Land Rover is reportedly developing a new seven-seater SUV based on the Freelander. Codenamed "Project L486", the new vehicle will slot into the line-up in between the Freelander and the Discovery, with styling cues culled from the LRX concept. The vehicle will use Ford's EUCD platform, which also underpins the Freelander as well as the Volvo XC60, V70 and S80 and the Ford Galaxy, S-Max and Mondeo. While the new model, which could appear under the "Ventura" nameplate, is said to be more on-road focused than off, it will still feature such go-anywhere systems as hill descent control operated via Land Rover's "Terrain Response" switch, along with traction control and stability management. A wide array of powertrain options are expected to be on offer, including diesel and gasoline engines mated to manual and automatic transmissions as well as Ford/Volvo's Getrag-sourced dual-clutch transmission and a mild hybrid system.
The new model is expected to make its debut in 2012, with production taking place alongside the Land Rover Freelander and the production LRX and the Jaguar X-Type at the Halewood plant in Merseyside, England.