Land Rover unveiled its most fuel-efficient car ever at the French motor show: the new Freelander TD4_e Stop/Start. No prizes for guessing it's a diesel 4x4, whose economy is improved by 3.8mpg and CO2 falls by 8 percent.
Tell me more about the Freelander TD4_e Stop/Start
Land Rover has been harping on about its new green technologies for quite a while – so it's a relief finally to see a production car (rather than the far-fetched concepts we've become used to) bristling with eco kit applied. They all fall under the grammatically dodgy e_Terrain Technologies badge.
The TD4_e cuts the engine at traffic lights and Land Rover claims it's enough to boost economy from the outgoing diesel's 37.7mpg to a useful 41.3mpg. Those all-important CO2 emissions fall from 194g/km to 179g/km. It's not just stop-start: there are more efficient tyres, remapped engine management and a gearshift indicator, as well as a beefed-up starter motor and other ancillaries to cope with the more frequent start-ups.
And the best news? The kit will be standard-fit on diesel Freelanders (the bulk of Freelander sales, funnily enough). Phil Popham, Land Rover's managing director, said: 'From mid-2009, the Stop/Start feature will be included as standard on all Freelander 2 TD4 manual models, with no associated increase in list prices.' Bravo.
What else is new on the Land Rover stand?
Not much else really. Just the usual Land Rover stand they seem to unpack at every motor show around the world: cool woods and metals, and a rather soothing waterfall. Very Scandinavian...
CAR’s verdict: Land Rover at the Paris motor show
Great to see a proper green production Land Rover – we've been waiting a while. But they'll need more than just a single Freelander derivative to save the 4x4 maker's long-term prospects.CAR's Land Rover stand score: 3/5