This Autocar image shows how the Freelander replacement could look
Land Rover is turning its attentions to the ‘Leisure’ side of its product portfolio from next year, design director Gerry McGovern has revealed.
The firm has split its model range into three categories: Luxury, Leisure and Dual Purpose. Its three most recent new models were all Range Rovers in the Luxury category.
“We will be focusing more from next year on the Leisure pillar,” said McGovern. “You will notice differences between Luxury and Leisure, as they’re clearly targeted at different customers and will build the brand significantly.”
Test mules for the next-generation Freelander, the first model set to be launched into the Leisure pillar, are a regular sight in the Midlands and at the Nürburgring.
The model is set to be rebranded as a Discovery, as Land Rover looks to create a range of models in the Leisure side of the models wearing Discovery badges in the same way every model in the Luxury side of its business wears a Range Rover badge.
“You’re going to see a whole proliferation of new products over the next few years,” said McGovern. “The current three [Defender, Freelander and Discovery] are going to be replaced, but there’s going to be more.”
McGovern, noting the growth potential for Land Rover, said global SUV sales are set to increase by 40 per cent to 22 million units per year by 2020. “The opportunity for us is immense and we want to create products that will be relevant in a rapidly changing world.”
He revealed that the Evoque would get another series of updates in mid-2015 for the 2016 model year, including the removal of the black cladding at the bottom of the car.
McGovern also hinted that the gap between the Range Rover Evoque five-door and the Range Rover Sport could be filled with a new model, while the interiors of all Land Rover models will also continue to see switchgear reduced.