The new Freelander will become part of a rugged five-model Discovery range
Freelander concept dates back to the 1980s, but BMW ownership provided the funds for a 1997 launch
The 2001 facelift meant much of the Freelander structure was replaced
In 2006 the car was redesigned under new Ford ownership
The Freelander was again tweaked in 2012
The all-new Land Rover Freelander replacement will become a member of an extended Discovery family, according to company sources. The new car, based on a stretched Evoque platform, is expected late next year.
The Freelander badge, first seen in 1997, will be dropped. The name was discontinued in the US market in 2006 when the second-generation model was launched. The Freelander and Discovery are known as LR2 and LR4 in the US.
Land Rover’s decision to create a family of Discovery models is based on a number of considerations. Perhaps most importantly, Land Rover suffers from a profusion of confusing brands. Although the company is called Land Rover, Range Rover is also its own well established brand. And the company sells three families of vehicles under the Freelander, Discovery and Defender nameplates, which are arguably distinct sub-brands in their own right.