Land Rover put on a hell of a show unveiling the Discovery Vision Concept, raising us up a jet elevator on the USS Intrepid to bask in the SUV's glory. But after a closer look, I have to say I won't be holding my breath for its coolest features to see production any time soon.

The thing looks as realistic as the wildest Hot Wheels toys, with "DISCOVERY" emblazoned tires, spaceship seats, a glass/clear-plastic roof, and LED lines all over the interior. All that stuff was awesome, but Land Rover's people kept reminding us "this isn't the next Discovery, but rather, where our design language is heading."


The laser-based navigational tech, remote-controllability, and even phone-style driver interface remains in the realm of vaporware for now. If it works, they certainly didn't fire it up for us tonight. And about ten feet was the closest I was allowed to Land Rover's new toy.


I'm starting to worry that the all-touch-screen interface, see-through hood, remote-control drivability, and computer-arrangeable seats are all just there to distract us while Land Rover turns the once-venerable and very off-roadable Discovery into another bland-looking crossover.

But you know we're not getting any suicide doors on the next Discovery. iPhone-style unlocking over led-bars in place of door handles? I'll believe it when I see it. At this point I'd count on the new Disco or "LR5" as it may be known Stateside looking like a Ford Explorer with some gesture-based controls on the dash, and maybe a slightly unorthodox sunroof.

Prove me wrong, Rover. Please!

The official Land Rover Discovery Vision Concept Photo Gallery:

Images: Andrew Collins, Land Rover