The famous 4×4 manufacturer’s slogan of ‘Go Beyond’ has become its technological as well as geographical mantra in recent years as it has pushed the boundaries of off-road innovation combined with on-road performance.
It’s newly unveiled Discovery Vision Concept continues the trend and if past concepts are any example, expect to see its cutting edge technology in the next generation of Discovery family vehicles that this presages. The Discovery nameplate is emblazoned on the tailgate for a good reason, it will soon be spun-off into a family of vehicles much as Range Rover has been with the Sport and Evoque models. Discovery will be the family and leisure SUV sub-brand, offering premium practicality.
The Concept loses much of the current Disco’s square-edged ruggedness in favour of a sleeker Rangey Sport-inspired design. It keeps (just) the famous stepped roof but sadly ditches the useful split tailgate. A seven-seater, the configuration can be changed via touchscreen and transforming it into a four-seat limousine. The interior lives up to that tag, featuring waterproof Italian leather and wood veneer flooring.
But onto the technology, which considering the number of mentions of the word laser, you could be forgiven for thinking refers to America’s latest battleship. There are laser headlamps to light the way, infrared laser scanners to analyse the terrain ahead and either plot a course for you or, with All-Terrain Progress Control, actually drive you through it. Then there are the lasers that measure water depth and warn you if you are literally about to get out of yours. Finally there are lasers to light up surrounding terrain and guide you through tight gaps.