Got your microscope ready? The face of the new 2011 Freelander 2 is subtly different to the outgoing 4×4. The new car’s grille is the typical Land Rover mesh affair but now raised up in line with the headlamps in one continuous horizontal band. It’s a much neater integration.
The foglamps and front air intakes are new, too, and one change mud-pluggers will like is the addition of underbody protection creeping under the bumper as if to protect the sump below.
Elsewhere, the changes are harder to spot. The side profile is identical to the outgoing Freelander’s, but there’s further change at the rear: the boot handle trim now extends the full width of the car, not just the numberplate.
Sounds like a nerdy facelift. Are there any other changes to the 2011 Freelander?
The full story will emerge at the Moscow motor show in August 2010, but we hear there will be a range of minor engineering upgrades to the new Freelander 2.
The Ford/PSA-derived 2.2-litre turbodiesel is likely to be upgraded and the popular start-stop model will continue; one in two Land Rovers sold in Europe has stop-start already. It will be extended to auto models from 2011.
Jaguar Land Rover is pumping £800m into environmental R&D, so expect further developments in the longer run. Could the Freelander adopt the front-drive running gear of the Range Rover Evoque? Very possibly. Land Rover MD Phil Popham recently told CAR that demand for 2wd SUVs had jumped from 14% of the market in 2008 to 22% last year. It’s a trend they surely can’t ignore.
Don’t go expecting any hybrid Freelanders, however. JLR is developing its part-electric models for the more expensive, range-topping Range Rovers and Discoverys first.
Land Rover has announced a series of mid-life updates for its popular Freelander 2. A more powerful 190 horsepower diesel engine will be added to the range but the most surprising change is that the Freelander 2 will be available from January next year with a two-wheel drive (2WD) system, rather than the usual 4×4 transmission.
In place of the single 2.2-litre turbodiesel engine option previously available, two different versions with different power outputs will now be available. One, badged TD4, produces 150 horsepower, while the other (SD4) produces 190, good enough for a top speed of 118mph and acceleration from 0 to 60 mph in 8.7 seconds.
TD4 versions are available with either a six-speed manual transmission or, at extra cost, a six-speed automatic, while the SD4 engine is always paired with an automatic. Both engine variants turn out 20 Newton metres of torque more than previous Freelander 2s, and produce less CO2 (165g/km in the case of the TD4 and 185g/km for the SD4 on four-wheel drive versions). All new Freelanders will meet tougher EU5 emissions regulations, instead of the EU4 standard as before.
Four-wheel drive versions of the revised Freelander 2 go on sale in late September but will be joined in January next year by a two-wheel drive version, the eD4. Powered by the 150 horsepower engine, the eD4 achieves 47.2mpg on the official combined cycle fuel consumption test and emits 158g/km of CO2. Like all other manual Freelander 2s, the eD4 has a fuel-saving stop-start system.
Land Rover had already announced that its forthcoming “baby Range Rover” Evoque model will be available with two-wheel drive, a move that was perhaps inevitable after new SUVs such as the BMW X1 and Kia Sorento and Sportage were offered with a 2WD option. However, the similarly-sized Freelander 2 is an ostensibly more rugged car, closer to Land Rover’s core off-road tradition than the Evoque.
Two-wheel drive options have recently become popular because most owners don’t take their SUVs off-road but still value their practical body shells and high driving positions. A 2WD drivetrain is lighter than a full 4×4 system and has fewer mechanical parts so two-wheel drive SUVs are cheaper to buy and run.
Among the other changes being made to the Freelander 2 for 2011 are external styling tweaks such as revised bumpers and light units, and improvements to the interior trim. Prices for 4WD versions range from £21,695 to £35,510. The price for the 2WD eD4 will be announced later.
source: carmagazine, independent
Category: SUV Car Reviews
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