The Land Rover Discovery Vision Concept car will debut groundbreaking ‘virtual bonnet’ technology that uses augmented reality to make the front of the car invisible.

The new tech is part of a range of technology features to be revealed on the firm’s New York Motor Show star car next week (16 April).

Land Rover Discovery Vision Concept (2014): first glimpse

Land Rover Discovery family to grow with new models

It uses cameras located in the grille to capture what the car will drive over – and then uses powerful processing software to feed this into a head-up display.

Via augmented reality ‘virtual’ vision, the bonnet appears see-through with the ground beneath the car – and the wheels, including their position – becoming visible.

It gives, says Land Rover, a “new level of driver awareness” and is genuinely pioneering new automotive technology.

The firm has demonstrated it in a video showing a vehicle driving off-road: it will be useful for driving up steep hills, where ordinarily the view ahead of the car disappears beneath the steeply-angled bonnet.

It will also be handy in town though, adds Land Rover – such as when parking or driving up steep multi-story car park ramps.

Dr Wolfgang Epple, Director of Research and Technology for Jaguar Land Rover said: “As our vehicles become more capable and autonomous off-road, we will ensure the driver has the confidence to allow the car to continue to progress, over any terrain.

“We are developing new technologies including the Transparent Bonnet to give drivers an augmented view of reality to help them tackle anything from the toughest off-road route to the tight confines of an urban car park.”

The Land Rover Discovery Vision Concept is a design and technology showcase that the firm will reveal at the New York Motor Show. Although not directly intended for production, it introduces the future direction of the Discovery ‘pillar’ and will carry a range of new technologies that Land Rover plans to bring onto future production cars.

MSN Cars will be reporting live from the New York Show: join us next week for full coverage from the event.