Ahead of the New York Auto Show this week, Land Rover has revealed its new Discovery Vision Concept, alongside a full-scale replica of Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo VSS Enterprise—the world's first commercial spaceship.

The occasion is more than just glitz, glamor, and the chance to hit tired sci-fi taglines surrounding the relaunch of the Discovery, which is kicking off a new Land Rover sub-brand of its own.

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First off, it's a relaunch for the Discovery nameplate here in the U.S., where it was dropped a decade ago—at the end of a particularly dark period for the brand's reliability and reputation—in favor of alphanumeric model names (like its successors, the LR3 and LR4) and a fresh image.

It also marks a new global partnership between Land Rover and Virgin Galactic—one that will culminate in future marketing activities as well as potential joint educational opportunities for future generations to pursue related careers in engineering, science, math, and technology. Land Rover will also keep a fleet of vehicles at Virgin Galactic.

Land Rover Defender Vision Concept and Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo replica

Land Rover Defender Vision Concept and Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo replica

The partnership marks, as Jaguar Land Rover marketing chief Phil Popham put it, “a marriage of Britain's most iconic brands who celebrate shared values, a pioneering spirit and a true sense of adventure.”

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The Land Rover Discovery Vision Concept showcases several technologies that might see future use—including an augmented-reality feature that can project a 'see-through' view of the terrain ahead, essentially making the front of the vehicle invisible from inside. There's also a Gesture Control system for opening the doors or operating lights, while Laser Referencing cues the driver by projecting markings and warnings onto the ground.

Virgin Galactic will keep SpaceShipTwo for public viewing at the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum from April 15-22, while the Discovery Vision Concept can be seen by the public beginning Friday April 18 at the public days of the New York Auto Show.


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