Land Rover Renews Freelander Trademark – Could a New Small Crossover Be Coming?

Land Rover's parent company has filed a trademark application for the Freelander name with the European Intellectual Property Office, potentially hinting at the revival of the defunct compact crossover.

While a trademark application is far from confirmation that an automaker is working on a certain model, they can provide some insight into a brand's future product roadmap. A new Land Rover Freelander is not outside the realm of possibility, either. Crossovers are outselling cars in most markets at an increasing rate and Land Rover is well-poised to capitalize on the demand – so long as it has the right products.

A recent Autocar report indicated Jaguar was looking to introduce two new crossovers called the A-Pace and B-Pace, both of which would use BMW's new front-wheel-drive-based architecture. The report also said these crossovers would spawn a new Land Rover entry-level model that may use the Freelander name. The recent trademark filing seems to support these rumors and bolsters the publication's predictions of a Freelander revival.

The Autocar report also said the new Land Rover Freelander will draw inspiration from the 2011 Land Rover DC100 Concept – a boxy, two-door off-roader with a footprint similar to a two-door Jeep Wrangler. It's expected to go into production for the 2021 model year, so if the rumors are true, Land Rover should have a Freelander-related announcement to make before the end of next year.

A small, front-wheel-drive-based crossover would allow Land Rover to compete with other small luxury crossovers such as the BMW X2, Volvo XC40, and upcoming new Mercedes-Benz GLB. The brand's least-expensive offering currently is the Discovery Sport, which is still quite expensive, with prices starting at $47,400.

The Land Rover Freelander was introduced for the 1997 model year. The second-generation model, marketed as the LR2 in North America, was introduced in 2006 before the nameplate was axed at the end of 2014.

These days, manufacturers can't have enough crossover models. 8/30/2019 12:00:00 PM