BUYERS GUIDE - WAGONS LARGE
It’s no secret that the 2020 Defender was new bodywork and interior on a Range Rover / Land Rover chassis. The INEOS Grenadier is a true Defender replacement and will be available in July 2022.
Land Rover devotees saw the 2020 iteration of the Defender nameplate they had mixed responses: some liked the progressive nature of the new beast, while others bemoaned the abandonment of design simplicity and practicality.
In 2017, INEOS chairman Jim Ratcliffe, a car enthusiast and experienced adventurer, identified a gap in the market for a stripped back, utilitarian, hard-working 4×4, engineered for modern day compliance and reliability. It didn’t hurt that Jim Ratcliffe is also Britain’s richest man.
INEOS Automotive Limited was formed and a team of automotive professionals assembled to bring the vision to reality.
The Grenadier employs British traditional design: so ‘trad’ that Land Rover tried to prevent its adoption by INEOS, but lost the court battle.
The engineering is German, including the use of BMW in-line six-cylinder petrol and diesel engines and ZF eight-speed auto boxes. The axles are Italian.
INEOS has signed a deal with Hyundai to evaluate the latter’s hydrogen fuel-cell powertrain for the Grenadier.
That non-combustion-engine variant could have appeal to underground miners and the military. Fuel cells have no spark risk, emissions or ‘heat signature’.
As an ardent supporter of Brexit, Jim Ratcliffe promised that the Grenadier would be built in Wales, in the UK, but practicality dictated otherwise and the vehicle is being built at Hambach, in France, at a plant vacated by Daimler. (Funnily, another Brexiter, James Dyson, has also decided to desert the UK manufacturing scene, for Singapore.)
INEOS has been dribbling specification information throughout 2020 and we’ll keep updating this post as information becomes available.
In July 2021, INEOS took the lid off the Grenadier’s interior and announced that testing of pre-production vehicles was on schedule and deliveries were expected to begin in exactly one year.
“When we started thinking about the Grenadier’s interior, we looked carefully at modern aircraft, boats and even tractors for inspiration, where switches are sited for optimal function; regular controls are close to hand and auxiliary ones are further away,” said Toby Ecuyer, head of design.
Toggle switches and dials on the centre and overhead consoles are widely spaced and clearly labelled. Auxiliary switches have been built in, pre-wired to support the addition of winches, work lights and other accessories.
The infotainment system is accessed via a 310mm (12.3-inch) touchscreen, or by using a rotary dial. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration means users can rely on smartphone navigation that should be up to date. An inbuilt, off-road, pathfinder navigation system allows drivers to programme, follow and record their route via waypoints, when roads and tracks are left behind.
With hard-wearing surface materials throughout, the Grenadier is designed to endure. Drain plugs in the rubber flooring and wipe-down upholstery mean the interior can be hosed out. Water-resistant, anti-stain Recaro seats provide ergonomic support and comfort on or off the road. Carpets and leather upholstery will be available for those aiming to leave the mud and sand outside.
Stowage space includes a dry storage box under the rear seat; a lockable central console cubby box and side-mounted storage in the rear load area. There is also a range of interior options and accessories.
Right on schedule, in late September 2021, INEOS Automotive announced that it has established agreements with retail and after-sales partners around the world, to establish up to 200 sales and service points for the July 2022 launch of the INEOS Grenadier 4X4.
Prototype on test Down Under
Hand-picked Bosch Car Service outlets in Australia were announced by INEOS Automotive ANZ on September 30, 2021. As at April 2022, INEOS had 28 retail sites signed up around Australia.
From 14th October 2021, reservations were open to everyone worldwide, with prices for the INEOS Grenadier expected to start from AU$84,500 (RRP) in Australia. Order books for the INEOS Grenadier are due to open for Australian and New Zealand customers in May 2022.
In October 2021, a prototype arrived in Australia for Outback testing.
Also in October 2021, INEOS announced a hydrogen-fuel initiative, formed with powertrain specialist company, AVL, INEOS already has an agreement with fuel-cell market leader, Hyundai.
Those arrangements should be a benefit Down Under, if Australia’s hydrogen fuel initiatives work out as ‘Twiggy’ Forrest plans.
Australian Grenadier models and pricing
There are two seating configurations available: two-seat Utility wagon with Euro Pallet-size cargo area and a five-seat Station Wagon. On those two different platforms are three stages of equipment levels available – Standard, Trailmaster and Fieldmaster – and a choice of petrol or diesel engines.
Thankfully, there’s no price penalty for choosing the three-litre, 183kW/550Nm turbo-diesel BMW engine over the three-litre, 210kW/450Nm turbo-petrol BMW engine. Both are in-line sixes, couple to ZF eight-speed auto boxes and drive through two-speed transfer cases, giving full-time 4WD.
The basic Grenadier is priced at $85,500 and comes with a galvanised steel body on a box-section ladder frame; Carraro live-beam axles front and rear; heavy duty coil suspension; centre differential lock; front and rear skid plates; LED headlights; LED auxiliary high beam lights; 30/70 split rear doors; 17-inch steel wheels; full-size spare wheel; Bridgestone A/T tyres; towing eyes front and rear; roof rails and protection strips; Recaro seats; overhead control panel ; off-road and wading modes and Pathfinder off-road navigation
The Grenadier Trailmaster edition is priced from $96,495 and adds: a raised air intake; differential locks front and rear; BFGoodrich All-Terrain KO2 tyres; park assist front; power heated mirrors; heated windscreen washer jets; lockable central stowage box; puddle lamps and ambient door lighting; auxiliary charge points; advanced anti-theft alarm and immobiliser; exterior Utility Belt; access ladder; tow hitch and electrics; interior utility rails; auxiliary battery; auxiliary switch panel and electrical preparation; compass with altimeter and a Belstaff Trialmaster jacket.
The Grenadier Fieldmaster edition is priced from $96,495 and added to the standard Grenadier: 17-inch aluminium wheels; locking wheel nuts; Safari windows; access ladder; tow hitch and electrics; leather trim; heated front seats; carpet floor mats; park assist front; power heated mirrors; heated windscreen washer jets; compass with altimeter and a Belstaff Fieldmaster Jacket.
Buyers who want variations on those three levels can pick from a wide options list. INEOS is playing the European-options game with its pricing, starting with a basic vehicle, a long list of upgrades for it and two higher-spec’ models as well.
Its possible to opt for specific items and ‘build’ your own-spec’ vehicle, if none of the three factory-set packages suits your needs. There’s also an extensive list of accessories for all three spec’ levels that includes front and rear winches, recovery kit, ’roo bars, cargo barriers and nets, seat covers, toy racks, side awning, jerry can and gas bottle racks, roof cargo box, snorkel pre-cleaner and an LED light bar.
The Australian order book opens on May 18, 2022.
Check out the pre-production vehicle video:
INEOS Automotive is a subsidiary of INEOS Group that makes petrochemicals, speciality chemicals and oil products. It employs 22,000 people across 34 businesses, with a production network spanning 183 manufacturing facilities in 26 countries, producing paints, plastics, textiles, medicines and mobile phones.
In 2019, INEOS had global sales of US$61bn.
If you watched any of the America’s Cup races in Auckland you’d have noticed ‘INEOS’ and ‘Grenadier’ splattered all over the Pommy boat.