Land Rover's upgraded 2001 Freelander range, on sale in Britain from September, includes a V6 for the first time, and a new turbocharged diesel motor.
V6 and Td4 versions are available in three and five-door body styles. The V6 is an all-alloy 2.5 litre, developing 177bhp at 6500rpm and 240Nm of torque at 4000rpm. That's nearly 50 percent more power and torque than the current 1.8-litre four-cylinder petrol motor.
The Td4 replaces the current turbo-diesel model. BMW developed its 2.0-litre, 16-valve, direct injection engine which uses state-of-the-art common rail technology. It has 15 percent more power and 24 percent more torque than the previous turbo-diesel, and maximum torque is developed further down the rev range.
A Variable Nozzle Turbine reduces turbo lag and maximises low-speed flexibility for off-road driving. Throttle control is electronic drive-by-wire with no physical link between the throttle pedal and the engine. The Td4 is available with a new five-speed manual gearbox or with the five-speed automatic Steptronic gearbox that can also be shifted manually.
The Steptronic's Normal mode provides for normal automatic changes, and allows Hill Descent Control (HDC) to be selected in first or reverse gear to limit downhill speed off-road. A Sport mode lets the gearbox change down more readily and holds on to lower gears longer for better acceleration. The Steptronic manual shift operates in the Sport mode, and gives the driver more control off-road. Otherwise the transmission is the same as on previous Freelanders.
New Freelanders have larger ventilated front brake discs and larger diameter rear drums. A revised ABS system is standard on all models. It incorporates Hill Descent control (HDC) to limit downhill speed off-road and Electronic Traction Control (ETC) to limit wheel slip in mud and snow. A new feature is Electronic Brake Distribution (EBD) which balances brake force between front and rear axles.
All 2001 Freelanders get a re-styled bumper and grille. The V6 has a longer bonnet profile to suit the engine installation. Indicator lenses are now clear. The range retains a choice of three-door Softback or Hardback or five-door Station Wagon versions. The centre console now includes the gearbox selector and HDC switch on automatic models. A new centre cubby box incorporates the electric window switches and an electrical accessory socket.
A larger fan increases airflow in the heating and ventilation system, and a pollen filter is standard. A six-speaker sound system is now standard. Five-door models get electrically-operated rear windows.
The range-topping ES can be ordered with V6 or Td4 engines. Its high specification includes leather seat facings; leather-wrapped steering wheel and gear lever knob; heated front seats; illuminated vanity mirrors; power-fold door mirrors; electric sunroof; Compact Disc auto-changer and remote, steering wheel-mounted controls for the sound system.