Even though it is extremely busy with developing and hyping up the future Range Rover Evoque luxury crossover coupe, British SUV specialist Land Rover has also taken the time to present its newest refreshed model: the 2011 Land Rover LR2, or Freelander 2, as it is known in Europe.
As you can see above, the new Land Rover LR2 hasn’t been severely overhauled, with the British automaker opting to gently refresh the front fascia, while adding a few more interior options and, most importantly, implement more frugal engines, in terms of both fuel average and CO2 emissions.
First off, the design of the LR2/Freelander 2 has been slightly revised. A new bumper car is now present, incorporating new fog lights and complimenting the new front grille finish. The headlights and taillights have also been restyled, borrowing elements from the Range Rover lineup. New alloy wheel patterns are also available, in 18 and 19-inch dimensions, just in case the existing ones weren’t to your liking. Last but not least, three new color schemes, Kosrae Green, Baltic Blue and Fuji White, are also available with the 2011 model year LR2.
On the inside, the entry-level crossover now boasts a few revised things. We have new instrument dials and seat styles, while customers can now order a Premium Pack. This kit includes special Windsor Leather upholstery, special electric seats, as well as new carpet mats and a revised arm rest with storage capacity.
As we mentioned above though, the biggest changes were made under the bonnet of the 2011 Land Rover LR2/Freelander 2 model. The British car manufacturer now offers a choice of two 2.2-liter diesel engines, either the 148 HP TD4 or the 187 HP SD4.
The new engine, in both versions, produces more torque, around 310 lb-ft, but is also more economical than the outgoing diesel version. When paired with a manual gearbox, the 2.2-liter TD4 emits just 165 g/km of CO2, and averages 37.96 mpg (US). When paired with the automatic gearbox, the new LR2/Freelander 2 emits 185 g/km of CO2 and achieves an average of 33.64 mpg (US).
But while those numbers seem pretty impressive, especially for a small SUV as the LR2, the most efficient model in the range will be the UK-only Freelander 2 eD4. The model will combine the 2.2-liter TD4 engine with a front-wheel drive assembly, making it the first model in Land Rover’s history not to have all-wheel drive.
While it may seem like blasphemy, the efficient diesel and the FWD architecture will allow the eD4 to reach CO2 emissions of just 158 g/km, and a fuel average of 39.3 mpg US.
“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.”
Sadly, the highly efficient diesel won’t see the US shores anytime soon. Instead, expect Land Rover to keep the American LR2 with just the usual gasoline engine.
The 2011 Land Rover LR2/Freelander 2 is set to go on sale at the end of the year, while the eD4 will be reaching dealerships at the beginning of 2011.