Having completed five years of operations in India, the Tata-owned British SUV manufacturer has introduced an exclusive Land Rover Freelander 2 Sterling edition in Indian market. This special edition model comes with a range of sporty exterior upgrades including a new Anthracite finish 17-inch five-split spoke alloy wheels, dark atlas grille, dark atlas fender and side vents, tailgate spoiler, front and rear apron, lower door claddings and a single tail pipe with bright finish.
Rohit Suri, Vice-President, Jaguar Land Rover India, said, “We are excited to introduce the new Freelander 2 Sterling Edition. It will further endear the hugely popular model to our young and sophisticated customers looking to own an exclusive Land Rover with enhanced sporty looks.”
The new Land Rover Freelander 2 Sterling edition is priced at Rs 44.41 lakh (ex-showroom Mumbai), it is powered by a 150PS, 2.2-litre diesel engine (150 HP) and offers a slew of sporty exterior features such as 17” five-split spoke alloy wheel with anthracite finish, dark atlas grille, dark atlas fender and side vents, tailgate spoiler, front and rear apron, lower door claddings and a single tail pipe with bright finish.
Economic Times, quoting an anonymous source, said, "The SUV is likely to be 50-85 per cent different from the existing Freelander, but it will have the genes of a Land Rover with JLR quality. We are exploring new options with JLR, one of them being the Q5 and the other is a common engine option. There is a continuous dialogue with JLR on processes and engineering inputs for our existing products.”
Land Rover Freelander 2 Sterling’s rivals in India include BMW X3 priced Rs. 44.90 – 49.90 lakhs, Toyota Land Cruiser Prado priced double at 84.58 lakhs and of course, Audi Q5 with a similar price tag of Rs.45.39 – 60.11 lakhs.
Otherwise, Tata Motors is planning to bring out an all-new premium SUV to rival the likes of the Toyota Fortuner in the middle range at Rs 20 to 25 lakh codenamed Q5, which will be jointly developed by Tata and its subsidiary, Land Rover to be launched sometime in 2016. The project, with a team of 45 engineers, is already working on it, and is headed by Karl Heinz Servos, Project Director (Joint Projects), engineering research centre, Tata Motors. The SUV will be modified for Indian conditions from Land Rover’s current generation Freelander 2 platform.
Indian market is still brand-sensitive in the premium segment and Land Rover has not caught up with the trend. Tata has been working hard to change the perception towards its cars though it has taken over the reins of the Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) over six years ago from the British manufacturer.
It should assess its rivals before launching a new car like Aria. Even Land Rover should aim at the Toyota Fortuner, the current segment leader, followed by others like Ford Endeavour, Hyundai Santa Fe, Ssangyong Rexton, Chevrolet Captiva and the Renault Koleos.