IAB Report - Land Rover off-road experience highlights the Freelander's potential

07/10/2014 - 17:02 | ,   | Anjan Ravi

Land Rover held an off-road experience in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, recently which focussed mainly on telling its existing customers, and future prospects, the off-road capability of the Freelander. The Freelander - which forms the base of the company's product portfolio in India - used for the experience was a stock car powered by the 2.2-liter four-cylinder diesel engine.

Land Rover Experience Land Rover Freelander side
The Freelander has the Land Rover DNA underneath and it clearly shines off the beaten track.

The experience started with a brief about the car's off-road geometry. Staying true to the company's DNA, the SUV has a 23-degree approach angle and ramp break-over angle, and a 34-degree departure angle with a water wading depth of 500 mm. What this translates to is that the Freelander felt at home through the different terrains you see in these images.

Land Rover Experience Land Rover Freelander water wading
The SUV has a water wading depth of 500 mm.

First up, the Freelander was given a set of axle breakers which it managed to conquer in its standard mode. For the water bed challenge up next, all we had to do was to set the Terrain Response system in the Mud & Ruts mode and provide a steady throttle at 1,750 rpm.

Once out of the water, the Freelander was shown two steep hill climbs and descents. The first descent had to be done by the driver applying the brakes, and the second one was taken care of by the Hill Descent system, which automatically applies the brakes depending on the speed you select.

Land Rover Experience Land Rover Freelander hill climb
Hill Descent Assist literally takes the pressure off your leg.

The final challenges included a slushy mud pit, and a stretch of fine beach sand, after which the Freelander traced a path with high bushes back to civilization. Even more impressive was that the single Evoque in the fleet managed to follow the Freelanders throughout the circuit without a hint of protest.

Land Rover Experience Range Rover Evoque
The Evoque was just as impressive as the rugged Freelander off road.

No doubt, the Freelander is indeed a capable machine, however, globally the model has received its successor in the all-new Discovery Sport. In India, the Discovery Sport is expected to arrive later next year or by early 2016, and it will bring to the table a more modern design and chassis, coupled with better equipment and the convenience of seven seats.

So, does that mean bidding adieu to the Freelander's platform? Given its capability and toughened up mechanicals, Land Rover's owner Tata Motors might want to experiment making a flagship SUV based on it, and according to reports, such a plan is indeed taking shape.

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