Land Rover is preparing a mid-life facelift for the Freelander. These new spy photos from the Midlands suggest change is afoot for the Freelander, which was launched in 2006.
Dubbed LR2 or Freelander 2, the current car will soon pass its sixth birthday, usually the time at which a replacement would be launched. However, CAR understands the Freelander facelift is due imminently to give the car a little of the glitz from the Evoque - and extend its lifecycle while the company concentrates on launching its bigger, pricier models.
What's new on the 2012 Freelander?
The front end of the Freelander is noticeably different: the now-chrome-ringed grille is smaller and positioned higher up, in line with the revised headlamps.
And notice those day-running lights glinting through the disguise? This facelift is all about jewellery and glitz to spice up what is essentially an ageing design. We haven't seen that Evoque-ish metallic blue on a Freelander before, either.
Why no all-new Freelander? Land Rover has been busy focusing on its more premium cars: launching the Evoque, the new 2012 Range Rover and 2013's Range Rover Sport, not to mention the Defender replacement coming in 2015.
Land Rover Freelander: the 2012 facelift inside
Exterior changes are limited to a cosmetic tidy-up, but our spy shots inside the new 2012 Freelander reveal a rather more radical redesign of the cabin. It appears that the rather plasticky interior will be swapped for a cockpit borrowing more bits from the Evoque set. Newer electro-gizmos will arrive too, such as the latest MP3 and Bluetooth compatibility.
Land Rover has been continuously improving the Freelander since launch; stop-start systems were recently added for Europe and in 2011 it added the option of two-wheel drive on Freelander models badged eD4.