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Land Rover Freelander 2 - Design and Features

Land Rover Freelander 2 Features | Freelander 2 Links

DESIGN

  • A fresh and premium exterior, designed to reflect both on-road and off-road capabilities
  • Long wheelbase and short overhangs help deliver purposeful 4x4 proportions
  • Dynamic stance, chiseled lines and smooth, simple surfaces
  • Distinctive Land Rover genes, including clamshell bonnet and stepped roof
  • Watch-like detailing in the wrap-around headlamps and tail-lamps

"LR2 is a fresh and contemporary design, with its chiseled lines, chunky good looks and sporty energy."
- Geoff Upex, design director

Chiseled lines, smooth and simple surfaces and interlocking elements were three of the key principles that guided the Land Rover design team as they crafted the all-new LR2. These combined well with the vehicle’s proportions – especially the height, long wheelbase, and short front and rear overhangs – to create the purposeful, sporty stance that the designers wanted.

Upex and his team, including Earl Beckles (lead exterior designer) and Martin Buffery (lead interior designer), were also determined to develop a vehicle with clear family links to Land Rover’s successful LR3 and best-selling Range Rover Sport. From the LR3, according to Geoff Upex, “We took the simplicity of the surfacing, the strong shapes, the bold and consistent graphics, and the strong rear D-post styling. Range Rover Sport inspired the flow of the wheel arches, a lot of the stance, and the dynamics of the waistline.”

"The design of LR2 had to reflect its balance of capabilities – as a great road car and a great SUV," says Geoff Upex. "This was absolutely at the top of our minds. It could not be too overt a 4x4, in the way that LR3 is. It had to be tough – but not too tough. It had to reassure people trading up from premium cars. So this balance – tough SUV versus premium car – was crucial in the design language."

According to Upex, SUVs are typically more geometric, more aggressive and harder-edged. Cars tend to be more organic – and friendlier – in form. So the LR2 mixes strong geometric shapes and flowing, car-like softness.

The fast-angled windshield, the raised roof and the tapering rear pillar all reflect the vehicle’s dynamic, sporty on-road abilities, as does the smooth shoulder line. Also contributing significantly to the flow of the design are the body-colored A- and C-pillars, while the black

D-pillars at the rear give a graphic which resembles the ‘floating roof’ of Range Rover.

The body sides on LR2 are sharp and chiseled. But in plain view, the surfaces are smooth, sheer and one-directional. The surfacing is also taut and very defined, to give the vehicle a lean, muscled look.

The grille makes a strong and confident design statement. The rear is clean, with one-piece tail-lights and the external spare wheel positioned underneath the cargo area floor.

"The whole design is simple, uncluttered, premium and desirable. We wanted a minimal number of components that interlock to form a meaningful and attractive whole," says Geoff Upex. "The headlights and tail-lights, for instance, are watch-like in their detailing. The metallic side-vents help engine breathing, but also provide a strong family link with both LR3 and Range Rover Sport."

As always with a Land Rover, functionality is a fundamental driver of the design. The narrow front A-posts help achieve excellent all-round visibility. The hood castellations help the driver place the vehicle more accurately on the road or track. The wheel stance and wide track help deliver agile handling and great grip. The short front and rear overhangs and high underbody are essential for go-anywhere off-road performance. The body-side protection guards against stone chips and helps keep the sills clean.

"We believe the end result is a design that is sculptured and sophisticated, dynamic yet refined, premium and tough," says Geoff Upex.

BODY STRUCTURE

"LR2’s body is almost twice as stiff as some competitors’. This helps its on-road handling and refinement, its off-road toughness, and its all-round safety."
– Andrew Foster, chief program engineer

Excellent stiffness provides the necessary basis for great ride and handling, because there is little or no flex during hard cornering or on rough roads. It also helps deliver excellent vehicle refinement and safety.

LR2 uses a monocoque construction. Ultra-high-strength steel is used more extensively than in any previous Land Rover in the door beams and for various strengthening reinforcements. DP600 dual-phase steel – which requires special pressing because of its strength – is used for the A-posts, lower sills, cantrails, front side members and dash to help provide a first class, weight-efficient safety cell.

Many of the bolt-on components fitted during final assembly also help improve structural integrity. A fully integrated front-end structure not only carries the cooling pack and front bumpers, but also substantially boosts the overall body stiffness. Even the hood-locking platform has been designed to help boost structural integrity, ensuring good load transfer from one front crash rail to the other.

A double bulkhead in the engine bay improves powertrain isolation and provides a clean area for components such as the ABS modulator, brake servo and wiper system.

SAFETY

The LR2’s long list of primary safety features – including its responsive handling, strong brakes and permanent all-wheel drive system – helps the driver avoid hazards. The high ‘command view’ seating position provides visibility over traffic and a clearer view on rain-lashed roads.

Secondary safety starts with the strong monocoque body and its inner ‘safety cell’. Front and rear crumple zones are designed to help absorb as much energy as possible during an impact. Side-impact protection is further assisted by the Ultra-high-strength steel door beams, the strong and deep door sills (bigger on an SUV than on a conventional car) and the raised seat position.

Front safety belts have pre-tensioners, and all LR2 models feature seven airbags. The driver and passenger front airbags are designed to help provide head and chest protection and the front side airbags to protect against side impacts. Full-length curtain airbags in the roof side structure are designed to help protect against head injury and roll-over ejection for front and rear occupants. An inflatable knee bolster helps protect the driver against leg injury from the steering column.

Pedestrian safety is a high priority, with 2.76-3.54 in (70-90 mm) clearance between the upper hood and under-hood mechanicals in the critical zones. The excellent energy absorbing qualities of the hood further assist pedestrian protection.

EXTERIOR PROTECTION

LR2 uses 100 percent double-sided zinc-coated steel panels, as part of the most sophisticated anti-corrosion and paint treatment ever used on a Land Rover.

As a true SUV, LR2 is designed to be able to brush off knocks and scuffs. Vulnerable areas of the car, including the sills and lower doors, are coated in a tough thermoplastic cladding.

The cooling pack is protected by a strong thermoplastic undertray, while a structural steel undertray protects the engine. Bumpers are made from high-pressure injection-molded mineral-reinforced polypropylene. They have excellent stability in very hot or cold conditions, and good scratch and impact resistance.

JEWEL-LIKE AND EFFECTIVE LIGHTS

The wrap-around headlights of LR2 are handsome and rugged, and offer a choice of different technologies.

The standard H7 halogen lamps have impact-resistant polycarbonate lenses, and offer a lifetime resistance to scratching (invaluable when off-road use). They also give a light output closer to natural daylight. The lens is bonded to the light body to guarantee a watertight seal. The headlight units have a Gore-Tex membrane, which allows ventilation without letting in water, to help avoid condensation when wading.

LR2 is also available with High Intensity Discharge (HID) projector lamps, creating crisp blue-white spectrum light. The bulbs are filled with a mixture of noble gases (including xenon). HID lights produce 200 percent more light than a halogen bulb while consuming only half as much electrical power. They also last about 10 times longer. The HID system includes headlight power-washers and automatic headlight leveling, to help ensure the optimum light pattern irrespective of vehicle load.

Optional Adaptive Front Lighting (AFS) is designed around the xenon units. The lights swivel with the direction of travel, to help the driver see the road ahead.

Rear lamp units are chunky one-piece clusters, incorporating tail-lights, brake lights, indicators and reversing lights. As with the headlights, the design is jewel-like, an impression heightened by the high-gloss polymethyl methacrylate lenses, which also offer excellent scratch resistance.

LARGE GLASS AREAS

The generous areas of glass on LR2 offer excellent all-around visibility. Front and side windows are wide and deep. A standard two-part panoramic sunroof increases the bright and airy feel of LR2’s cabin. The front section lifts and slides back over the second-row glass roof panel.

Large door mirrors further improve the field of view. An electrically heated front windshield and heated washer jets are available. Rain-sensing wipers and automatic headlights, both of which work via infra-red technology, are standard on all models. 

 

Land Rover Freelander 2 Special Features

DRIVING DYNAMICS

"The all-new LR2 has been engineered to inspire driver confidence and passenger comfort over a wide variety of conditions and surfaces, from sporty on-road driving to off-road mud-plugging. Our goal was to create a driving experience that felt just as good to someone trading-up from a conventional sedan as it did to an experienced 4x4 specialist."
Mike Cross, chief engineer, vehicle integrity

Land Rover's engineers’ objectives for the driving dynamics of LR2 were to combine on-road behavior that is agile, predictable and refined, with class-leading off-road ability. Their comprehensive approach started with the design of the base suspension system, and then was supplemented by innovative technologies such as an intelligent permanent all-wheel drive system, Land Rover’s patented Terrain Response system, and sophisticated traction and stability systems. Key contributors to achieving excellent on-road performance were the new, fully independent suspension system – coil-sprung struts front and rear – and an exceptionally stiff body using front and rear sub-frames. Front and rear anti-roll bars provide excellent anti-roll control.

The responsive rack-and-pinion steering is direct and fluid, with just 2.6 turns lock-to-lock. Rigidly mounted to the front sub-frame to improve lateral stiffness, the steering column and wheel is adjustable for reach and rake.

"The LR2 is also a revelation on-road," says Land Rover’s chief engineer, vehicle integrity, Mike Cross.

"Some sporty SUVs are more firmly sprung, but where LR2 really scores is in its mix of agility, responsiveness and ride comfort. It is never harsh, but is always a rewarding and predictable vehicle to drive hard."

On-road ride comfort has been a key consideration, and LR2 excels – due to its supple long-travel suspension, its excellent torsional body stiffness, its isolated (rubber-mounted) front and rear sub-frames, and its large-diameter gas damper struts.

Off-road it is a Land Rover. Its capability starts with 8.26 in (210mm) minimum of ground clearance to overcome rocky, sandy, rutted or muddy terrain. This also helps LR2 to wade through water up to 19.68 in (500 mm) deep – better than most rivals. Approach and departure angles are also excellent.

INTELLIGENT PERMANENT ALL-WHEEL DRIVE SYSTEM

An innovative intelligent permanent all-wheel drive system is fundamental to delivering Land Rover's legendary breadth of capability. Its front-rear torque split varies continuously to suit dynamic conditions. Only a small amount of torque is fed to the rear wheels under normal conditions, such as on a straight paved road, but in tough off-road situations, almost all the engine torque can be fed to the rear wheels, if required. This is an ideal arrangement that always offers maximum grip in difficult conditions, yet minimizes rear drive – and therefore rotational losses and, in turn, fuel consumption – when not required.

"The torque balance adapts continuously," says chief program engineer Andrew Foster. "So, for example, if you encounter mud or snow on the road, torque distribution between front and rear can be adjusted, to give you optimal traction and primary safety at all times."

The intelligent permanent all-wheel drive system has been developed in conjunction with Haldex, whose acclaimed center-coupling technology continuously alters the front-rear torque split, normally through a hydraulically operated multi-plate wet clutch.

However, Land Rover wanted an electronically controlled center coupling – linking the driveshaft to the rear differential – that could pre-engage at rest to reduce wheel-spin from standing starts, engage quickly when traction loss was detected and disengage quickly without compromising stability control systems. The system also had to transmit the necessary torque to achieve LR2’s off-road traction demands.

The result is used exclusively on LR2, and proactively engages all-wheel drive rapidly and completely. A new high-pressure pre-charge pump charges the hydraulic system as soon as the engine is started, allowing for all-wheel drive from rest. It also reduces the time taken to achieve full torque once wheel-slip has been detected – within 15 degrees of wheel-slip rotation.

The LR2’s Haldex unit is designed to allow up to 1106 lb.-ft. of torque transmission. An accumulator also speeds up the unit’s response. Full torque transmission can be achieved in just 150 milliseconds. In effect, the new Haldex coupling gives the proactive engagement benefits of all-wheel drive and the efficiency and fuel economy of an on-demand system. Representing the best of both worlds, it is ideal for a compact SUV such as LR2.

TERRAIN RESPONSE ENHANCES GO-ANYWHERE ABILITY

Terrain Response is one of the core Land Rover technologies that gives the LR2 its outstanding breadth of capability. It adapts the responses of the vehicle's engine, gearbox, center coupling and chassis systems to match the demands of the terrain. It optimizes drivability and comfort, as well as maximizing traction.

On the LR2, there are four Terrain Response settings which the driver can choose via a rotary control:

  • General Driving – provides a broad span of ability suitable for most on-road driving and easier off-road conditions
  • Grass/Gravel/Snow – for slippery conditions, on-road or off-road
  • Mud and Ruts
  • Sand

"Each of the settings optimizes LR2’s suite of electronic and mechanical controls to suit the chosen terrain," says Andrew Foster. "It's like having an off-road expert to assist."

Terrain Response also controls the following range of stability and traction aids:

  • Dynamic Stability Control (DSC): is designed to stop torque to a wheel after loss of traction, but in some off-road situations torque feed is still desirable, even when traction is being lost. Terrain Response automatically adjusts the DSC so that appropriate torque is maintained
  • Electronic Traction Control and Anti-lock Brakes: these slip and braking control systems are all adjusted and tuned by Terrain Response to offer optimum grip, braking power and safety on the chosen terrain
  • Hill Descent Control (HDC): the award-winning Land Rover technology that automatically restricts speed downhill, using the anti-lock brakes, and improves driver control on slippery descents. HDC is automatically engaged on appropriate Terrain Response programs. Downhill speed rates vary according to which surface is selected.

Terrain Response also changes the setting of the electronic center coupling, to optimize all-wheel drive in tough conditions. Terrain Response works continuously, and made its production debut in the Land Rover LR3 in 2004.

LARGE AND POWERFUL BRAKES

The LR2 has large vented discs front and rear, providing superior stopping power. The large 12.44 in (316 mm) front discs are ‘reverse vented’, so they draw cool air into the disc over the central bell, which is then vented out from the rim of the disc. This approach improves thermal stability under severe braking. Rear brake discs are also substantial – 11.88 in (302 mm) in diameter.

The handbrake is a drum-in-disc device providing superior hill-hold performance.

The electronic modulator at the heart of the stability control systems on LR2 constantly monitors and, if necessary, adjusts both braking and engine traction to ensure the driver maintains control of each wheel. As well as reducing brake pressure, as in a conventional anti-lock (ABS) braking system, the modulator is designed to help generate positive hydraulic pressure to increase braking force in an emergency.

In addition to the latest-generation four-channel anti-lock brakes, the modulator also controls Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD), which balances the distribution of braking force between front and rear, Emergency Brake Assist (EBA), which boosts pedal pressure when full braking is required, and Corner Brake Control (CBC), which enhances rear-end stability when braking in corners. It also helps to control the Hill Descent Control, Electronic Traction Control and Dynamic Stability Control systems.

ROLL-STABILITY CONTROL

Roll Stability Control is the most sophisticated roll-over prevention technology ever fitted to a Land Rover. Gyroscopic sensing allows this system – linked to the electronic modulator – to compare the rate of change of body roll angle with the steered course. If necessary, incremental brake force is applied at the outer wheels, widening the turn radius to help prevent the roll.

GRADIENT RELEASE CONTROL

Another innovation which makes its debut on LR2 is Land Rover’s patented Gradient Release Control system. Linked to the Hill Descent Control, it ensures that when releasing the brakes on extremely steep hills, brake-line pressure is released progressively when the driver’s foot is removed from the pedal, helping to ensure full driver control is maintained.

WHEELS AND TIRES

LR2 is fitted with an 18-inch alloy wheel and tire combination, specifically tuned to help deliver Land Rover’s heralded breadth of capability.

The wheels are low-pressure die-cast aluminum, and are fitted with all-terrain rated tires, so they perform well both on-road and off.

TOWING CAPABILITY

LR2’s powerful engine, strong body and all-wheel transmission make it an ideal tow vehicle. It's able to tow a 4409 lb. (2000 kg) braked trailer – which is more than the vehicle’s curb weight – making them suitable for most single horse trailers, medium-sized travel trailers and small boats.

 

More Land Rover Freelander 2 Links

Freelander 2 Exterior Design and Special Features  
Land Rover Freelander 2 Engines

 

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