Autocar has learned that Land Rover will be boosting its range with the addition of a new seven-seat model, coming in 2012.
Insiders at Land Rover know the seven-seater as ‘Project L486’ and the new model is based on the Freelander platform. The car will have unique bodywork, styling and interior to mark it out as being more than a Freelander variant.
The standard Freelander platform will need to be heavily modified, with an extended wheelbase to make room for the seven-seat configuration. The new model is likely to be closer in size to the Discovery than the Freelander.
The seven-seater fits in to Land Rover’s range as a more road-focused car than the Discovery, with a lower kerbweight, sharper chassis, better fuel economy and lower CO2 emissions.
It will have the Freelander’s front-biased four-wheel drive system with a centre diff to send torque to the slipping wheels. Other off-road aids will include hill descent control, traction control and stability control, all operated via the Terrain Response switch in the cabin.