Land Rovers Discovery Vision Concept is an SUV of the Future

Land Rover Discovery Vision Concep

Land Rover is synonymous with off roading the way McDonalds is to fast food or the airline industry is to terrible service. This rough-and-tumble British brand revealed its cutting-edge Discovery Vision concept right here in the urban jungle of Manhattan.

Aside from all of the advanced technology this puppy is loaded with, it also indicates the design direction future members of the Discovery family will take. That’s right, going forward the nameplate will morph into a whole range of models. As for this concept, it’s clean and modern looking, though its stepped roof and alpine lights are pure Land Rover heritage.

Of course it also features a huge range of Star Trek-grade technologies. For instance it’s got gesture control, which allows you to operate things like the turn signals, headlamps and display screens by merely gesticulating. It’s also got something called Smart Glass that brings augmented reality to the vehicle’s glazed surfaces. Now, if it only came with warp drive and a tractor beam.

SEE ALSO: Complete 2014 New York Auto Show Coverage

Another crazy feature is called Remote Drive Control. It allows a motorist to operate the vehicle at very low speeds while not seated inside. This could be particularly useful in tight off-road situations or when hooking up a trailer.

Powerful laser headlamps provide day-like lighting and automatically dip to keep from blinding others. How thoughtful.

Beyond all of this the Discovery Vision’s signature feature is arguably its Transparent Bonnet heads-up display. This nifty idea allows the driver to see what’s going on immediately in front of the vehicle, even if the ground is obscured by the hood.

Cameras mounted below the grille look ahead and their images are projected onto the windscreen in a manner that makes it look like the bonnet is actually transparent.

Of course this seven-seat concept is loaded with even MORE advanced features like special folding seats, luggage that’s integrated into the doors and Laser Terrain Scanning, but we just don’t have time to cover them all in this video. If Land Rover can bring even a handful of this cutting-edge technology to market in future versions of the Discovery they’ll probably win A lot of new customers.

GALLERY: Land Rover Discovery Vision Concept Live Photos


GALLERY: Land Rover Discovery Vision Concept Stock Photos


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Plug-In Hybrid Bentley Concept Bound for Beijing


Based on the Mulsanne, Bentley will showcase a plug-in hybid concept car during the Beijing Auto Show on April 20. 

The concept serves as a precursor to the plug-in hbyrid system that will eventually be offered on 90 percent of Bentley’s product portfolio. But rather than introducing the Volkswagen Group plug-in hybrid powertrain to any of its existing models, it will enter the market in 2017 with the yet-unnamed SUV.

“There is no doubt that plug-in hybrid technology is true to Bentley’s values of outstanding luxury and effortless performance,” Bentley charman Wolfgang Schreiber said. “Combining our renowned engines with electric power reinforces and enhances both principles, and so we will gradually introduce this powertrain across our model range.”

For now, the powertrain is being previewed in a version of the flagship Mulsanne. Reinforcing Schreiber’s claim that the powertrain won’t fall below Bentely’s current performance standards, the company said it will offer 626 hp and 605 lb-ft of torque. Bentley also promises its plug-in powertrain will offer a 25 percent boost in output with a 70 percent reduction in C02 emissions.

The powertrain can propel vehicles on electric power alone, but only up to 31 mph. Technically that means the plug-in hybrids will be able to travel “emmissions free.” After that speed, the Mulsanne’ 6.75-liter twin-turbo V8 kicks in.

GALLERY: Bentley Plug-In Hybrid Concept


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Honda Odyssey vs. Chevrolet Tahoe vs. Infiniti QX60


Ask AutoGuide No. 42

Apparently family values matter. Conservative politicians tap-dance around these issues, pundits prognosticate about their demise and segments of the driving population make them a central issue when it’s time to purchase a new vehicle. Not surprisingly they play a starring role in this week’s installment of Ask AutoGuide.

Nadine is a 37-year-old mother of three. She’s in the market for a family-friendly vehicle that can endure the abuse handed out by her growing brood of little ones.

Ruggedness, power and space are important, but so is seating capacity. How do you efficiently transport a whole mess of kiddies? While simple and extremely cost effective dragging them along in a trawler net isn’t feasible; they need to be properly restrained in a manner that won’t cause them harm (read: rope burn).

She mentioned an interest in the Honda Odyssey miniature van along with its integrated vacuum cleaner. This means she’s not intimidated by a high price tag, because one of these puppies with a suction device is north of 45 grand. Aside from this family-focused option, what are some other alternatives? Well, she’s come to the right place because we’ve got a whole mess of suggestions. And by that we mean two other possibilities that might serve her. Please continue…

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Five-Point Inspection: 2015 GMC Yukon Denali


What should you do if a regular Tahoe isn’t enough, but the Cadillac Escalade is a bit over the top?

The answer is the in-between GMC Yukon Denali. With more power and luxury than regular Yukons, the Denali is for those who want to treat themselves to a nicer truck without going full-hog into the flashy Escalade.

See Also: 2015 GMC Yukon XL Review

According to GM, the average age of a full-size SUV still on the road today is 11 years. That is as much of a testament to the longevity of these big ‘utes as it is to how much people love them. So it is understandable that GMC didn’t exactly go wild this year when re-thinking the Yukon Denali. This SUV is a complete redesign from the ground-up, but it will be wholly familiar to current customers. Here are five main areas GMC has improved the 2015 Denali compared to last year’s model.

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The Road Traveled: Cadillac Escalade

Cadillac Escalade Generations

While not its top seller, the Escalade is still a hugely important part of Cadillac’s lineup. Adore it or abhor it, this high-brow hauler has brought in a lot of money for the company over the years and helped raise its profile among wealthy clientele.

Last year, the brand’s overall sales topped 182,500 units (retail and fleet). Their deliveries increased a whopping 22 percent compared to 2012. Of that total figure 22,514 Escalades (including ESV and EXT variants) were sold, which means it accounts for about 12 percent of Cadillac’s sales, but probably a much greater slice of its overall profits.

With traditionally bold styling and enough performance to match its looks, the luxury utility has done well over the years. With an all-new model about to be unleashed, it’s worth exploring the heritage of this luxury truck.

But this story needs a little context before we take a trip down memory lane, specifically a tip of the hat to Lincoln’s Navigator; for the luxury market was lost until this cartographically inclined utility vehicle guided the world to profits and prestige.

Released for the 1998 model year this F-150-based SUV proved there was a market for full-size, luxury SUVs, and a big one at that. It may sound like a fairy tale but this truck was released at a time when Ford’s domestic luxury division was actually capable of innovation; that’s a long-forgotten memory these days.

Essentially a gussied-up Ford Expedition, the Navigator was a major bullion-bovine for the company. Its unexpected success left competitors scrambling, notably Cadillac. The result was their hastily introduced Escalade, which bowed in ’99.

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Aston Martin SUV Deal With Daimler Draws Closer


Aston Martin’s plans for an SUV in the future might end up relying on a Mercedes-Benz platform, but the final decision has yet to be passed down. 

The British luxury car builder already plans to borrow V8 engines from Mercedes’ AMG branch, but the cooperation could expand further. Previous reports also suggested that Daimler would be willing to share its future large SUV platform with the company, although Aston Martin also hasn’t ruled out the possiblity of developing its own crossover.

Plans for the SUV aren’t likley to be finalized until Aston Martin finds a new CEO following its former chief Ulrich Bez stepping down at the end of last year.

Currently, Daimler owns five percent of Aston Martin. If the British company does decided to go ahead with sourcing its platform from Mercedes, the SUV would still be several years away because Mercedes next-generation GL-Class is due in 2018.

GALLERY: Aston Martin Lagonda Concept



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[Source: Automotive News]

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BMW X7 Production Plans to be Announced Tomorrow


The world’s top luxury auto maker will announce plans to build a seven-seat utility vehicle tomorrow.

Set to be part of its Spartanburg, S.C. assembly plant expansion plan, the X7 will join BMW’s other crossovers, which are also built at the same facility. BMW plans to expand its annual capactiy there to 400,000 units, representing a 50,000 unit capacity expansion.

The X7 will be BMW’s largest crossover yet and will be aimed primarily at the company’s U.S. customers. Further details about production plans for the crossover will be announced tomorrow during a press conference according to Automotive News. But the capacity  expansion doens’t necessarily mean BMW will aim to sell that many X7 “Sport Activity Vehicles” once production comes online. There is currently a months-long waiting period for customers ordering a new X5 and BMW will likely direct some of the newfound capcity to building more of its mid-size models.

BMW shelved production plans for the X7 in 2008 when the automotive market was collapsing, but the steady eonomic recovery is spurring companies to develop larger utiltiy vehilces again. Earlier this year, Volkswagen also announced plans to market a seven-seat SUV that will sit above the Touareg in its line.

[Source: Automotive News]

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2014 Three-Row Crossover Comparison Test

3 row crossover comparison

Until the mid-1980s, those with large families usually bought station wagons with a who-cares-about-safety rearward facing third row of seats. But then the minivan was introduced and everything changed. For the next fifteen years, troops of kids were transported here and there in these pragmatic boxes on wheels. As is often the case though, consumer taste’s changed.

Today the three-row station wagons rival the mountain gorilla on the critically endangered species list while the minivan has become more passé than bridge clubs. Now there is a new king of big family transport – the three-row crossover utility vehicle (CUV).

And the Crossover Takes Over

After a brief foray with three-row body-on-frame SUVs in the early 2000s, the vast majority of auto manufacturers have settled on unibody crossovers to handle passenger duties of six or more. Last year, more than 1.7 million of these CUVs were sold in the U.S. compared to less than 525,000 minivans.

With nearly two million annual sales up for grabs, manufacturers are constantly tweaking their products to entice customers. Over the last year alone, all-new versions of the Hyundai Santa Fe, Nissan Pathfinder and Toyota Highlander hit the market while the Kia Sorento and Dodge Durango received significant updates. To see which CUV is the best value for the money, we gathered these five crossovers along with three older models; the large Chevrolet Traverse, the best-selling Ford Explorer and the eight-passenger Honda Pilot. Which one emerged as the victor in this stacked field? Read on to find out.

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Rolls-Royce SUV Under Serious Consideration



Is there really a market for an ultra-luxury SUV from Rolls-Royce?

That’s what the British automaker is contemplating, studying whether or not there’s a compelling business case to invest into such a vehicle. According to Peter Schwarzenbauer, the BMW board member in charge of the brand, long-term independent studies believe half of the world car market will be crossovers and SUVs. So naturally, Rolls-Royce is considering entering the market.

Most recently, rumors of a BMW X7 being built hinted that the platform could be shared with Rolls-Royce so that the British automaker could build its own SUV while subsidizing the development costs with a more mass market vehicle.

SEE ALSO: BMW X7 Rumored Yet Again

Naturally, the big question for the brand is whether or not an SUV model fits in its portfolio. Schwarzenbauer dropped a hint, however, stating that Porsche and BMW probably went through the same discussions before bringing the Cayenne and X5 to market, both of which have been successful. Then of course, there’s rival Bentley which has has already confirmed it will be bringing an SUV to the market, giving Rolls-Royce even more reason to develop its own.

GALLERY: Rolls-Royce Ghost Series II Official Photos


[Source: Top Gear]

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Bentley SUV Teased With New, Less Ugly Look


Bentley released fresh information about its upcoming SUV today during a press conference at its Crewe, England headquarters.

The most striking news is that the company revealed a teaser image showing the yet-unnamed vehicle’s front end. Unlike the concept preview that debuted during the 2012 Geneva Motor Show, the production car’s front end features headlights that look more in line with the Continental.

Mechanical details are still hazy, but Bentley has said in the past that it will launch a plug-in hybrid version of the ultra luxury utility vehicle and promised today that it will be the most powerful and luxurious SUV on the market when it arrives in 2016.

Bentley has big plans for its massive new product. The company said today that it anticipates a minimum annual sales volume of 3,000 units. That’s especially significant because 2013 was a banner year for the brand both in terms of volume and profit. It recorded an operating profit of £139.7 million ($232.2 million) and sold 10,120 vehicles, representing a 19 percent growth margin over 2012.

The company plans to commit more than $1.3 billion to developing new facilities and models over the next three years including the new SUV.

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