The Freelander TD4e is the world’s first SUV to feature an intelligent stop/start system, making it the most fuel-efficient Land Rover ever!
It gets up to (reportedly) 42.2 mpg, reduces emissions by 8% and could improve fuel economy by up to 20% in heavy stop/start traffic conditions…but for now it is only available in the U.K. This is the boffo stop/start system that kills the engine outright, rather than letting it sit there idling and wasting fuel, each time the driver brings the vehicle to a stop.
And it’s so seamless, you won’t even know it’s happening…at least after the first couple of drives. You put the gear into neutral, release the clutch and the engine cuts out. There is a reassuring message (see photo) on the display that cues you that you haven’t actually stalled. When the light turns green, you simply step on the clutch, throw it into gear and you’re off again. Brilliant! (If you don’t want this to happen – say, if you’re off-roading and teetering on a precipice or something – you can manually disable the system at the touch of a button.)
The stop/start technology is married to the existing 2.2 liter TD4 diesel with a 6-speed manual transmission (evidently, the system is a bit trickier to manage effectively on an automatic). It also features low-rolling resistance tires and a beefed up starter motor to handle the increase in starting. It is available at no extra cost, which should delight U.K. buyers but we won't see it here in the States until they roll it out on the LR3/Discovery, perhaps as early as 2010. Look for a diesel hybrid by 2012.
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