Land Rover Freelander 2 launched!


Land Rover Freelander-2, a Sports Utility Vehicle from Land Rover’s reputed international stable, has been launched today in India.   The Freelander is positioned as an upmarket yet compact ‘lifestyle’ SUV, ideal for an urban setting while also being decently capable off-road. It will be available in three trims: S, HS and HSE. There are two engines on offer: a petrol V6 or a turbocharged four-pot diesel. The V6 displaces  3200cc, putting out 230 bhp while the torquey diesel is a 2.2 litre powerplant, with 40.8 kgm of torque and 158 bhp. However, it is the latter that is on sale right now, with the non-Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) Euro-III version homologated for India.   Acceleration figures are reported to be 10.9 seconds for a 0-100 kph run in the diesel, which has better fuel economy over the petrol. The petrol will do 0-100 kph in 8.4 seconds. Land Rover’s Terrain Response System is also part of the package, which will help you when you’re out in the muck along with the 4WD system. Though we don’t think the average Freelander owner will quite enjoy spending all day in a mud bath with his machine. And that’s exactly why more focus has been on nice and predictable road manners.   Prices stand at Rs.33.8 lakh for the S version, Rs.39 lakh for the HS version and Rs.45 lakh for the HSE version. (All prices ex-showroom, Mumbai, without octroi). That puts it directly in competition of the likes of the Nissan X-Trail at the lower-end, with the BMW X3, Audi Q5, Mitsubishi Montero and Toyota Prado in contention.   Meanwhile, JLR are on a roll in India with sales of 20 units of the two brands through its single dealership in Mumbai in just two months. While this might not count for much, the least expensive Jaguar on sale, so far has been the XF for a little over Rs 60 lakh, while the Discovery-4 for around the same price has been the least expensive Land Rover on sale. But that should change with the Freelander-2 with its aggressive pricing.   It plans to open dealerships in half a dozen more cities moving into 2010, which include New Delhi, Ludhiana, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Chennai & Pune.   The next agenda is to complete the introduction of 2010 models from Land Rover, which include the Range Rover, Range Rover Sport and Discovery. A new 3.0-litre TDV6 engine has gone on sale in Europe for products from both group companies, and the RR Sport will be the first recipient of it, here in India. Meanwhile, the company is working out its plans on introducing the engine also on its XF saloon. The planned introduction of the TDV6 engine hinges on the adoption (or non-adoption) of the Diesel Particulate Filter, since India will move to Bharat Stage-IV norms, come 2010. The company is trying to work out if the car can be made to work even without the said component, yet meeting emission norms.