New headlamps, foglamps and grille for the facelifted Freelander 2

New headlamps, foglamps and grille for the facelifted Freelander 2

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Land Rover has finally given the LR2 what it needs in North America: a four-cylinder petrol engine. The 2013 LR2 will be launched soon; a facelifted Freelander 2 debuts at next week's Moscow motor show.

The restyled Freelander LR2 sees the Volvo-developed and Welsh-built 3.2-litre inline six-cylinder engine ditched in favour of a rebranding of Ford's 2.0 EcoBoost unit. Land Rover calls the direct injection and turbocharged four-cylinder unit an 'Si4 GTDi' (the outgoing six was the Si6). The same 240hp unit also features in the Range Rover Evoque and Jaguar XF and in China, in the Jaguar XJ too.

The Si6 has not been available in the the UK and most other European markets and so too the Si4 will be absent from the home market. The Freelander 2's only engine in the UK will continue to be a 2.2-litre four-cylinder turbodiesel. It still comes in 150PS TD4 and 190PS SD4 forms. The first of these can be ordered with front-wheel drive only.

Other novelties for the Freelander 2 and LR2 are a revised interior which now features a seven-inch touch-screen; what Land Rover refers to as 'Passive start', which replaces the key dock; an 'intelligent' electric parking brake which adjusts brake force according to the slope the vehicle is parked on; 'Say What You See' - a voice activation system with visual prompts; and rear view camera capability.

The exterior changes are modest and retain the looks of this six-year old vehicle, while bringing it firmly into 2012 with touches such as a bright finish for the grille and foglamp bezels. In North American markets, the LR2's HSE model grade's grille's bars, fender vent and rear finisher strip have a light gloss silver finish whilst the grille surround is finished in gloss black.

The updated Freelander 2 is due to reach dealers in the UK from October, with North America's 2013 LR2 expected in showrooms soon after.

Author: Glenn Brooks