Land Rover’s smallest off-roader, the LR2, will swap its in-line six-cylinder engine for a turbocharged four-cylinder with the next model update. The LR2’s gas-powered replacement powerplant is the same 240-hp mill that will arrive this October in the Range Rover Evoque. While our source wouldn’t reveal the exact timing of the LR2’s powertrain swap, we expect a mid-cycle update in 2012.
Land Rover is also eager to bring diesel engines into the U.S. market, likely starting with the Evoque’s 2.2-liter turbo-diesel four-cylinder. In European specification, that powerplant makes about 190 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque. It’s unclear if that engine would launch in the Evoque or the LR2 in America, but we expect both trucks to eventually offer the diesel option. Manufacturers have traditionally ignored diesels in the U.S. because of stringent emissions requirements, but Europe’s impending EU6 regulations should lead to diesels that meet the standards in both markets.
The new engine lineup will address customer concerns about fuel economy while simultaneously severing a leftover partnership from Land Rover’s days of Ford ownership. The current 230-hp, 3.2-liter six-cylinder is a Volvo-sourced powertrain while the direct-injected, turbocharged 2.0-liter is built in a Spanish Ford factory under a new agreement.