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the following came out of the new June 2005 issue of Car Magazine...

by Georg Kacher

Freelander MKII (2006)

It's based on a Blue Oval platform, codenamed C1+, and shares components with the Focus/Volvo S40/Mazda 3. At least three brands will use it: Land Rover, Volvo (which is planning an XC50) and Ford (for the production version of the SAV).

The engines are mounted east-west, with Land Rover picking from the group's four-cylinder petrol engines and the diesels developed with Peugeot-Citroen. To keep the US interested, the engineers have shoehorned Volvo's forthcoming straight six into the engine bay.

The MkII is stiffer than today's car, boosting refinement and on-road handling, but don't expect any compromise. The Freelander gets a simplified version of Terrain Response, the rotary dial that juggles ride height, engine output and brakes to cope with hilly stuff.

This time, the Freelander will only be available as a five-door, as slow sales have sealed the fate of the canvas-roofed two-door version.

Baby Freelander (2008)

It's not been signed off yet, but bosses are keen and may even approve front-wheel drive.

One option is Focus underpinnings, but there are moves to use cheaper, lighter - and therefore cleaner - parts from the Ford Fiesta and Mazda 2.

The likeliest partner is Ford with the MkII Fusion, due in 2009, although Mazda and Volvo may wish to join the party. The baby Freelander is likely to be offered as both a hard and soft top, and coule be on sale as early as 2008.

Range Rover Series 4 (2009)

It'll be lighter and more agile - and there could be a coupe-convertible version, too.

The company is keen to make the differences between the Discovery, and Range Sport and Range Rover more obvious, so the next generation of the flagship Range Rover will be bigger. Insiders acknowledge that the current car is a little narrow and too tall, and is eclipsed by cheaper models with Terrain Response.

While the new Discovery and Range Sport, plus the next Defender, are all based on the T5 integrated body/frame chassis, the Series 4 is tipped to ride on an all-new platform, the T6.

Development enginners plan to reduce weight by learning from Jaguar's experience with aluminium on the XJ.

Three body styles are under discussion: a four-seat, standard wheelbase luxury SUV; a stretched version seating six; and a sporty body style with folding tin top.

New Defender (2010)

The next Defender will be bolted on to a version of the T5 platform, which is hardcore but also flexible enough to cope with a variety of bodies and powertrains. Air suspension and hi-tech off-roading kit can also figure.

Although the Defender may not increase today's 25,000 sales, it'll keep farmers and loyal customers like public authorities happy.



An picture atop the page of a Freelander at a track with testing equipment bolted to it reads :

"Freelander has changed more than its looks suggest, with new engines and Terrain Response for serious off-roading"



My scanner is currently out of service so I could not scan the Article/Image.
 
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