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Idle-stop Freelander nearly here

Fuel miser: The Land Rover Freelander TD4_e sips just 6.7L/100km.

Land Rover to launch new Freelander here in months, including TD4_e with idle-stop

29 Jun 2009

THE MOST frugal Land Rover ever produced will be available in Australia for under $50,000 from August, as part of an upgraded ‘10MY’ Freelander 2 model range.

The manual-only Freelander TD4_e, which made its global debut at last year’s Paris motor show and went on sale in the UK in March, is billed as the world’s first SUV with intelligent idle-stop technology.

Land Rover says it returns combined average fuel consumption of just 6.7 litres of diesel for every 100km, which is a 21 per cent reduction over the TD4 automatic (8.5L/100km), as well as improving on the 7.5L/100km figure achieved by the TD4 manual.

The latter is not sold here but the British SUV specialist says the ‘Stop/Start’ system, which switches the engine off when the vehicle is stationary, will be fitted to all TD4 manuals in Europe in 2009, before flowing into other vehicles.

In the first application of Land Rover’s new ‘e_Terrain technologies’ in a production vehicle, the TD4_e also features a gearshift indicator light, revised software and low-rolling-resistance tyres. Its maker says it is the most fuel-efficient production Land Rover ever built.

24 center image Left: Land Rover Freelander TD4-e, Discovery MY10, Range Rover Vogue MY10, Range Rover Sport MY10.

Land Rover says the TD4_e can deliver fuel consumption reductions of up to 20 per cent in heavy traffic, with CO2 output dropping by eight per cent – from 194g/km (or 224g/km in the TD4 auto) to 179g/lm.

It claims the diesel-sipping Freelander is also the Indian-owned company’s first model to achieve full ‘End of Life’ vehicle certification two years ahead of legislation in Europe, by being 85 per cent recyclable and 95 per cent re-usable – without compromising the brand’s reputation for durability and all-terrain ability.

Land Rover Australia has confirmed the TD4_e manual will be available here from August with a sub-$50,000 pricetag, making it the most affordable variant within an upgraded 2010 Freelander line-up that will arrive a month earlier, in July.

As a result, it is also expected to comprise a reduced level of standard specification compared to both the 09MY Freelander Si6 SE ($49,990) and TD4 SE ($52,790).

Next month’s Freelander upgrade will be largely cosmetic, including items like new wheels. Not surprisingly, for a model whose popularity has faded 16.6 per cent to May this year, it will come at no extra cost, with the Si6 HSE also continuing at $55,990 and the flagship TD4 HSE at $58,790. Four versions of the manual TD4_e will be offered in the UK.

The upgraded and more economical Freelander models will be followed this year by even more significantly upgraded 10MY versions of the full-size Range Rover Vogue, Range Rover Sport and Discovery SUVs.

The 2010 update also brings interior and exterior revisions, but will be headlined by two new direct-injection 5.0-litre V8s and a similarly larger-capacity 3.0-litre diesel V6 from the Jaguar’s freshened XF – all of them more powerful and fuel-efficient than the respective 4.2 and 2.7-litre versions they replace.

As previously reported, that’s due in part also to ‘e_Terrain’ features, which in this case include a taller-ratio six-speed ZF automatic transmission, optimised engine calibration, lower idle speeds, reduced torque-converter slip and new Intelligent Power System Management (IPSM) technologies such as smart regenerative charging, improved aerodynamics and a clutched air-conditioning pump for the diesel.

Top-shelf versions of the Vogue, which arrives by September, and the Sport, which hits local Land Rover dealers from October – the same month as the 10MY Discovery – will both pack a 375kW/625Nm version of the new XFR’s supercharged 5.0-litre V8, while the 2010 Discovery’s new twin-turbo 3.0 TDV6 will produce 180kW/600Nm.

Read more:

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