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Body - (Global)

June 29th, 2007





"Freelander 2's body is almost twice as stiff as some competitors'. This helps its on-road handling and refinement, its off-road toughness, and its all-round safety." Andrew Foster, chief programme engineer.

With over 28,000 Nm/degree of static stiffness, the Freelander 2 has one of the stiffest bodies of any car; it is almost twice as stiff as some competitors. Excellent stiffness provides the necessary basis for great ride and handling, because there is minimal flex during hard cornering or on rough roads. It also helps deliver excellent vehicle refinement and safety.

Freelander 2 uses a monocoque construction. Ultra-high-strength steel is used more extensively than in any previous Land Rover, in the door beams and for various strengthening reinforcements. DP600 dual-phase steel - which requires special pressing because of its strength - is used for the A-posts, lower sills, cantrails, front side members and dash to help provide a first-class, weight-efficient safety cell.

Many of the bolt-on components fitted during final assembly also help improve structural integrity. A fully integrated front-end structure not only carries the cooling pack and front bumper, but also substantially boosts the overall body stiffness. Even the bonnet-locking platform has been designed to help boost structural integrity, ensuring good load transfer from one front crash rail to the other.

A double bulkhead in the engine bay improves powertrain isolation and provides a clean area for components such as the ABS modulator, brake servo and wiper system.

Freelander 2 is marginally longer - by 50 mm - than the outgoing Freelander. Width is increased by 109 mm, and height is increased by 32 mm.

Safety
The Freelander 2's long list of primary safety features - not least its responsive handling, strong brakes and 4x4 system - helps the driver avoid hazards. The high 'command view' seating position provides visibility over traffic and a clearer view on rain-lashed roads.

Secondary safety starts with the strong monocoque body and its inner 'safety cell'. Front and rear crumple zones are designed to help absorb as much energy as possible during an impact. Side-impact protection is further assisted by the ultra-high-strength steel door beams, the strong and deep door sills (bigger on a 4x4 than on a conventional car) and the raised seat position. Other key features include strong facia cross-rails, which help minimise the risk of the A-pillars spreading during an impact, and the new Roll Stability Control system.

Front seat belts have pre-tensioners, and all Freelander 2 models feature seven airbags. The driver and passenger front airbags are designed to help provide head and chest protection and the front side airbags to protect against side impacts. Full-length curtain airbags in the roof side structure are designed to help protect against head injury and roll-over ejection for front and rear occupants. An inflatable knee bolster helps protect the driver against leg injury from the steering column.

Exterior Protection
Freelander 2 uses 100 per cent double-sided zinc-coated steel panels, as part of the most sophisticated anti-corrosion and paint treatment ever used on a Land Rover. An unlimited-mileage, three-year paint-surface warranty and six-year anti-corrosion warranty are provided with the vehicle.

As a true 4x4, Freelander 2 is designed to be able to brush off knocks and scuffs. Vulnerable areas of the car, including the sills and lower doors, are coated in a tough thermoplastic cladding. The cooling pack is protected by a strong thermoplastic undertray, while a structural steel undertray protects the engine. Bumpers are made from high-pressure injection-moulded mineral-reinforced polypropylene. They have excellent stability in very hot or cold conditions, and good scratch and impact resistance.

Jewel-Like and Effective Lamps
The wrap-around headlamps of Freelander 2 are handsome and rugged, and offer a choice of different technologies.

The standard halogen lamps have impact-resistant polycarbonate lenses, and offer a lifetime resistance to scratching (invaluable when off-roading). The lens is bonded to the lamp body to guarantee a watertight seal. The headlamp units have a Gore-Texô membrane, which allows ventilation without letting in water, to help avoid condensation when wading. H7 halogen bulbs are also available, giving a light output closer to natural daylight.

Freelander 2 is also available with High Intensity Discharge (HID) projector lamps, creating crisp blue-white spectrum light. The bulbs are filled with a mixture of noble gases (including xenon). HID lights produce 200 per cent more light than a halogen unit while consuming only half as much electrical power. They also last up to 10 times longer. The HID system includes automatic headlamp levelling, to ensure the optimum light pattern irrespective of vehicle load.

Optional Adaptive Front Lighting (AFS) is designed around the xenon units. The lamps swivel with the direction of travel, to help improve the driver's view of the road ahead. Headlamp powerwash is standard on all models.

Rear lamp units are chunky one-piece clusters, incorporating tail-lamps, brake lights, indicators and reversing lights. As with the headlamps, the design is jewel-like, an impression heightened by the high-gloss polymethyl methacrylate lenses, which also offer excellent scratch resistance.

Large Glass Areas
The generous areas of glass on Freelander 2 offer excellent all-round visibility. Front and side windows are wide and deep. An optional two-part panoramic sunroof increases the bright and airy feel of Freelander 2's cabin. The front section lifts and slides back over the second-row glass roof panel.

Large door mirrors further improve the field of view. Standard on all models is rain-sensing windscreen wipers that work via infra-red technology.


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