Look back at the birth of the original Land Rover | How Land Rover has driven adventure and scientific exploration | GQ Editor Dylan Jones discusses inspiration with Chief Design Officer Gerry McGovern | Exploring the potential impact of electrification and connected vehicles | Tackling the 999 steep steps up to Heaven’s Gate in China
GERRY MCGOVERN INTERVIEW
GERRY MCGOVERN INTERVIEW “ULTIMATELY, WE EMBRACE TECHNOLOGY TO ELEVATE THE DESIRABILITY OF THE PRODUCT: TO MAKE IT SAFER, FASTER AND, IN THE CASE OF VELAR, MORE MODERN” GERRY MCGOVERN Gerry McGovern is a law unto himself: as a hard task-master, he is demanding in his expectations and unrelenting in his ambitions. The rules, however, are meant to be broken and he appears to spend as much time questioning his own beliefs as those of the many people who work with him. Since re-joining Land Rover in 2004 – after various stints at Chrysler, Peugeot, Rover and Ford – McGovern has succeeded in reinventing Land Rover as a brand, developing a product range relevant to the 21st century: first, there was the Evoque, then the All-New Range Rover, the Range Rover Sport, the new Discovery and the compact Discovery Sport, and, of course, the Velar, his most reductionist creation yet. A next iteration of the Defender is around the corner, as is a conveyor belt of new models waiting to be revealed, many of which will radically alter the way we think of the brand. In McGovern’s own words, the starting point is a vision – and at the heart of that vision is a fundamental understanding of the modern vehicle as an object of its time in terms of both technology, engineering and design. But, above all, it has to be desired. DJ: How did you first become interested in technology? GM: For me, technology is just another tool. I’m interested in design-enabling technology rather than tech for the sake of it. This is because over-complexity of technology is an irritant. When somebody engages with a product they look at it in its totality and for me it’s about the emotional connection this brings; if tech can elevate and amplify it, then great. But tech should facilitate design. The sweet spot is the acceleration of the design process. Computers have allowed us to be even more creative by getting things done quicker. Ultimately, we embrace technology to elevate the desirability of the product: to make it safer, faster and, in our case, more modernist. The Velar (right) is Gerry McGovern’s most reductionist creation yet. The interior is deliberately kept free of non-essential design elements 70
Land Rover Magazine showcases stories from around the world that celebrate inner strength and the drive to go Above and Beyond.
In this issue, New Defender is put through its paces by two inspirational young adventurers as they prepare for an expedition to the South Pole. We also celebrate 50 years of Range Rover by taking a journey of discovery to Dubai. As well as looking back, we look to future as a group of visionaries explain the technologies that could change the future for all of us.