Land Rover has lately been making a name for itself with its stylish Range Rover models, the compact Evoque, the flagship full-size model, and a restyled Sport variant right around the corner. In contrast, many of the other models in the lineup suddenly look positively dated and bland in comparison. Chief among them is the nondescript LR2, sold in overseas markets as the Freelander, a name used in the U.S. market until an alphanumeric naming scheme was adopted starting with the LR3 in 2005.
Never a stylistic standout, the LR2 received the updated powertrain from the Range Rover Evoque for the 2013 model year, with a 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder replacing the previous Volvo-based 3.2-liter side-saddle I-6. But its styling carried on relatively unchanged.
These spy shots suggest some major changes could be in store for the next-generation LR2/Freelander. At first glance, it appears to be a stretched Evoque, a model reportedly in development as well. But some ill-fitting parts, exposed rear suspension and exhaust components, and what look like phantom wheel arches indicate there may be more here than meets the eye.
Our sources say the next-generation LR2/Freelander will spawn multiple variants, making it the anchor and volume leader of the Land Rover line.