Were Land Rovers flukey vehicles in the past? Sure, the original Land Rover was one of the more important vehicles in history, especially for Marlon Perkins types. And the Range Rover was the signature vehicle of the landed gentry on country holiday. But with the new RR and the LR3 developed under the guidance of BMW and Ford, Land Rover has begun to move away from its cultish roots and into the mainstream. What it lacked was a viable entry-level lux-ute, and it looks like the new Freelander will finally fill the niche, judging from the spy shots and specs posted on at MPH's site.
Built on the C1 platform which underpins the S40, Mazda3 and the Focus that they're not giving us, the new Freelander will apparently a feature Volvo-sourced, transversely-mounted inline six, with a 2.3L Ford five-cylinder diesel also rumored to be slotted between the front framerails. Designed to compete with the X3, the new Freelander rolls its tongue over much more of Land Rover's new design language, which we think is a good thing, as the previous utelet was simply too wimpy-looking (dare we say, Roveresque? We dare.) to even really pretend to be a modern Land Rover.
Spy Photos: More on the New Land Rover Freelander [Internal]