If you enjoy the charm and persona of the erstwhile Defender, the Ineos Grenadier will make you droolby Sidd Dhimaan, on
There are high chances you would’ve heard of the name ‘Ineos’. It is a U.K.-based petrochemicals group. You must have even seen the name across the Mercedes F1 cars, America’s Cup team boats, and also ‘Ineos Grenadiers’, a cycling team previously known as Sky.
Now, Ineos has dipped its toes into the automotive segment and has come up with an SUV called Ineos Grenadier. The SUV is heavily inspired by the yesteryear Land Rover Defender. While it may look the part, is it as hardcore as the original model? Carfection finds out.
How Did Ineos Automotive Happen To Be?
Ineos’ CEO, Sir Jim Ratcliffe, was apparently in the pub with his friends one day and was discussing the demise of the old Land Rover Defender. Since Land Rover had no plans to revive it in the same retro style, he tried to get hold of the right from Land Rover. But, the latter refused and Mr. Ratcliffe decided to build a new one from the ground up that’s heavily inspired by the old Defender, thus embarking on the group’s journey as an automaker.
Ineos’ head of design, Toby Ecuyer, has noted in the past that the Grenadier is not inspired just by the Defender. It is also inspired by the Nissan Patrol, Toyota Hilux, Toyota FJ40 (Land Cruiser), Ford Bronco, other Jeeps and Land Rovers, and even vans, lorries, Unimogs, military vehicles, and so on.
Ineos Has Sourced Parts From Various Companies
The Grenadier has a body-on-frame design that comes with live front and rear axles sourced from Carraro.
It comes with three locking differentials, too. It features a non-independent coil suspension setup that may not be comfortable for the passengers. Magna is doing the engineering of the vehicle; the same company that has worked on the Mercedes G-Wagon as well.
The Grenadier is offered with two engine options – one gas and one diesel – both sourced from BMW. They are 3.0-liter, six-cylinder mills that are paired to a ZF-sourced eight-speed automatic gearbox and a separate low-range transfer case. The power outputs aren’t mentioned, but could be anywhere between 265- and 405 horses.
How Is The Ineos Grenadier On The Outside?
It is fairly large, but a tad bit smaller than the ye olde Defender 110. There are round headlights up front, a black grille, a short bumper, and all the traits of an off-roader, like the skid plate, tow hooks, etc.
The Grenadier rides on steel wheels wrapped in all-terrain tires. Observe and you’ll notice that all the windows have different shapes (trapezoidal in the front, square in the middle, and rectangle in the end). The beltline running across the doors doubles up as utility rails to mount lights and other things.
The rear is also just as old school as the rest of the SUV with the tailgate-mounted spare tire and a ladder to access the roof.
You won’t need a roof rack here as the overhead space is built into the body and features four tie-down bars. The tailgate has a split design wherein the small section that houses the tools opens first and the other part opens next. It could be cumbersome in theory, but helpful when you need access to the tools in tight spots.
How Is The Ineos Grenadier On The Inside?
The cabin is filled with buttons and switches. The controls for the diff lock, off-road mode, drive-assistance features, exterior lights, and other things are mounted in a panel on the roof. The car’s height and width are also mentioned here so you can drive through a spot knowing what your car measures, in case you tend to forget the dimensions. The controls for HVAC, engine start-stop, audio, and park assist are on the center console. Both these switch panels can be unscrewed to access the other electronic and electrical settings. You’ll also notice the same gear lever as the BMW cars here. I would’ve liked something different here considering it’s an off-roader, but Ineos says it would’ve increased the cost of production.
There’s a touchscreen system on the dash at the top. It supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The system can be controlled via knobs and buttons, too. There’s a traditional compass that will please the purists. The prototype in the video didn’t have an instrument cluster, but the host mentioned there will be a small screen to display information in the production-spec models.
The cabin can be had with carpets, but it comes without them as standard. This means the floor can be hosed down if you get slush and mud inside with your shoes. There are a couple of premium touches here, like the saddle leather-wrapped steering wheel and handbrake. The SUV also comes equipped with Recaro seats, whereas the roof can be had with glass panels as an option.
Speaking of the steering wheel, it comes with mounted controls. There’s one red button that says ‘Toot’ and has a cycle graphic. This is essentially a friendlier horn to warn the cyclist ahead of you that you are approaching them and not startle them with the main horn. Since Ineos runs a cycling team with the same name as this SUV, this can be counted as an ode to that.
How Much Will The Ineos Grenadier Cost?
The price isn’t revealed so far, but Carfection notes it could start around £45,000, which is approximately $62,500 as per the exchange rates at the time of penning this article.
The Ineos Grenadier is expected to roll out in 2022. Initially, it was supposed to be built in Wales, but Ineos has purchased a factory in Hambach, France. It used to Daimler’s smart fill factory previously. Ineos plans to build around 25,000 examples of the Grenadier every year.
Watch the video below to hear what Toby Ecuyer, the head of design, has to say about the SUV and get glimpses of it off-roading in challenging paths.