The all-new Land Rover Freelander will become a member of an extended Discovery family, according to sources in the company. The new car, based on a stretched Evoque platform, is expected to be launched late next year. The Freelander badge, first seen in 1997, will be dropped.
Land Rover’s decision to create a family of Discovery models is based on a number of considerations. Perhaps most importantly, Land Rover suffers from a profusion of confusing brands. Although the company is called Land Rover, Range Rover is also its own well established brand. And the company sells three families of vehicles under the Freelander, Discovery and Defender nameplates, which are arguably distinct sub-brands in their own right.
The Discovery replacement will be used as a flagship to create a new family of rugged models designed for everyday use and aimed at adventurous families and outdoor enthusiasts. The new Discovery range will be topped by two flagship models based on the Range Rover’s PLA all-aluminium architecture. They will be joined by two models to replace the Freelander — a seven-seater and a five-seater.
Propping up the range — if it is given the green light — will be a compact urban model, not much more than four metres long and based on a shortened Evoque platform.
The new Discovery models will be powered by JLR’s new AJ-200 range of four-cylinder engines, including a supercharged petrol unit.