Land Rover : MY11 Freelander 2 range to include a 2WD derivative

The new MY11 Land Rover Freelander 2

Land Rover has today released details of the MY11 Freelander 2 model range which goes on sale in the UK from the end of September 2010 and benefits from a new 2.2-litre diesel engine available with either 150PS or 190PS outputs, a new look exterior plus interior alterations including new instrument dials and a new Premium Pack option.

Land Rover’s new turbo diesel engine is available in the 4WD TD4 150PS model featuring a manual transmission and intelligent Stop/Start technology as standard (an automatic gearbox without Stop/Start is available as a cost option), or the new SD4 model delivering 190PS (available in automatic transmission only).

This new engine is quieter, more efficient and both derivatives have 20Nm more torque than the outgoing engine. This means the MY11 Freelander 2 offers improved engine response and more mid-range strength for towing. CO2 emissions have been significantly reduced to 165g/km and 185g/km respectively with corresponding fuel economy benefits.

However, despite reductions in consumption and emissions, there has been no compromise in performance.  The flagship 190PS Freelander SD4 accelerates from rest to 60mph in 8.7 seconds with an increased top speed of 118mph. The Freelander 150PS TD4 manual and automatic versions match the performance of their predecessors.

Both versions have been upgraded from EU4 to EU5, have a new variable geometry turbocharger and have been extensively re-calibrated to deliver new levels of power, meet emissions regulations and reduce CO2 emissions.  They are fitted with a catalysed diesel particulate filter as standard and are now compatible with 10 per cent biodiesel rather than 5 per cent.

Land Rover will also offer customers a 2WD derivative as an addition to the Freelander 2 range and this will be available in the UK from January 2011. This will be called the Freelander 2 eD4 and it will be the most efficient Land Rover ever produced, with fuel consumption of 47.2mpg combined, and CO2 emissions of just 158g/km.

The new Freelander 2 eD4 moves Land Rover into the hugely popular and fiercely contested two wheel-drive SUV market. The European market for two-wheel drive SUVs represents 23 percent of the segment and we intend to compete strongly here. A 2WD option is just one way in which we are developing our vehicles’ efficiency whilst adding to the Land Rover range and expanding our appeal to a broader group of customers.” Phil Popham, Managing Director, Land Rover

“The new Freelander 2 eD4 moves Land Rover into the hugely popular and fiercely contested two wheel-drive SUV market,” said Land Rover Managing Director Phil Popham. “The European market for two-wheel drive SUVs represents 23 percent of the segment and we intend to compete strongly here.

“A 2WD option is just one way in which we are developing our vehicles’ efficiency whilst adding to the Land Rover range and expanding our appeal to a broader group of customers.  We will continue to make the ‘world’s finest all-terrain vehicles’ for those customers who require 4WD but will also now offer an alternative.”

This groundbreaking Freelander 2 eD4 is powered by the new 2.2-litre turbo diesel engine, delivering 150PS.  It is only available with a six-speed manual transmission featuring Stop/Start technology as standard.

The exterior of the latest Freelander 2 gets a new look for 2011 – this features a new front bumper assembly incorporating new front fog lap bezels, a new front grille finish, improved headlights and tail lamps, new full width tailgate appliqué and new 18- or 19-inch alloy wheel styles. There are three new colour schemes for 2011 Kosrae Green, Baltic Blue and Fuji White.

Inside the cabin, Land Rover’s design team have revised the instrument dials, and there are four new seat styles with the option of a Premium Pack that includes Windsor Leather upholstery, an 8/6 way electric seat, plus premium carpet mats and covered centre stowage.

The 4WD TD4 and SD4 models will be on sale in the UK from the end of September with prices ranging from £21,695 otr for the 150PS TD4 manual to £35,510 otr for the 190PS SD4 HSE automatic. The 2WD eD4 model will be available in the UK from January 2011 and prices for that model will be announced later this year.

[Source: Land Rover]

Clive Goldthorp

About the Author:

Clive claims that his interest in the BMC>MG story dates back to his childhood in the 1960s when the family’s garage premises were leased to a tenant with an Austin agency. However, back in the 1920s and 1930s, his grandmother was one of the country’s first female Garage Proprietors so cars probably run in his genes! Admits to affairs with Alfa Romeos, but has more recently owned an 06/06 MG TF 135 and then a 15/64 MG3 Style… Clive, who was AROnline’s News Editor for nearly four years, stood down from that role in order to devote more time to various Motor Racing projects but still contributes articles on as regular basis as his other commitments permit.

38 Comments on "Land Rover : MY11 Freelander 2 range to include a 2WD derivative"

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  1. Jonathan Carling Jonathan Carling says:

    It’s logical enough that Land Rover should do this – it’ll bring the company’s average CO2 levels down, cost less than the 4WD and it will sell. Plenty of Freelanders never go off-road, so there’s no real need for them to have 4WD.

  2. Ianto says:

    This is great news. A 2WD Freelander makes much more sense and will be more attractive to its core market. This is proof that Tata Motors are providing some innovative thinking about the future direction of Land Rover and are clearly committed to ensuring its long-term future.

    I suspect that a 2WD Range Rover Sport would also sell well.

  3. David 3500 says:

    This looks good and has some welcome improvements under the bonnet, too. However, I wish they could lose the two rear doors and create a more dramatically inclined rear pillar with either a Hardback or Softback rear design – that would give potential Freelander buyers a more youthful and accessible offering.

    It’s too late in the day for that now, with the nearest prospect being the premium-priced Range Rover Evoque which is loosely derived from the same platform. However, these are welcome updates for the Freelander, even the 2WD option.

  4. Alex Scott says:

    I’m not sure about the idea of this stop-start technology stuff on its own, but do wonder if, perhaps instead, they could use a hybrid solution as follows: rear axle driven by the engine and gearbox, front axle driven by seperate (one each side) electric motors, which operate only on short runs (like a normal hybrid) travelling between traffic lights etc. or when the extra drive is required (loss of traction) or extreme acceleration.

    I reckon that, if there was an electric motor on each wheel (perhaps mounted on the car (not at the wheels) and so still using driveshafts) there would be no gearbox breakage issues and neck-breaking acceleration should be possible. The electric motors on the front axle could also, presumably, be used for regenerative braking. Alex.

  5. Peter Harris says:

    I seem to remember that, some years ago, the Product Managers at Range Rover stated that they would never produce a 2WD version of that model as the price reduction would be quite small and the justification for the car would then be gone. I don’t expect to see this 2WD option introduced on the higher models but it does demonstrate Land Rover’s growing confidence in the value of their brand…

  6. Ianto says:

    @Peter Harris
    I’m not sure that the price reduction is what will sell the car, rather the increased mpg.

  7. Mike Barrett says:

    Please pass on to Land Rover that many former Rover owners would like to see the 2WD models available with automatic transmission, leather and wood interiors.

    This is exactly what we are looking for but currently the range is too restricted with a manual transmission and a basic interior.

  8. Jemma says:

    A Freelander 2WD? That’s making the pointless even more pointless…

    I mean seriously – it’s supposed to be a Land Rover – not something that Matra cooked up in its spare time from filing for bankruptcy and got found 5 years in the undiscovered dumpster out the back.

    This makes utterly no sense – it’s like making a 4WD MINI (oh wait, Panda Sisley, anyone remember those?). The Freelander was always a 4×4 – ugly, boxy with a face like a Panda in a pile up – it was everyone’s favourite Landrover 110 in Tescos brand drag. Now they’re removing the one single point of its existance and spending a lot of money to do it. I just don’t understand the sense in it.

    I can understand people buying ‘lifestyle’ 4×4’s even if I think they are pretentious trophy moms and show-offs (and, yes, that does drive a fair percentage of that market whether you like it or not) – but buying a lifestyle 4×4 that isn’t a 4×4 but still looks as pig ugly, that still wallows like a blue whale’s carcass and has the aerodynamics of a camel side on to a sandstorm? Whatever else can be said of its stablemates, they were, at least, functional pratt-mobiles – they did what they said on the box and, compared to most competitors, did it brilliantly.

    Better fuel economy – umm… it’s a small garden shed on wheels. I am having some difficulty marrying those two concepts here. If you want fuel economy, buy pretty much anything else. A faux faux SUV robbed of its very meaning is not really a good option.

    Will someone please, please tell me what is the point to this – if there is one? All I am seeing is one medium segment el pachyderm blanco.

    Oh, and I will personally hang someone up by the fingernails if some bright spark decides, as has been mooted previously, that there really is a market for a 4×2 Range Rover – that’d almost be as bad as a pink Harley…

    Land Rover build 4x4s – that’s all they have ever built – to muck about with that is like offering Lucas Electrics to Americans in the Northern states – a disaster waiting to happen. The only thing possibly worse is giving Dick “toxic assets, what toxic assets?” Fuld* or Tony “I want my life back” Hayward* the CEO-ship…!

    *Lehmans and BP respectively.

  9. Keith Andrews says:

    The new Land Rover: it no longer does what it says on the box.

  10. Ianto says:

    @Jemma
    I think that you are missing the point.

    Tata have to sell cars, ergo they need to appeal to a wider base of buyers. Nissan has demonstrated that 2WD SUVs sell and producing a 2WD Freelander is an obvious thing to do. The vast manjority of SUV drivers (myself included) do not need 4WD and so the opportunity to have improved fuel consumption is very welcome.

    Oh, and as you may have already read elsewhere on AROnline , the 4WD MINI Countryman is due to go on sale soon – further proof (if needed) that BMW understand this brand and that it is continuing to go from strength to strength.

  11. Ianto says:

    @Mike Barrett
    I agree, a 2WD Range Rover Sport Automatic would certainly appeal to me.

  12. Simon Hodgetts says:

    Land Rover reinvents… (dramatic pause) the Matra Rancho. It’s 1979 all over again!

  13. Ayd says:

    I don’t know why people on here want to complain. It’s another sign that Land Rover are slowly morphing into what we all wanted Rover to be: a wide range of popular high volume luxury cars made in Britain, called ‘Rover’.

  14. Simon Hodgetts says:

    Wow, someone added a dramatic pause to my post! Far out!

  15. Dennis says:

    I agree – very few of these actually go off road, unless you consider a supermarket car park off road…

    The simple fact is that most people buy a 4×4 because they like the style rather than actualy needing 4WD. Making a 2WD version whacks the fuel economy up, reduces road tax and, unless you get on your hands and knees to look underneath, you can’t tell it isn’t actually 4WD.

    I managed to get to work through all the snow this year in my classic Mini even with low profile tyres. Any FWD car is pretty capable in mud/snow given appropriate tyres. It’s only really at the extremes of off roading that you actually need 4WD and only afew Freelanders are ever used for. Honda flogged loads of those HRV things, most of which were 2WD, Nissan sell loads of Qashqais. Land Rover even offered the original Series 1 with a 2WD version so it’s not a new idea.

    I don’t really understand the comments about the Panda Sisley. They were actually very capable 4x4s – it’s just a shame the bodywork dissolved in water.

  16. Wilko says:

    It’s true there will be a market for this, so I guess it makes good business sense. The same goes for the awful BINI Countryman but that doesn’t make it any more palatable though.

    It is a shame there are so many sad, dim, image-conscious folk with more money to throw around than sense to stop them, who need to be catered for in this world. After all, isn’t the Jaguar brand supposed to be for the luxury two-wheel-drive cars? That’s what I thought anyway.

    Having a Land Rover that you never take off-road makes all the sense of owning a milk float you never transport any milk with.

  17. I wonder how far Land Rover can go in diluting their brand… I guess this is a new low.

    With Victoria Beckham supposedly designing interiors and 2WD variants, what next? The mind boggles.

    To me, the brand stands for 4×4 go-anywhere vehicles. Maybe luxury too, but fundamentally very capable machines. The Discovery 4 and Range Rover Sport are eroding that. This new direction seems to be completely at odds with the core values. I wonder should it still be called Land Rover?

    Chris.

  18. Keith Adams Keith Adams says:

    The parallels with the Matra Rancho shouldn’t be seen as a bad thing. During its production life it was a massive success and it proves that people buy cars like this not just to go off-road.

    I had a Subaru Forester for a year and only went green-laning in it once. Why not, then, make a 2WD version? I’d call it a ‘Rover Freelander’, but that’s just me…

  19. Keith Adams Keith Adams says:

    Oh, and if you want to read more about the Rancho…

    http://www.aronline.co.uk/ranchof.htm

    /K

  20. Jemma says:

    The whole brand and utter point of Matra was to be completely deranged and come up with vehicles that no-one else, not even a Frenchman who’d been freebasing Garlic, would come up with in a million years…

    The Mureno, the Espace (built by Matra, nicked by Renault – cruicified by Top Gear), the Vel Satis/Avantime and the Rancho to name but a few…

    I can’t imagine many other companies (bar Heinkel) that would strap together two motors and see what happens – but Matra did (and they were vastly more successful – the He177 was nicknamed ‘greif’ for a reason).

    However, this is not what Land Rover are about – I think it’s a fundamentally bad idea to take a company that’s core values are 4×4 from the very start and dilute it. Yes, there is a view for the fact that you could make a more attractive company all in all and a viable mass market decendant of Rover – but you could also very well easily kill the whole thing stone dead…

    The point I am trying to make is this – the parallels to the Rancho are telling – in that yes, they look like 4×4 but aren’t, yes some company car nerks will snap them up and, yes, they will probably sell – but then again so does the Clubfoot… However, the Rancho was a faux 4×4 which was only ever supposed to be such – it was never designed to be anything more than a lifestyle-mobile for people who liked sherwood green or Sainsburys-curry-diahorrea brown – and, as a lifestyle-mobile, it did what it said on the tin.

    The Freelander, the Discovery and the Range Rover – their raison d’ etre is solid sensible 4×4 with varying degrees of luxury (and engine-munching laid on in earlier models). They aren’t intrinsically livestyle-mobiles in the same way that the BMW MINI and Rancho were designed to be from the start – they are solid sensible luxurious workhorses that *became* such.. and I think that Tata ignore that at their peril.

    Finally, as for putting the 4WD on the Mini – I mean why for heaven’s sake? I can think of only one reason and that’s so that the BMW gene for ‘downright awful driving’ doesn’t take out too many of the repeat customers. Mind you, there is good contrasting argument for taking it off: do we honestly really need more hairdressers piddling in the gene pool..?

  21. Jemma says:

    Oh, and regarding the 4×4 Panda – yes, they were very capable and, yes, they did dissolve in a light shower (they were, after all, Fiats) but no one bought them – no one was interested… I seriously wonder how much interest a spayed Freelander will rouse from the depressingly broke world of the company car executive….

    “Land Rover Freelander 2WD – it does exactly nothing of what it says on the tin” (unless you look real careful-like at the tin).

    Resale value will plummet because people will know what to look for once they’ve been introduced – it’s a disaster waiting to happen so far as I can see.

  22. Dennis says:

    Regarding resale values plummeting though, you only have to look at a used Petrol Freelander compared to a Diesel one, but does that mean they shouldn’t make Petrol models?

    The thing is that, if they don’t make 2WD ones, then people who can’t afford the road tax and fuel to keep a 4WD one will just go and buy the Nissan or some other company’s offering so Land-Rover lose sales.

    I suspect the main reason few people bought the Panda 4×4 was, as you say “they were after all Fiats”, but that, given a premium badge from someone who didn’t have a worse reputation than BL for rust, they would have sold a lot more. Anyone who might have had a use for it, thought “mmm it’s good but as soon as I get that muddy the body panels will wash off with the mud.” 😀

    I mean let’s be honest here, few people buy a Land Rover because it can circumnavigate the world. I don’t see many farmers going out and buying a new Freelander to feed cattle with (most just buy a Berlingo van or something these days) – no, Freelanders are just bought for style. People will still buy them for the style and, frankly, most buyers wouldn’t even know where to look for the propshaft and VCU, let alone be able to tell it didn’t have one!

  23. Ianto says:

    @Jemma
    Are you, by any chance, Jeremy Clarkson?!

  24. David 3500 says:

    @Chris Cowdery
    I think Land Rover’s PR Office may not have been that accurate in describing the actual role of Victoria Beckham with the Evoque project. Mrs Beckham is likely to have very little academic knowledge of the automotive sector, its legislations, production constraints/opportunities and how various materials and components used can harmonise in a way whereby they meet all these requirements, while also maintaining the values of the Range Rover brand. To achieve this, Mrs Beckham would need to have completed, at degree level, a course in Automotive Design at the University of Coventry, which to my knowledge she hasn’t.

    It is likely that Mrs Beckham is merely acting as a consultant whereby she is advising a small team of Land Rover executives about the emerging fashions in the clothing and jewellery industries, which can be juxtaposed with automotive design.

    To consider Mrs Beckham as an active member of the Design Team on the Evoque project, should be taken as an insult on the talents and skills of those formally trained Designers and Engineers currently employed within Land Rover.

  25. Jemma says:

    People who need 4×4 ability more or less occasionally buy Land Rovers because they know that when/if it’s needed it will work and they can trust it. People who buy ‘proper’ Land Rovers buy them because that functionality might just be what saves their lives (not to mention the fact that it won’t crumple when an African elephant tries to play tag with it).

    If you can’t afford the difference in road tax then buy something that does what you need – or buy a classic Landie. Don’t, for the goodness sake, buy something that looks like a small stately home just because all the other soccer moms with the collective IQ of a small Zucchini have one at Julian’s private school. Most upmarket cars have electric everything – even Skodas – and they don’t have to look like a small semi to do so. I mean these are generally people who think inserting the consonant ‘y’ into the word ‘house’ is why Great Britain had an empire…

    I doubt it is a massive amount of Road Tax and it’s a fair bet that the majority of the people getting them will be company car persons anyway – ditto with the fuel – so it’s not as if 2-3mpg is going to make a massive difference here or there.

    Now if Land Rover had come up with a decently priced 4×4 Hybrid – that would be something worthwhile – a bi-drive (ICE front and electric rear drive for example) Freelander at a sane market price – yes Lexus, I am talking about your overpriced crap (and I am even being nice and not mentioning that shameless BMW ripoff that is the 600) – and they would have Toyota Pious-ites with rambling fetishes falling over themselves to get through the door…

    No, I am sorry – I just don’t see the point of punting a faux 4×4 which has all the downsides of a small mobile barn conversion – and none of the benefit(s)…

    Oh, and no – Sith Lord Clarkson I am not, thank the gods.

  26. Ianto says:

    Actually, on reflection, my preference would be for a RWD version rather than FWD, with a proper petrol engine and lowered suspension. Fully-loaded with leather, wood and stuff, that would make a good P5 replacement.

  27. JohnH says:

    Most Freelanders are used for the school run and so are in competition with a huge range of wannabees. Land Rover need to broaden the range to appeal to people (mothers) who want the ‘security’ of a 4×4 but not the costs. Those potential customers can and do buy Korean and Japanese CUVs and SUVs.

  28. Keith says:

    @Ianto
    I think I’m correct in saying that the Freelander is based on the current Mondeo platform and is therefore basically FWD with drive added to the rear in much the same way as onthe X-TYPE. Someone correct me if I am wrong, but to make the Freelander RWD would involve completely re-engineering the front end thereby creating additional cost in production (a la the Triumph 1500 and Dolomite situation). Making it FWD is a “simpler” and more cost-effective solution.

  29. David 3500 says:

    @Keith
    No, the current Freelander is loosely developed from the second generation Ford Focus platform, as also used for the Volvo C30.

  30. Dennis says:

    I think the current Freelander also shares its platform with the Volvo XC60 and Ford Kuga. Yes, the Freelander has a transverse engine with an L-drive feeding the back axle.

  31. Dennis says:

    Jemma :People who buy ‘proper’ Land Rovers buy them because that functionality might just be what saves their lives (not to mention the fact that it won’t crumple when an African elephant tries to play tag with it).
    gods.

    Well, I guess that depends on your definition of the ‘proper’ Land Rover and, for me, a ‘proper’ one is the Defender although the body would crumple if an African elephant played tag with one as it’s all ally… There isn’t much in the way of roll-over protection or side impact protection either.

    The big difference, though, is that anyone with a hammer, pop-riveter and a drill can put it back into a usuable shape. When it gets muddy inside, you just take the seats out and get the hose out – not something you can easily do with the more modern ones – but then you’re not going to choose a Defender for the school run, are you? Well, not unless you have 10 kids!

  32. Peter Harris says:

    Keith Adams :
    The parallels with the Matra Rancho shouldn’t be seen as a bad thing. During its production life it was a massive success and it proves that people buy cars like this not just to go off-road.

    I had a Subaru Forester for a year and only went green-laning in it once. Why not, then, make a 2WD version? I’d call it a ‘Rover Freelander’, but that’s just me…

    My thinking is that, taking a purely logical stance, then, of course, a 2WD model makes sense, but who ever said that choosing a car is logical? If it was, most of us would be driving small hatchbacks.

    I believe that what this demonstrates is that Land Rover no longer believe that off-road ability is the core value of their products and that this has been replaced by the style and presence that is synonymous with the range. It’s an interesting switch of values but is not necessarily bad – just different.

    Oh, and ‘Ianto’ – don’t argue with me, you know I’m right !!!!!!!

  33. Ianto says:

    Peter Harris :

    Keith Adams :The parallels with the Matra Rancho shouldn’t be seen as a bad thing. During its production life it was a massive success and it proves that people buy cars like this not just to go off-road.

    I had a Subaru Forester for a year and only went green-laning in it once. Why not, then, make a 2WD version? I’d call it a ‘Rover Freelander’, but that’s just me…

    My thinking is that, taking a purely logical stance, then, of course, a 2WD model makes sense, but who ever said that choosing a car is logical? If it was, most of us would be driving small hatchbacks.

    I believe that what this demonstrates is that Land Rover no longer believe that off-road ability is the core value of their products and that this has been replaced by the style and presence that is synonymous with the range. It’s an interesting switch of values but is not necessarily bad – just different.

    Oh, and ‘Ianto’ – don’t argue with me, you know I’m right !!!!!!!

    Peter, I have to agree with your analysis on 2WD Land Rovers.

    However, on BMW, well, that’s a different matter.

    Big up to Tata!

  34. Peter Harris says:

    @Ianto
    Yes, Tata seem to have the vision to be fine custodians of JLR with exciting developments in the pipeline. I look forward to the day that various models are also assembled overseas as well as in the UK as this reduction in cost base and the local goodwill generated will assist in growing the company to a point where it is self-funding and thus viable.

    Tata appear to have a long-term plan for the brands and are investing heavily to make it work – contrast that with BMW’s treatment of Rover as ultimately they took more away than they invested – the figures are all out there…

  35. Pete says:

    @David 3500
    The Freelander is based on Ford’s EuCD platform, ie Mondeo, Galaxy, et al, not the Focus platform.

  36. Simon Hodgetts says:

    To achieve this, Mrs Beckham would need to have completed, at degree level, a course in Automotive Design at the University of Coventry, which to my knowledge she hasn’t.

    Other Automotive Design degree level and MA courses are, of course, available…

  37. John says:

    Looking back on this, after nearly 2 years, it’s interesting to see how many (or, in this case, how few) 2 WD Freelander eD4’s have been registered.

    According to http://howmanyleft.co.uk/combined/freelander_ed4 they appear to have registered around 250 of them, which would make it a bit of a failure.

    It’s an interesting answer to the question of whether a 2 WD Freelander is likely to sell. A 2 WD Freelander is going to do virtually everything that a normal Freelander is going to do in real life and it’ll certainly get you further into the rough stuff that a 4×4 version of something horrible like a Countryman. But, it would seem that the saving of about £700 (and 2 company car tax bandings) isn’t enough to compensate for the potential embarrassment of having a 2WD Land Rover!

    I initially went into the Land Rover showroom asking for a quote on one and got the reaction “What do you want one of those for!” I was initially taken aback but, looking back, he was absolutely right!

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