Monday, December 17, 2012

Autocar Online - News

Autocar Online - News

New Land Rover Freelander spied

Posted: 17 Dec 2012 03:13 AM PST

Third generation of best-selling Freelander under development, expected in 2015

Land Rover engineers have started work on the new Freelander 3, as these spy shots of the Evoque-based mule show. The longer wheelbase and increased ride height reveal this as an early engineering prototype, probably being used to test new suspension components and suspension geometry.

The Freelander is currently Land Rover's best-selling model. It was launched in its current form in 2006 and given a mild makeover for 2013. The third-gen model is expected to go on sale in early 2015. It promises to be a significant step forward from the current Freelander, offering greater wading depth, better interior packaging and improved boot space.

The new Freelander is based on the same LR-MS platform as the Evoque. It was developed from the Ford EUCD platform that underpins the current Freelander, although Land Rover says 90 per cent of the parts are new.

The Freelander 3's wheelbase is expected to be more than 150mm longer than the Evoque's and is expected to open the way for a seven-seat version. It will be fitted with JLR's all-new, super-frugal 'Hotfire' four-cylinder engines, which will be built at a new plant near Wolverhampton.

The new Freelander is expected to be made from a mixture of materials, with nearly all of the platform and upper body made from high-strength steel. The roof and bonnet will be aluminium and the front wings and tailgate are likely to be made from composites.

The entry-level, front-wheel-drive Freelander 3 is expected to have a CO2 rating of as little as 119g/km.

Lexus LFA production ends

Posted: 17 Dec 2012 01:36 AM PST

V10 supercar reaches the end of the line

Production of the Lexus LFA supercar has ended, with the final car leaving the company's Motomachi assembly plant on 14 December.

The final car – a white LFA Nürburgring Package – was number 500 in a production run that spanned two years, with just one car being built per day.

Lexus has confirmed that the cessation of LFA production means a much-rumoured convertible version will not be made.

Daljinder Nagra

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