Freedom to roam

LAND ROVER has gone green with its new Freelander 2 TD4_e.

The first SUV in the world with a stop-start mechanism designed to reduce CO2, the Freelander’s impressive efficiency burns just 5.7 litres of diesel every 100km.

When stationary for prolonged periods (traffic lights) the engine switches off and re-starts when the clutch is engaged. Land Rover engineers say the results are dramatic, hailing it ‘the first SUV that saves you money every time you stop’.

CO2 emissions improved from 224 to 179g/km makes it the greenest Land Rover. Land Rover engineers have measured fuel savings approaching 20 per cent in heavy urban traffic.

This is the first application of Land Rover’s e_Terrain Technologies on a production vehicle and is just one element of the manufacturer’s green technology roadmap, which will drive the company to increasingly lower emissions and more sustainable technologies in the future.

In 2006, the UK manufacturer launched a pioneering program in conjunction with Climate Care to offset CO2 emissions for the first 45,000 miles (72,400 km) of all new Land Rovers. The company also claims to be the first to offset 100 per cent of its manufacturing CO2 emissions.

“The Stop/Start Freelander 2 is the first production vehicle to benefit from Jaguar Land Rover’s massive investment in sustainable technologies. It also represents a new entry level into the Land Rover brand, offering improved fuel efficient and reduced emission without compromising the vehicle’s outstanding on-road performance, and class-leading off-road ability,” beams Land Rover’s general manager Roger Jory.

The brand is also driving its ‘fragile earth’ initiative to promote responsible off-road driving and to minimise the impact on the environment.

The base model Freelander is refined and practical. A six-speed transmission is standard on the TD4 e, while the six-speed auto is available in all other models. It is available in either 3.2 litre straight six petrol or 2.2 litre, four-cylinder turbo diesel.

Whether taking the family for a drive into the serene settings of the Hinterland or dissecting parts of it, the Freelander is a no-nonsense performer with torque to boot. A four-way control dial sets the traction required to suit conditions, including general driving, grass/gravel/snow, mud and ruts or sand.

Green credentials aside, it’s the exterior design that sets tongues awag. The chrome double grill and front guard air panels set off the broad shouldered brute, available in 13 different colours including Bali blue, Santorini black and Rimini red.

Ticking all the comfort and ergonomic boxes, the Freelander 2 TD4_e also comes with a five-star safety rating, Alpine CD player and 17” Alloys.

The Freelander 2 has blown away myths and misconceptions by the owners of Japanese 4WDs that it is not a ‘go everywhere’ SUV, winning the coveted SUV of the year by UK’s TopGear program.

The Top Gear team stated: “The next-generation Land Rover Freelander has come a long way – a bit like the Discovery. Gone are the tawdry finishes and the feeling that it might break at any second, to be replaced by solidity, quality and a feeling that this is more baby Range Rover than grown-up donkey cart.”

The base model is priced at around $50,000.

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