The revised Freelander is just the tip of the Landy iceberg
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