Land Rover is a 4 x soar with new Virgin tie-up

Gabriella Griffith
WE ALL know Land Rover is an all terrain vehicle, but now the car-maker is taking things one giant leap further by becoming Virgin Galactic’s first official partner.

So does this mean our favourite Chelsea Tractors are to become moon buggies as well? Will they be sprouting wings and taking to the skies themselves? No, it seems the Virgin Galactic team will be bouncing around in them on earth and each “future astronaut” (read as: Virgin Galactic customer) will be driven around in a Land Rover when they arrive in Mexico for training.

The news was given a predictably melodramatic big reveal last night on board the USS Intrepid, a former aircraft carrier-turned-museum on the Hudson River. Land Rover launched its new Discovery Vision Concept car alongside Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo, while around 200 VIP guests turned up to watch the scene against the Manhattan skyline.

The high-spec concept car will definitely get some pulses racing. It uses augmented reality technology to display a “see through” view of the terrain ahead, making the bonnet invisible from inside, and includes gesture control that allows you to open the doors, operate indicators and turn on headlamps. Snazzy.

According to both companies, it was a shared passion for adventure that brought them together. “We couldn’t be more delighted to have Land Rover join us on our incredible journey,” said Sir Richard Branson. “We look forward to crossing the final frontier together and to a long and fruitful partnership.”

Nice to see Branson’s not above a cheesy Star Trek reference.