• Aug 24, 2006
Land Rover, Land Rover, send surround sound over! Land Rover's all-new Freelander, to be dubbed LR2 Stateside, will be the first-ever vehicle to use Dolby® Pro Logic II® 7.1 surround sound. Sure, almost all vehicles have a rudimentary version of surround sound with speakers taking residence in dashboards, rear decks and door panels, but this is the real deal. With 14 speakers including a center channel, rear surrounds and a subwoofer, it promises home theater-like audio presentations.

Alpine developed the system with 440 watts of power, fiber optic connectors and an iPod jack to keep everyone happy. The new LR2, built on the global Ford EUCD platform, with its new transverse straight-six, better off-road capabilities, and this killer sound system should make the all-new baby Rover a pretty attractive package starting around $33,000 when it goes on sale in the Spring.

(Full press release with additional component pics after the jump.)

[Source: Land Rover]

World first automotive application of Dolby Pro Logic II 7.1 to debut on the all new Land Rover Freelander 2


Innovative 7.1 Alpine Sound System delivers a commanding and authentic audio experience for all occupants

Land Rover's latest car, the all-new Freelander 2, will be the first-ever automotive application of Dolby® Pro Logic II® 7.1 surround sound technology, developed specifically for the unique listening environment of the car. The technology, more familiarly seen in high-end home cinema and entertainment systems, immerses occupants in an all-enveloping sound experience. In another debut, it is the first Land Rover Sound System by car audiophiles Alpine, renowned for faithful music reproduction, just as the artist intended.

Alpine has created a new sonorous 440 watt amplifier to effortlessly power the system through any musical passage. Using the very latest surround sound technology, the system employs a multichannel amplifier in 7.1 mode. "Alpine believes no matter where you are sat in the car the sound experience should excite," says Alpine's OEM director Dave Sheen. "7.1 channel systems provide just that and with rear fill speakers, passengers are equally enthralled by the surround sound experience, not just those in the front. This is highly important for a family-orientated car like the Freelander 2."

The comprehensive 14 speaker system has been specifically created for the latest Land Rover. The three way front speaker layout of mid, bass and tweeter together with the centre fill speaker provide perfect sound imaging replicates the sound stage right in front of the occupants, precisely where it should be. Tweeters and bass drivers in the rear doors and, for that true surround experience, rear fill speakers in the pillars, deliver an enveloping sound through the rest of the cabin. Deep, low down power can be relied upon from a twin channel powered 80 watt subwoofer. For rear passengers there's more; two headphone sockets provide an option to listen to a different music source from that being played on the cabin speakers.

The Freelander 2 is the latest in a series of successful collaborations between in-car specialist Alpine and surround sound leader Dolby. These include Aston Martin's AMV8 Vantage, Jaguar's XK and Volvo's C70 and XC90. "We are delighted that such a prestigious and important car debuts the Dolby Pro Logic II 7.1 technology," said Robin Dyer, VP Europe Consumer Division at Dolby. "The technology is in harmony with the Land Rover interior and provides stunning sound wherever you are within the car, and wherever the car takes you."

Dolby Pro Logic II 7.1 technology works by processing any stereo (two-channel) audio into seven playback channels of surround sound plus a subwoofer channel for low frequency sounds. By detecting the directional cues that occur naturally in stereo content, Dolby uses these elements to create a surround sound playback experience. The technology has been developed specifically to suit the unique listening environment of a vehicle, enabling all passengers to experience enveloping and exciting audio regardless of their position within the car.

This first branded Alpine system is the latest partnership between the audio specialist and vehicle manufacturer. Ever since the Discovery II and 1998 Range Rover, Alpine has worked closely with Land Rover to produce infotainment products that perform as effectively as the car, whatever the terrain. Truly understanding the tougher environment a Land Rover thrives in has permitted Alpine to create their first branded sound system for the Freelander 2.



440 watt multi-channel, 7.1 amplifier available in Alpine Premium Sound System for the all new LR2



A comprehensive 14 speaker system has been specifically created for the all new LR2

Surround Sound Speakers Technical Overview

Centre Fill
Powered directly by the amplifier, the 2 Ohm, 100mm centre fill provides the surround experience for front occupants. As the name suggests the speaker fills the void between front occupants, enhancing the impression of the concert being played out right in front of you. Responsiveness is assured through the use of lightweight neodymium magnet materials. Lightweight materials at the top of the dashboard have the added advantage of lowering the centre of gravity, significant for an SUV.

Tweeters
Neodymium tweeters are used to increase responsiveness. Ideally located in the front and rear doors the tweeters ensure faithful reproduction of the higher frequencies. Highly specified, the 4 Ohm units are fitted in both the front and rear of the cabin ensuring audio excellence wherever you are seated.

Bass Woofer
For faithful reproduction of lower frequencies, a powerful and substantial bass unit was developed. Fed by separate 40 watt audio channels, these units have the ability to move large volumes of air. With a distinct mid unit in the premium system, the bass unit can be tuned to focus purely on deep, crisp and accurate bass reproduction.

Mid
For more accurate mid range reproduction, the Freelander 2 has new mid range speakers. With most of what we hear being in this range, the performance of this speaker is critical. With rapid response, the mid speaker can perform in harmony with the mid bass and tweeter arrangement.

Subwoofer
The substantial subwoofer is driven by two 40 watt amplifier channels to accurately reproduce the lowest frequencies. A substantial ferrite magnet system is used to move the air that creates not only the sound but the deep feeling. Strong and light, the enclosure has been designed specifically for the Freelander 2 creating an environment that permits Alpine's audio engineers to tune the system for the best bass response across the range.

Rear Surrounds
For the true surround sound experience, the new Freelander 2 has a further two mid units in the rear of the vehicle. Providing scale and depth to performances, they are ideally suited for concert or live music reproduction.

About Alpine
Since 1978, Alpine has been at the forefront of in-car entertainment development, producing some of the world's most advanced audio systems, on-board navigation and multimedia applications. As a result of focusing exclusively on high-fidelity in-car systems, Alpine has been nominated No.1 for customer satisfaction in the US for five consecutive years and is specified as original equipment in some of the world's most prestigious marques.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 11 Comments
      • 8 Years Ago
      This is sounding like a great little truck. I had thought it was just an up-rated Escape, but apparently not.

      My one question: who picked out the finky orange paint for the introduction car?
      • 8 Years Ago
      puh-leese... this car just looks like a gussied-up Ford Escape. I can't believe anybody would pay $33,000+ for a car that'll probably just give them problems after problems (isn't Lard Rover LAST in long-term quality?). I'd much rather get the new RDX or even the CX-7. And I'd like surround sound in my car just as much as the next guy, but its not enough to make me fall for this thing.
      • 8 Years Ago
      440 watts of power is not bad at all.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Forget the sound system. That's a great looking small SUV. Good work LR. I was hoping and praying that the next iteration of the Freelander didn't look like a Freelander. Modeled after the LR3....sounds good to me. I'll be trading in my Five Hundred this coming spring....may be an LR2 in my future.
      • 8 Years Ago
      To #4....PUKE !!!!!
      • 8 Years Ago
      #10, agreed, OEM sound systems (premium or not) are a joke. head unit, amps, and better speakers from any local audio shop will out perform any OEM setup. after market suppliers are now coming out with surround processors, so if you want DVD-Audio or Dolby Pro Logic II, they've got you covered on that as well.
      • 8 Years Ago
      As far as I know the orange paint colour chosen for the LR2 mimics the paint colour chosen for the Range Stormer concept, and the current Range Rover Sport.

      I cant honestly say that isn't the nicest colour, but it does set of what is a generally well proportioned little ute.

      It will be interesting to see if this new machine will prove more reliable than the Freelander, and actually be worth the Cash LR is asking for it.
      • 8 Years Ago
      If you want real surround sound, wait til you sit in my Corolla S with the windows down and listen to the beautiful buzz coming from the exhaust...
      • 8 Years Ago
      #4

      I think we heard enough renditions of "Flight of the Bumblebee." They're talking surround sound not extended ricy sounds of a fart pipe.

      All joking aside, that seems like a good option, but are people willing to pay for it is the question. I'm sure they will but, in most cases, aftermarket sound systems are usually a lot cheaper than what automakers charge for them.
      • 8 Years Ago
      On the surface, 33k sounds like a good price for a Land Rover. Hopefully it's still not just an uprated Escape, though. Someone at the office has a Freelander, and it actually looks worse than an Escape.
      • 8 Years Ago
      If this is a step up from the alpine system in the SRT-10 vipers, it is going to sound really, really nice.

      Best factory audio system, ever, in the vipers.