Land Rover previews the design of the next Discovery with the Discovery Vision Concept, unveiled aboard the USS Intrepid alongside a scale model of the Virgin Atlantic spacecraft at the announcement of a tie-in between the two companies.

The Discovery will become a range of vehicles rather than a single model, the first of which will be called the Discovery Sport and will go on sale in 2015.

Phil Popham, Group Marketing Director, Jaguar Land Rover, said: “We announced at the Geneva Motor Show in March that the Discovery family is set to evolve. And it is apt that in the 25th anniversary year of the original Discovery that we preview how this evolution will take us forward into a daring new era. The Discovery Vision Concept gives us the first stunning glimpse into this hugely exciting future.”

The design of the Discovery Vision Concept continues some of the existing Discovery’s most famous elements, such as the stepped roof, but also brings the shape closer to that used by the new Range Rover models.

The interior can be switched between five- and seven-seat layouts, with seat controls accessed via a touch-screen menu.  There’s even the option of a four-seat ‘limousine’ mode.

Removable luggage slots into the doors, while a range of accessories can fit into the seat backs.

The tailgate is now a single powered unit, but with the addition of a retractable rear sill step and a folding bench seat.

Materials used in the cabin include washable, water-resistant and oil-repellent Foglizzo leather, wood veneer floors and Harris Tweed.

Gadgets previewed include Smart Glass which provides augmented reality functions to the entire glasshouse, and the operation of many of the vehicle’s features such as doors, indicators, headlights, etc, via Gesture Control.

Remote Control Drive allows the driver to control the vehicle from outside at very low speeds, useful for off-road applications or coupling a trailer.

Laser headlights with object tracking, and laser referencing to aid navigating tight gaps, are also undergoing development.

A new version of Land Rover’s Terrain Response system will also appear, and it will unite these various technologies into one, simple-to-use interface.