Brit brand unveils rugged new 4x4
INEOS Grenadier to take on market leaders.
Off-road heavyweights, the Land Rover Defender and Toyota LandCruiser 70-Series, have a tough new competitor headed their way in the form of an all-new heavy-duty 4x4 ute and wagon, the INEOS Grenadier.
Billed as a modern-day, no-nonsense 4x4, the Grenadier was conceived over a pint in a London pub of the same name by Sir Jim Ratcliffe, a car enthusiast, experienced adventurer, and chairman of multi-national petro-chemical company INEOS.
Thanks to that pint, and a bit of help from a senior team of automotive professionals, Sir Jim is also now also head of one of the world’s newest global auto makers, INEOS Automotive Limited.
And the Grenadier might just be the world’s first pub to ever have a vehicle named after it.
“The Grenadier project started by identifying a gap in the market, abandoned by a number of manufacturers, for a utilitarian off-road vehicle,” Sir Jim said.
“This gave us our engineering blueprint for a capable, durable and reliable 4x4, built to handle the world’s harshest environments. But it had to look the part as well.”
With its slab sides, upright windscreen, clerestory windows and flat-topped front guards, the Grenadier boasts more than a passing resemblance to the previous generation Land Rover Defender.
That’s quite deliberate, since like the old Defender, the Grenadier exterior design is intended to convey the message that it’s a stripped-back, hard-working 4x4.
Also like the former Landy, there’s a full steel ladder-frame chassis under the skin and aluminium body panelling, with company images showing both dual-cab ute and five-door wagon variants.
“We set out to design a modern, functional and highly capable 4x4 vehicle with utility at its core,” said Toby Ecuyer, Head of Design.
“A design that is ‘easy-to-read’, with no ambiguity about the Grenadier’s role in life –there to do everything you need and nothing you don’t.
“Modern engineering and production techniques ensure the Grenadier is highly capable, but we have been able to stay true to the essence of creating a utilitarian vehicle that will stand the test of time.”
A statement from INEOS Automotive said the vehicle, which is built on an all-new platform, is now in series development phase with the support of its engineering partner Magna Steyr. The latter’s lengthy engineering CV includes development of the Mercedes-Benz 4Matic all-wheel-drive system.
“Combining rugged British spirit with German engineering rigour, the Grenadier will be a truly uncompromising 4x4 built from the ground up. Engineered to overcome all conditions, it will provide best-in-class off-road capability, durability and reliability to those who depend on a vehicle as a working tool, wherever they are in the world,” said a statement from INEOS Automotive.
Prototype testing is now on the march with 1.8 million kilometres of on and off-road testing scheduled for the next year.
Assembly will be in Wales, with six-cylinder BMW turbo petrol and diesel engines flagged as the likely powertrains, and production expected to commence in late 2021.
There are no details yet available on pricing, or exactly when Aussie off-road enthusiasts can expect to see the Grenadier here, although both Australia and New Zealand have been confirmed as markets.