Free Lander was introduced by the British automotive giant Land Rover as a compact Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV) in 1997 and is in production until present. The first generation introduced in 1997 lasted in production till 2006, when it was substituted by the second generation known as Freelander 2 in Europe and LR-2 in North America. Unlike a conventional SUV generally built with the body-on-frame design, the Freelander uses a single or unibody structure. Freelander is offered in the market as both two wheel drive and four wheel drive versions. The assembly of Freelander is currently done in Halewood UK, Pune India, Changshu China and Aqaba Assembly Jordan.
The first generation vehicles became Europe’s best selling four wheel drive holding the coveted title till 2002. The models were offered as 5-door SUV or 3-door semi-convertible van like versions in the market. They were simultaneously revised in the early 2000s and introduced with drastic interior and exterior enhancements. Five-speed automatic transmission was offered and was powered by engine options – 1.8L Rover K-series petrol, 2.0L Rover L-series diesel, 2.0L BMW M47 Diesel and 2.5L V6 Rover KV6 engine petrol.
In 2006, at the British International Motor Show Free Lander 2 marked its entry into the market. Based on the EUCD platform it is a five-door SUV-related to Volvo XC60 and Jaguar X type due to their similar transversely seated 3.2L straight-six engine as well as 2.2L DW12 common rail turbo diesel engine. The two models of the second generation were Freelander 2 TD4_e and Freelander 2eD4. With a curb weight in the range of 1770-1950kg, it has a wheelbase of 104.7in. The transmission system offered in the second generation are 6-speed Getrag manual and 6-speed Aisin AWF21 automatic.
The Freelander 2 was introduced with features like better ground clearance, improved interior quality and a modified and effective version of Terrain Response off-road Driving system and are powered with various variants of 2.2L standard Ford Engine. In 2013, Freelander had the best sales figure of 57,691 cars sold worldwide. In 2015, Freelander will be succeeded by its enhanced version that will be named as Discovery Sport.