Landy gen­try

The re­vised Free­lander is just the tip of the Landy ice­berg

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Car News - NEIL DOWL­ING neil.dowl­ing@cars­guide.com.au

LAND Rover’s new Free­lander leads a roll-out of some 50 new prod­ucts or de­vel­op­ments.

Free­lander— the late-life makeover of which ar­rives next month— is to­tally re­designed and set for launch in 2015 as a ri­val to mid-size SUVs from BMWand Audi.

A ma­jor part of the iconic off-road brand’s re­ju­ve­na­tion plan rests on new en­gines to be built at a new Bri­tish plant.

Land Rover spokesman Dave Roynon says pro­duc­tion of en­gines will start within three years.

‘‘ It was our in­ten­tion to have our own en­gines. But we are a small com­pany and things take a bit longer to do than some of our com­peti­tors,’’ he says.

‘‘ The cur­rent 2.0-litre turbo petrol and 2.2-litre diesel will be phased out and re­placed with the small-ca­pac­ity en­gines that we will make in-house.’’

Roynon won’t dis­cuss their ca­pac­ity, out­put or fuel econ­omy goals but says they are small-ca­pac­ity and prob­a­bly about the same size or smaller than the out­go­ing en­gines.

‘‘ If you look at en­gine trends, it’s all about down­siz­ing,’’ he says. ‘‘ That’s where we’ll put our ex­per­tise. There’s no other party in­volved in th­ese en­gines — they will be de­signed and made by us, for us.’’ Big­ger en­gines will con­tinue to roll out from ‘‘ one of three Ford en­gine plants where we have our own pro­duc­tion lines’’.

‘‘ The plan is to have 50 new de­vel­op­ments within five years,’’ he says. ‘‘ We have seg­mented prod­ucts into a frame­work that looks like a chess board. Within this are three main ve­hi­cle cat­e­gories— lux­ury, leisure and du­alpur­pose. So we have a fo­cus to de­velop prod­ucts for sec­tors we think will be suc­cess­ful.’’

New models will in­clude the 2015 Free­lander and a re­vi­sion to the Evoque in 2014.

The ex­pected De­fender re­place­ment— pos­ing as the DC100 con­cept at var­i­ous mo­tor shows re­cently— is not on the cards.

‘‘ I think it’s years and years away,’’ Roynon says of the De­fender re­place­ment. ‘‘ The DC100 showed us that some peo­ple loved it— in­clud­ing mo­tor­ing jour­nal­ists— but that our core buy­ers, the hard­core drivers, hated it.’’

Nor will the Evoque have any im­mi­nent change, says Land Rover’s Free­lander launch man­ager Ian Foulkes. He says the Evoque out­sells the Free­lander by more than two to one so it will be the Free­lander that is over­hauled first.

Free en­ter­prise: The Free­lander is

first in line for a makeover

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.