Future LR Models in US

Triumph

Member
Joined
May 9, 2013
Posts
11
Reaction score
0
Hi all, I got back from a Land Rover design focus group session a few weeks ago. I just thought everyone would be interested in what we saw there. I did not sign any kind of non-disclosure documents of any kind, so feel I can share what we saw. However, they were very tight on confirming we were existing owners (no competitors allowed) and we had to go through a metal detector to make sure no cameras or phones were on the convention center floor.

It was mostly a design study on the exterior and interior of several new LR models. We saw physical prototypes of the Land Rover Discovery Vision concept, a 4 door 5 passenger Defender, and a 2 door Defender prototype. There was also a virtual mock up of an 8 passenger Defender that was pretty bad ass.

The Defender models were universally liked by my fellow focus group participants, I have scoured the web and not seen any spy shots that quite demonstrate what we saw of the Defenders. It was similar to the DC100 concept, but more futuristic/smooth if that makes sense. They looked beefy, and had that iconic white roof. Front end could be more aggressive, but the presence of tow hooks and other bits give me confidence of the off road target market. We did not see interiors, but saw some computer imagery and it looks very much like the Range Rover brand interiors in terms of design. A good thing in my mind.

The Discovery Vision concept was universally DISLIKED by my focus group. You have all seen the auto show shots of the concept at this point and will have your own opinions, but it felt good to actually express our concerns with LR marketing types. Everyone felt that it was too much like a Ford Explorer, that it lost the iconic styling, and that it lost usability (clearance, no tailgate, poor visibility, laughable off road tires (50 series?)). It was basically a Range Rover Sport, with out what makes a Range Rover Sport cool. Basically it would be a shame to call it the Discovery 5/ LR5. We even joked that it should maybe be called the "Revoque".

Not sure how much our feedback will be taken into account, but I love this brand and hope they keep their iconic status in the luxury off-road SUV market that they essentially created. The Defenders are certainly exciting!
 

Trekker

Active Member
Joined
Jul 12, 2014
Posts
44
Reaction score
7
That's great news! Hopefully they listen to their owners. I guess I can still dream of owning a new Defender in North America.
 

Finlayforprez

Full Access Member
Joined
Feb 8, 2011
Posts
3,401
Reaction score
90
This is very interesting - thanks for sharing. I wonder how close those Defender prototypes are to the real thing; haven't they announced that the new design is finalized?
 

toddjb122

Full Access Member
Joined
Jan 9, 2006
Posts
1,951
Reaction score
265
...
The Discovery Vision concept was universally DISLIKED by my focus group. You have all seen the auto show shots of the concept at this point and will have your own opinions, but it felt good to actually express our concerns with LR marketing types. Everyone felt that it was too much like a Ford Explorer, that it lost the iconic styling, and that it lost usability (clearance, no tailgate, poor visibility, laughable off road tires (50 series?)). It was basically a Range Rover Sport, with out what makes a Range Rover Sport cool. Basically it would be a shame to call it the Discovery 5/ LR5. We even joked that it should maybe be called the "Revoque".
...

Thanks much for sharing this!

I'm glad to hear that I am not alone in my perception of the Vision concept. AND that your focus group passed on this feedback. I guess it depends how far along they are with the design. They probably can not make any significant changes without pushing the car out further, and it has already been delayed. They'll probably end up making aesthetic tweaks that don't affect the overall vehicle design but can change the appearance as the "looks like a Ford Explorer" feedback is pretty widespread.

Does put me at a loss regarding what to do. I want to wait for the Discovery Vision, but if it lacks some of the key features that drove me to LR in the first place (tailgate, seating that folds hard and flat, offroad capability) I may have to look at something else. :confused:

In the Vision articles, LR talks about an
"“event platform” that deploys from the rear bumper. When combined with the “social seat,” which rises from beneath the load floor to offer a rear-facing bench when the tailgate is open, " ?
Did you get to see the event platform? I am guessing that is meant as their answer to the folks who want a tailgate.
The social seat? Well that just sounds stupid. If they have room for a seat back and a sliding platform, I'd much rather have a storage compartment there instead and an actual fold down tailgate.
 

jjvd21

Full Access Member
Joined
Jul 7, 2007
Posts
576
Reaction score
35
Each model update gets softer and more rounded to improve mpg. LR was built on boxy unique designs the recent updates merge the likeness of other companies together where LR used to be unique. It's a shame.
 

danrhiggins

Full Access Member
Joined
Jan 2, 2014
Posts
1,126
Reaction score
78
Although the change in look would be disappointing. It does absolutely look like a Ford Explorer. In fact, I now joke with my wife when I see a Ford Explorer going by. I say, "See, there is the future of Land Rover!" But for me the greatest concern is in capability. All of what you all have said. Load area that goes fully flat and firm enough to carry cargo or to sleep in. Lots of cargo space without the exterior becoming bloated like larger SUVs and therefore more difficult to maneuver off road or in parking lots for that matter. Split tail gate. Lots of windows. Heavy duty package. And still not loose the basic "luxury" and ride that also makes it great for long, freeway-bound road trips. Not that there aren't things they could improve. Like a steering wheel which raises high enough for me to actually see the dashboard gauges when in "command seating" position. Paddle shifters that don't move with the steering wheel - and that can be used in Drive mode. 2nd row seats that adjust would be nice though way down our list. I think some of you would like a scoche more room for oversize tires. Other minor touches, etc. But these would all be modest refinements on what is already a unique and amazing vehicle. Why mess with success? If you want to address a different market then build something different for them. But don't abandon the proven, high-value, high-margin market of the LR4.
 

Triumph

Member
Joined
May 9, 2013
Posts
11
Reaction score
0
In the Vision articles, LR talks about an
"“event platform” that deploys from the rear bumper. When combined with the “social seat,” which rises from beneath the load floor to offer a rear-facing bench when the tailgate is open, " ?
Did you get to see the event platform? I am guessing that is meant as their answer to the folks who want a tailgate.
The social seat? Well that just sounds stupid. If they have room for a seat back and a sliding platform, I'd much rather have a storage compartment there instead and an actual fold down tailgate.

The Vision concept we saw did not have a functional interior, but they had a sort of dummy Vision that had a non functional interior (electronic bits were just static screens, buttons did not function). But there was no mention of the "event platform". The mocked up interior seemed fairly mainstream and not at all like the Vision concept seating that has been showed off. For example, the 2nd row seats folded the same way current LR4s do now to allow access to the 3rd row (which was fixed). One design bit that was off was they moved the rear climate controls to the center console, not on the ceiling. So a loss of functionality there, as we usually put a car seat in our middle spot and it would limit access to the rear climate controls. From a purely cosmetic standpoint it was a tasteful interior. (even though it was in cream color leather :tongue: )
 

Triumph

Member
Joined
May 9, 2013
Posts
11
Reaction score
0
This is very interesting - thanks for sharing. I wonder how close those Defender prototypes are to the real thing; haven't they announced that the new design is finalized?

The Defender models we saw were exterior only (no functional mechanical bits or interior) They looked fairly road worthy, meaning they didn't look very much like a concept only, you could see it being actually manufactured that way. If memory serves they had flush mount door handles, that may have been just for show. In the 8 passenger Defender that we saw virtual digital mock-ups of, they actually showed 3 possible rear end treatments and asked for feedback. So they must still be working on final design. I will say that the 2 door Defender was awesome, our group said having an optional removable top or soft top would be a great feature (the one we say appeared to have a fixed hardtop). If a rag top Defender 90 like the one I saw came to the states I would find a way to fit car seats in it. :smile:
 

Latest posts

Forum statistics

Threads
35,631
Posts
210,485
Members
29,908
Latest member
openspaces
Top