Though the new Discovery Sport isn't scheduled to go on sale until next month, Land Rover is putting it in the showrooms all 117 of its retailers in the UK … sort of. Instead of actual cars, the company is offering virtual 3D versions of the Sport that customers can take a tour of using Augmented Reality (AR) technology.

When customers come into the Land Rover showroom this month, there won't be a Discovery Sport waiting to have its tires kicked, but a black "Christmas present" sitting on the floor. When they look at the box using an iPhone 5S mounted in a Durovis Dive headset provided by the dealer, it activates a pre-loaded app that generates a life-like 3D model of the Sport for their inspection.

According to Land Rover, the box acts as an activation marker that sets off a lifelike 3D tour of the Sport. As customers walk around the virtual car, animations are triggered that show off the features of the compact 4x4 aimed at the young urban market, such as a 360⁰ of the interior or the details of the boot and adjustable seating.

Virtual interior of the Discovery Sport

"We wanted to bring the new Discovery Sport to life between the global announcement and vehicles arriving in showrooms," says Laura Schwab, Jaguar Land Rover UK Marketing Director. "We have received a huge amount of interest from customers through our retailers across the country, and this will give an exciting immersive experience, beyond that of a traditional online configurator or sales brochure. Bringing such an experience to a relatively small device provides the customer with the ease and familiarity of an iPhone together with the simplicity of updating the software to add accessories and the latest color options and I am confident customers will find the experience informative and enjoyable."

The actual Discovery Sport arrives in British showrooms on January 22 with prices starting at £32,395 (US$50,900).

Source: Land Rover

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