New Freelander spied

13 Dec, 2012 5:10pm Jack Rix

The next Land Rover Freelander has been spotted, disguised as a stretched version of the Evoque

Appearances can be deceptive, as these spy pictures prove. At first glance they appear to show a long-wheelbase Range Rover Evoque - a car that could quite feasibly slot into the gap between the Evoque and the new Range Rover Sport - but what you’re actually looking at is a mule for the next Freelander, due in 2015.

The first giveaway is the strange lump near where the fuel filler cap should be - a telltale sign that the car underneath doesn’t quite fit the body on top.

The second is the front end, where the shape and size of the grille and two lower air intakes don’t match up with the Evoque’s nose.

Both the Freelander and the Evoque use the same scalable steel platform, hence why this stretched version of the Evoque is perfect to disguise a Freelander prototype.

Land Rover is about to enter a phase of unprecedented expansion to cash in on the booming SUV market worldwide. So, for the next Freelander rather than just one model there will be three - a spacious five-seater (pictured here), an even longer wheelbase seven-seater and a baby Freelander, which will be the same size as the Evoque.

But it’s not just the Freelander range that’s set to grow, as Land Rover wants to introduce around 16 separate models over the next eight years. This includes three Range Rover models, three Evoques, two Discoverys and as many as five versions of the new Defender, which is due in 2015.