Land Rover's Freelander Makes its New York Debut At 2001 New York International Automobile Show

Apr 12, 2001, 01:00 ET from Land Rover North America, Inc.

    NEW YORK, April 12 /PRNewswire/ -- Land Rover's new Freelander will make
 its New York debut at the 2001 New York International Automobile Show.  With
 this new vehicle, Land Rover has identified a new niche within the hotly
 contested and rapidly expanding small sport-utility segment.  At a press
 conference held today, Land Rover North America, Inc.'s president and CEO
 Howard Mosher detailed plans to enter this niche and significantly increase
 Land Rover's North American sales in calendar year 2002.  Mr. Mosher described
 Freelander as a new, small, premium sport-utility targeted at driving
 enthusiasts.  The new Freelander will create and define the "premium small
 sport-utility" segment in the same way Range Rover helped establish the
 "luxury sport-utility" segment when it was launched in the U.S. in 1987.
     (Photo:  NewsCom:  http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20010412/DCTH003 )
     The new Freelander will be launched in North America in the fourth quarter
 of 2001.  The first all-new Land Rover for North America since 1994,
 Freelander will join the already successful Range Rover and Discovery Series
 II models, expanding the British automaker's North American line of vehicles
 to three models.  "When Freelander arrives, it will be priced under $30,000.
 As you'd expect, the excitement this vehicle has already generated is filling
 order books," said Mr. Mosher.
     Freelander Kensington, the concept vehicle shown at Land Rover's New York
 auto show press conference, was developed and built by Land Rover Special
 Vehicles, the company's in-house producer of specialty and built-to-order Land
 Rovers.  This luxurious vehicle, finished in a Black Cherry paint scheme,
 visually demonstrates the refined and capable character that is at the heart
 of every Land Rover.
     From the earliest stages of development, a fundamental objective for
 Freelander was to establish an aesthetic standard in the small SUV segment.
 Freelander's clean lines capture the adventure and excitement at the core of
 the new concept while also evoking the unmistakable Land Rover character and
 pedigree.
     In keeping with the Land Rover values of engineering integrity and fit-
 for-purpose design, Freelander's styling has evolved from a very carefully
 considered basic package that combines a roomy and versatile cabin layout with
 a rugged, all-wheel-drive chassis configuration that is exceptionally capable
 on- or off-road.
     Freelander is the first Land Rover in history to combine unit-body
 construction with a fully independent suspension.  This approach was chosen
 with consideration of the vehicle's size, which is smaller than previous Land
 Rovers.  The result is an ideal combination of ride and handling both on- and
 off-road.  The basis of the suspension is a MacPherson-type strut arrangement
 for each wheel, with steel subframes mounted rigidly to the body at the front
 and rear.  Generous amounts of wheel travel are provided: seven inches
 (180 mm) at the front and a full eight inches (204 mm) at the rear.
     Looking underneath a Freelander, one could easily think that this robust
 vehicle has a separate frame.  There are substantial longitudinal box-section
 rails running the length of the floorpan, tied together and to the underbody
 by no less than eight integral crossmembers similar to the ladder-frame
 construction beneath other Land Rover models.  The structure above the
 floorpan is equally strong.  This focus on structural rigidity allows
 Freelander to shrug off the most severe operating stresses and strains.
 Measured on a torsional test rig, the five-door Freelander is impressive: it
 requires nearly 13,000 pound-feet of twisting force to generate just one
 degree of deflection across its wheelbase.  Engineers subjected "test mules"
 to the cruelest ordeals, such as 3,000 successful miles on Land Rover's
 torturous test track.  One thousand miles on this track is normally considered
 a good "lifetime" test.
     The power unit for the North American market is Land Rover's KV6 engine, a
 2.5-litre, 24-valve, double overhead camshaft (DOHC) unit developing an
 estimated 175 horsepower and 177 pound-feet of torque.  Final ratings for the
 North American-specification Freelander have not yet been established.  The V6
 engine is exceptionally light and compact in relation to its capacity and
 power.  The efficient and quick engine will be mated to a Jatco five-speed
 Steptronic automatic transmission that offers either the convenience of an
 automatic or the responsive precision of a five-speed manual shifter.
     All Freelanders sold in North America will also feature permanent all-
 wheel drive; a center viscous coupling unit (VCU) similar to that of Range
 Rover; four-wheel Electronic Traction Control (4ETC); Land Rover's patented
 Hill Descent Control (HDC); and an all-terrain Anti-lock Braking System (ABS).
 No other vehicle in the segment offers this level of innovation.
     Freelander, the third model in Land Rover North America's lineup, will
 help lead the company's growth and expansion in the coming years.  Sales of
 just over 27,000 units in 2000 will increase to more than 40,000 units in
 calendar year 2002.  To support this growth, Land Rover North America will
 continue to expand its award-winning network of Land Rover Centres.
     Currently, Land Rover counts 131 retail outlets in the U.S., 89 of which
 are critically-acclaimed Land Rover Centres.  This number will grow by 20
 percent in the next 18 months.  Land Rover Centres, stand-alone Land Rover
 retail outlets, continue to score near the top of the industry in terms of
 sales satisfaction thanks in part to extensive and wide-ranging training
 programs developed for retailers by Land Rover University.  The Centre concept
 was launched by Land Rover North America in 1994 and has now become a model
 for Land Rover retailing around the world.
 
          LAND ROVER FREELANDER KENSINGTON CONCEPT VEHICLE - FEATURES
 
     EXTERIOR
 
     * Black Cherry paint finish.  Color-keyed wing mirrors, bumpers, wheel-
       arches, lower rear-door panel, fuel filler door and door handles.
     * Horizontal grille bar and lower front bumper finished in Titanium
       Silver.
     * Titanium Silver 18-inch "Comet"-style wheels.
 
     INTERIOR
 
     * Land Rover Special Vehicles-designed seats finished in ruched Tan
       leather with Black saddle-style stitching.
     * Door panels finished in Black leather with Tan leather inserts.  Black,
       deep-pile luxury carpets.
     * Leather enhancement package including Tan leather gear knob and gaiter,
       handbrake grip and gaiter and door grabs, all with Black saddle-style
       stitching.
     * Steering wheel finished in duo-tone Black and Tan leather with Black
       stitching.
     * Instrument panel fascia kit painted in Black Cherry.
     * Interior trim components finished in Black and "Brunel" silver.
 
     AUDIO EQUIPMENT
     Premium in-car entertainment including in-dash, single-disc CD head unit,
 premium-grade harman/kardon(R) amplifier and speaker system with rear-mounted
 subwoofer.
 
     NOTE: harman/kardon(R) is a registered trademark of Harman International.
 
     Land Rover North America, Inc., established in 1986, imports and
 distributes Range Rover and Discovery Series II vehicles manufactured for sale
 in the U.S. by Land Rover Group Limited in Solihull, England.  Land Rover's
 worldwide operations are wholly owned by Ford Motor Co., Dearborn, Mich.
 
     CONTACT:  Mark Schirmer, 301-918-8045; Oliver Brearey, 301-731-8706; or
 Bill Baker, 301-731-8705, all of Land Rover North America, Inc.
 
 

SOURCE Land Rover North America, Inc.
    NEW YORK, April 12 /PRNewswire/ -- Land Rover's new Freelander will make
 its New York debut at the 2001 New York International Automobile Show.  With
 this new vehicle, Land Rover has identified a new niche within the hotly
 contested and rapidly expanding small sport-utility segment.  At a press
 conference held today, Land Rover North America, Inc.'s president and CEO
 Howard Mosher detailed plans to enter this niche and significantly increase
 Land Rover's North American sales in calendar year 2002.  Mr. Mosher described
 Freelander as a new, small, premium sport-utility targeted at driving
 enthusiasts.  The new Freelander will create and define the "premium small
 sport-utility" segment in the same way Range Rover helped establish the
 "luxury sport-utility" segment when it was launched in the U.S. in 1987.
     (Photo:  NewsCom:  http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20010412/DCTH003 )
     The new Freelander will be launched in North America in the fourth quarter
 of 2001.  The first all-new Land Rover for North America since 1994,
 Freelander will join the already successful Range Rover and Discovery Series
 II models, expanding the British automaker's North American line of vehicles
 to three models.  "When Freelander arrives, it will be priced under $30,000.
 As you'd expect, the excitement this vehicle has already generated is filling
 order books," said Mr. Mosher.
     Freelander Kensington, the concept vehicle shown at Land Rover's New York
 auto show press conference, was developed and built by Land Rover Special
 Vehicles, the company's in-house producer of specialty and built-to-order Land
 Rovers.  This luxurious vehicle, finished in a Black Cherry paint scheme,
 visually demonstrates the refined and capable character that is at the heart
 of every Land Rover.
     From the earliest stages of development, a fundamental objective for
 Freelander was to establish an aesthetic standard in the small SUV segment.
 Freelander's clean lines capture the adventure and excitement at the core of
 the new concept while also evoking the unmistakable Land Rover character and
 pedigree.
     In keeping with the Land Rover values of engineering integrity and fit-
 for-purpose design, Freelander's styling has evolved from a very carefully
 considered basic package that combines a roomy and versatile cabin layout with
 a rugged, all-wheel-drive chassis configuration that is exceptionally capable
 on- or off-road.
     Freelander is the first Land Rover in history to combine unit-body
 construction with a fully independent suspension.  This approach was chosen
 with consideration of the vehicle's size, which is smaller than previous Land
 Rovers.  The result is an ideal combination of ride and handling both on- and
 off-road.  The basis of the suspension is a MacPherson-type strut arrangement
 for each wheel, with steel subframes mounted rigidly to the body at the front
 and rear.  Generous amounts of wheel travel are provided: seven inches
 (180 mm) at the front and a full eight inches (204 mm) at the rear.
     Looking underneath a Freelander, one could easily think that this robust
 vehicle has a separate frame.  There are substantial longitudinal box-section
 rails running the length of the floorpan, tied together and to the underbody
 by no less than eight integral crossmembers similar to the ladder-frame
 construction beneath other Land Rover models.  The structure above the
 floorpan is equally strong.  This focus on structural rigidity allows
 Freelander to shrug off the most severe operating stresses and strains.
 Measured on a torsional test rig, the five-door Freelander is impressive: it
 requires nearly 13,000 pound-feet of twisting force to generate just one
 degree of deflection across its wheelbase.  Engineers subjected "test mules"
 to the cruelest ordeals, such as 3,000 successful miles on Land Rover's
 torturous test track.  One thousand miles on this track is normally considered
 a good "lifetime" test.
     The power unit for the North American market is Land Rover's KV6 engine, a
 2.5-litre, 24-valve, double overhead camshaft (DOHC) unit developing an
 estimated 175 horsepower and 177 pound-feet of torque.  Final ratings for the
 North American-specification Freelander have not yet been established.  The V6
 engine is exceptionally light and compact in relation to its capacity and
 power.  The efficient and quick engine will be mated to a Jatco five-speed
 Steptronic automatic transmission that offers either the convenience of an
 automatic or the responsive precision of a five-speed manual shifter.
     All Freelanders sold in North America will also feature permanent all-
 wheel drive; a center viscous coupling unit (VCU) similar to that of Range
 Rover; four-wheel Electronic Traction Control (4ETC); Land Rover's patented
 Hill Descent Control (HDC); and an all-terrain Anti-lock Braking System (ABS).
 No other vehicle in the segment offers this level of innovation.
     Freelander, the third model in Land Rover North America's lineup, will
 help lead the company's growth and expansion in the coming years.  Sales of
 just over 27,000 units in 2000 will increase to more than 40,000 units in
 calendar year 2002.  To support this growth, Land Rover North America will
 continue to expand its award-winning network of Land Rover Centres.
     Currently, Land Rover counts 131 retail outlets in the U.S., 89 of which
 are critically-acclaimed Land Rover Centres.  This number will grow by 20
 percent in the next 18 months.  Land Rover Centres, stand-alone Land Rover
 retail outlets, continue to score near the top of the industry in terms of
 sales satisfaction thanks in part to extensive and wide-ranging training
 programs developed for retailers by Land Rover University.  The Centre concept
 was launched by Land Rover North America in 1994 and has now become a model
 for Land Rover retailing around the world.
 
          LAND ROVER FREELANDER KENSINGTON CONCEPT VEHICLE - FEATURES
 
     EXTERIOR
 
     * Black Cherry paint finish.  Color-keyed wing mirrors, bumpers, wheel-
       arches, lower rear-door panel, fuel filler door and door handles.
     * Horizontal grille bar and lower front bumper finished in Titanium
       Silver.
     * Titanium Silver 18-inch "Comet"-style wheels.
 
     INTERIOR
 
     * Land Rover Special Vehicles-designed seats finished in ruched Tan
       leather with Black saddle-style stitching.
     * Door panels finished in Black leather with Tan leather inserts.  Black,
       deep-pile luxury carpets.
     * Leather enhancement package including Tan leather gear knob and gaiter,
       handbrake grip and gaiter and door grabs, all with Black saddle-style
       stitching.
     * Steering wheel finished in duo-tone Black and Tan leather with Black
       stitching.
     * Instrument panel fascia kit painted in Black Cherry.
     * Interior trim components finished in Black and "Brunel" silver.
 
     AUDIO EQUIPMENT
     Premium in-car entertainment including in-dash, single-disc CD head unit,
 premium-grade harman/kardon(R) amplifier and speaker system with rear-mounted
 subwoofer.
 
     NOTE: harman/kardon(R) is a registered trademark of Harman International.
 
     Land Rover North America, Inc., established in 1986, imports and
 distributes Range Rover and Discovery Series II vehicles manufactured for sale
 in the U.S. by Land Rover Group Limited in Solihull, England.  Land Rover's
 worldwide operations are wholly owned by Ford Motor Co., Dearborn, Mich.
 
     CONTACT:  Mark Schirmer, 301-918-8045; Oliver Brearey, 301-731-8706; or
 Bill Baker, 301-731-8705, all of Land Rover North America, Inc.
 
 SOURCE  Land Rover North America, Inc.