The official word from Land Rover, design director Gerry McGovern and anyone else you care to mention is that the Land Rover Discovery Vision Concept is just that. A concept.

But after seeing the show car in New York last night, ahead of its public debut at the show on Wednesday, it’s hard to imagine that it’s not actually the new Discovery, expected next year. Or as close as dammit. 

When I first saw the pics that you can now see in our story I wasn’t sure to be honest. Maybe it’s because I’m such a fan of the existing one and its lovely straight, imposing and architectural lines. But now I’ve seen the show car in the metal – on an aircraft carrier turned museum no less – I’m rather more convinced that it’s a step in the right direction and worthy of the Discovery nameplate.

The interior is a major advancement no question. So too is the clever tech employed in it, which will surely be rolled out across the Land Rover and Range Rover line-up. Most of the major functions are controlled by hand gestures and it's going to be interesting to see if this will work in the real world.

The question is also how well this new look will scale. Don’t forget that, as the company is keen to point out, the Discovery will become a family of vehicles, likely to be four-strong.

This also includes a replacement for the Freelander later this year. Ditching the Freelander name sounds like a suicidal move. But the reality is that it has little resonance outside of the UK. Indeed, here in the US, it’s called the LR2 and this is too lucrative a market to ignore. 

So what do you think? An exciting design for the future or are you less positive?