept introduces the design themes that will define both the next generation of Freelander/LR2 and Discovery/LR4 models.

Land Rover had previously announced that it would align its models under three pillars - 'luxury' for Range Rovers, 'leisure' for Discovery models – of which the Freelander/LR2 becomes – and 'dual purpose' for the long-awaited replacement for the Defender.

Talking about the new study, Gerry McGovern, design director and chief creative officer for Land Rover, said: "Discovery has been pivotal in helping to build the foundations of the Land Rover brand.

"It is admired all over the world and loved by its strong customer base. We have created the Vision Concept to share the essence of Land Rover's new age of Discovery and to debut a new, compelling, relevant design direction that connects on an emotional level with customers of today and tomorrow."

The teaser video released by Land Rover shows the stepped ‘alpine' roofline continues, but the horizontal beltline of the Discovery becomes faster, leading to a prominent shark-fin C-pillar graphic, similar to the current Ford Explorer's.

Also revealed is the fact that the vertical nose of the old car has been softened and canted back, although the clamshell hood, complete with 'Discovery' script, is retained.

Although they're now branded as 'leisure' cars, the swirling wheel design suggests the new models will feature exterior jewelery that gives a visual link between the more luxurious Range Rovers.

Inside, the Discovery's major selling point – its versatile seven-seat interior – is retained. The video shows a pair of third-row seats, plus a second row of three individually sliding and folding chairs.

But, like the exterior's wheels, while the utility appears to be retained, the interior architecture appears to draw heavily on the latest Range Rover's with vertical chrome bars either side of the center stack, dropping down to a knurled chrome gear selector and separate rotary HMI control wheel on the center console.

With the luxury Range Rover family complete, the New York show car is the first time Land Rover has gone public with McGovern's direction for the new Discovery models.

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By Tom Phillips