JLR is set to revive the Freelander nameplate for a new line of electric vehicles (EVs) for China, with plans for eventual global distribution.

    The new EVs are set to be built on architecture supplied by Chery, with whom JLR has been partnered for the past 12 years.

    They’ll be built at the existing Chery Jaguar Land Rover (CJLR) facility in Changshu, China alongside existing models.

    As part of its joint venture with JLR, Chery currently builds the Land Rover Discovery Sport, Range Rover Evoque, Jaguar E-Pace, and long-wheelbase versions of Jaguar’s XF and XE sedans.

    “The new model of collaboration leverages fully both parties’ complementary strengths – with Chery holding a leading automotive market position in China while JLR has unrivalled heritage and design strength – creating mutually beneficial prospects for the future,” JLR says.

    Sold under the Freelander brand, the new models will be set apart from Chery’s existing lineup and JLR’s global ‘House of Brands‘ portfolio, which currently comprises the Range Rover, Defender, Discovery, and Jaguar brands.

    Notably, JLR will still launch electric Land Rover models in other parts of the world using the MLA and EMA modular platforms, while Jaguar will introduce a new line of luxury EVs using the JEA platform.

    Freelander EVs will offer a “range of mainstream electric vehicles” and start life as a China-only offering, though JLR says it’s “over time destined for global export”. There are no specific details on markets or timelines.

    JLR CEO Adrian Mardell said the continued partnership demonstrated a commitment to international markets and advancing technology.

    “Today we are taking this important strategic step for JLR, one which underlines our ongoing commitment to China and complements our existing business in China,” he said.

    “We believe that working together to develop new models of collaboration for the world’s largest and fastest-growing electric vehicle market, combined with the appeal of the Freelander brand, promises a very exciting future for CJLR.”

    No technical specifications have been revealed by the company, though Autocar reports Freelander models will likely share their platform with cars from Chery’s premium Exeed brand.

    It reports the M3X platform used by the Exeed and Chery brands is being considered. This is currently used for combustion-powered and plug-in hybrid models like the Exeed RX/Chery Omoda 9.

    Another possibility is the E0X platform, which is designed for electric and range-extender (EREV) powertrains.

    The latter incorporates an 800V electrical architecture and supports front-, rear-, or all-wheel drive configurations. It underpins the new Exeed Sterra ES sedan and Sterra ET SUV.

    EREVs are growing in popularity in China, with sales reaching 400,000 units last year.

    The original Land Rover Freelander was offered for two generations between 1997 and 2015, with more than 300,000 units sold globally over the course of its life.

    The Freelander was only offered with a three-door body style in its first generation, which was replaced in 2006. The three-door Freelander was eventually succeeded by the Range Rover Evoque in 2011.

    Five-door models were replaced by the Discovery Sport in 2015.

    JLR isn’t the only Western company working with a Chinese brand on new EVs. Volkswagen is doing the same with Xpeng, as is Audi with SAIC Motor.

    MORE: Everything Chery
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    MORE: JLR electric car rollout slows as plug-in hybrids surge

    Max Davies

    Max Davies is an automotive journalist based in Melbourne, Australia. Max studied journalism at La Trobe University and stepped into the automotive world after graduating in late 2023. He grew up in regional Victoria, and with a passion for everything motorsport is a fan of Fernando Alonso.

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