Land Rover of North America has tipped off its dealer body that the forthcoming Freelander replacement will likely go by another name. As the smallest vehicle in the company's lineup, the Freelander has never truly established itself as a competitor in America's compact SUV market, dogged by uninspiring on-road performance, cramped quarters, and an interior that fails to live up to its pricetag.
But given Land Rover's vastly improved track record over the last few years (Range Rover, LR3 and Range Rover Sport), expect the revamped model to put up a good fight, and for the name-change not to strike fear into the heart of brand devotees (as Land Rover did when it changed it's mid-rung offering from the evocative 'Discovery' to the character-free alphanumeric, LR3).
Though officials gave no hints, we'd be surprised if the littlest Landie didn't fall victim to the alphanumeric flu in the form of another 'LR' designation. As the Freelander is a longer-lived nameplate in other markets (and given that other countries still call their LR3s 'Discovery'), there's no reason to think that the model will be renamed globally.