Proper 4×4 INEOS Grenadier is coming to the UAE and GCC
Upstart carmaker INEOS Automotive has just revealed the exterior design of the Grenadier, its forthcoming “no-nonsense 4×4 vehicle for the world,” that is still a year or two away from starting production.
Built from the ground up on an all-new bespoke platform, the INEOS Grenadier has been designed “to meet the demands of its future owners for a rugged, capable and comfortable go-anywhere working vehicle.” The chairman of the company, Sir Jim Ratcliffe, is said to be a car enthusiast and avid adventurer. INEOS says he identified a gap in the market for a rugged utilitarian 4×4 in 2017, which uncannily almost coincides with the end of production for the original Land Rover Defender. The new Defender is designed for mall-hopping, so we can’t argue there.
“The brief was simple. We set out to design a modern, functional and highly capable 4×4 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. Nothing is for show. 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”.
Dirk Heilmann, INEOS Automotive’s CEO, said: “Showing the design now allows us to focus on the critical next phase of the vehicle’s development, testing its capability and durability. We have a very challenging programme ahead, as we put prototypes through their paces in all conditions, on the way to accumulating some 1.8 million test kilometres over the coming year. From today the covers are off. Testing ‘in plain sight’ without the need for camouflage wrapping, foam blocks or fake panels is an added benefit.”
The car is now in the series development phase, supported by engineering partner Magna Steyr, with prototype testing under way. The INEOS Grenadier will go into production in late 2021, at a factory in Wales, UK.
INEOS Automotive is a subsidiary of INEOS Group, a leading manufacturer of petrochemicals, speciality chemicals and oil products. It employs 23,000 people across 34 businesses and had sales of around US$ 61 billion, so it’s safe to say they are well-funded.
Key design features they are bragging about include modern equipment levels and safety systems within the old-fashioned exterior; an extensive array of accessories will be offered, with third-party producers welcomed to create compatible add-ons; bump strips on the doors, or an optional ‘utility belt’ to the doors and rear body to attach loads or accessories like a jerry can; the small rear door opens first to enable easy loading and unloading of smaller items, while a rear ladder can be fitted to aid access to the roof, and its design means it is aligned with the shut lines of the tailgate; exterior wiring is standard, with exit points to the front and the rear of the roof if you want to add lights; the front and rear lights are designed to be easily replaced as they are the same on both left and right sides; front fenders that you can sit on; roof bars and roof strips to enable loads to be mounted and secured directly without a roof rack; and a storage box on the rear side is accessible from the outside for keeping your smelly dirty stuff.
INEOS spokespeople mentioned that it will be powered by inline-6 BMW engines, in both petrol and diesel forms. We assume that means the 3.0-litre turbocharged units that currently powers every BMW from the 1-Series to the X7.
While it may look like a straight copy of the original British stalwart initially, it appears to be completely unique vehicle with a lot of enhanced engineering going into it. It’s also expected to have a starting price far below the new Land Rover Defender, undercutting a long-standing brand that is quickly losing their way.
The INEOS Grenadier has already been announced as coming to the UAE and GCC in 2022.