Land Rover's Discovery Vision concept is packed full of new technology and futuristic styling. Revealed at the Beijing motor show earlier this year, the concept points the way forward for the firm's new expanded Discovery family.
Richard Wooley is design studio director for Land Rover. He answers our questions about the concept.
How close a look at the new Land Rover Discovery is this concept?
It’s us putting stuff out there. It’s getting reactions to a future Discovery and moving it forward. It doesn’t represent anything in particular. There’s a clear understanding of what it’s meant to be; it’s a visionary concept looking at design and technology.
What makes this concept a Discovery?
Above all it has great proportions, something that’s not just a Discovery trait but one true of all Land Rovers. It sounds easy to do, but it’s not on such differently sized cars with their own unique design and engineering pressures. This has the Land Rover ethos of a less is more, a pared back approach.
Why the radical departure from the Discovery 4?
Land Rover has a history of innovation. Most people forget that when we launched Discovery 3, it was a radical when compared to Discovery 2. Discovery models don’t tend to do the same things and innovate each time. This concept carries that ethos on.
What has the approach been inside?
There’s a revolutionary feel inside where we’ve cleaned up and given a sense of calm, something that compares to the visual noise in other cars. Land Rovers have a unique feel inside and you should get in, relax and understand the type of environment you’re in immediately. There are new ideas in the concept that challenges us, and this will feed back into the future design process.
What are the differences between Range Rover and Discovery buyers?
A Range Rover customer buys the car as a more personal choice. A Discovery buyer buys the car with others in mind. Discovery models have versatile, social spaces. Range Rovers are more personal and spacious.
What can the Discovery range learn from the Range Rover range as it prepares to grow?
The Range Rover family models are all individual but all share common themes. There’s not a ‘cookie cutter’ approach to our models. It’s more like a tool box; in a tool box there are different tools for different jobs and in a car sense this can be reflected in size, interiors, technology, design. We offer what’s appropriate.
What do you make of the comparisons between the concept and the Range Rover?
I’ve analysed this myself and see the differences rather than the similarities. If you analyse, they are different. People see a more sophisticated vehicle with this concept and that’s where the comparisons to Range Rover are made. There are very clear design themes that adhere to all Land Rovers – you get great proportions then pare back, clean up surfaces, and add precision.
What have you made of the reaction to the concept?
The concept breaks new ground and that can be difficult to explain. You have to give time to the concept and people to reflect. It’s easy to make a snap judgement. Peoples’ opinions can shift and I’m looking forward to hearing more feedback.
What technology can we expect from this on future models?
We’ll apply the technology across products in an appropriate way. Customers of our products have different requirements, and we will always put our technology on the most appropriate products.