Land Rover has announced plans to launch a new sporty coupe-crossover smaller than its current Freelander/LR2 model to rival premium small SUVs like the upcoming Audi Q3. At a press conference held during the Frankfurt Motor Show, Land Rover’s design chief Gerry McGovern previewed several new renderings of the car.

Speaking during the conference was the carmaker’s managing director Phil Popham who revealed the new model is “a statement of intent about a new direction that Land Rover wants to go in, about sportiness and low C02." Land Rover also announced yesterday that it was planning to introduce new engine stop-start features in the Freelander from 2009 onwards.

The presented renderings revealed a car with a low profile, a tight cabin and sporty body, but officials assure it will remain a premium vehicle. Automotive News is reporting the car will be unveiled in concept form at next year’s Detroit Auto Show but until then you can get a see a previous rendering of a baby Land Rover by clicking here.