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The new Ineos Grenadier 4×4 rides to the rescue of Land Rover Defender fans

by James Mills
1 July 2020 3 min read
The new Ineos Grenadier 4×4 rides to the rescue of Land Rover Defender fans
Photos: Ineos

If you thought that the 4×4 had gone soft, drawn into a world of everyday driving, commutes, school runs and chores, think again. The new Ineos Grenadier is here, and its maker claims it’s as tough as old boots.

Here’s a brand new car built for the 21st century, with 20th century technology at its core. It features a traditional box-section ladder frame, boasts beam axles, there’s a permanent four-wheel drive system with lockable diffs and, whisper it, plain old internal combustion engines rumble away beneath its square-jawed bonnet.

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If it appears remarkably similar to a Land Rover Defender, which ended production four years ago, it’s with good reason. This is a car that has been designed to pick up where the old warhorse left off. Those drivers that relied on Land Rover’s original go-anywhere vehicle are the target audience for Ineos.

ineos grendier front grille and lights_hagerty

The car company is spun out of the giant petro-chemicals company run by Jim Ratcliffe. The entrepreneur is ranked as the fifth richest man in Britain, by The Sunday Times Rich List, with a wealth of more than £12 billion. Together with like-minded friends who lamented the loss of the Defender, Ratcliffe set about creating a spiritual successor – and named it after a pub where the friends met to dream up their plan.

The car’s look is straight off an Indiana Jones movie set. The Grenadier features external door hinges, rubbing strips, lashing points, a roof ladder, steel wheels, knobbly tyres and a spare wheel hung off the asymmetrical back door. All it needs is a bullwhip and it would be fit for Dr Jones.

It will be powered by a choice of BMW 3-litre, straight-six cylinder petrol and diesel engines, and the chassis and four-wheel drive hardware is claimed to deliver outstanding capability off the beaten track.

Ineos says the Grenadier ‘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.’

ineos grenadier full specification and price_hagerty

Much of the vehicle development work has been carried out with Magna, the same company that builds the Mercedes G-Class.

And when it comes to loading it up with equipment, and camping under the stars, the grenadier features traditional roof guttering which allows people to fit their own roof racks, although the company will offer its own.

Inside, it is said to be functional but up to date with the latest tech trends. Mark Tennant, commercial director for Ineos, says it features a full suite of screens and connectivity, and boasts impressive comfort, but remains functional.

“The interior thinking is very much the same as the outside. All the electronics and essentials that you’d have in any other vehicle are there, but we’ve tried to do it in a very simple, uncomplicated, easily manageable way. All the switches you can operate wearing gloves,” said Tennant.

The first Grenadier will be a five-door wagon, followed by a shorter-wheelbase version and a double-cab pick-up with an extended wheelbase.

ineos grenadier wagon and double cab pickup_hagerty

Prices for the Grenadier are still to be announced. However, it is likely to cost between £30,000 and £45,000, depending on the version, and will go into production next year, with bodies and chassis being built in Portugal before being ship to a new factory in Bridgend, Wales, for final assembly. That’s slightly less expensive than the latest generation of Land Rover Defender – which Hagerty has driven extensively, here.

By picking up where Land Rover left off, and producing a 4×4 that’s an alternative to the swathes of pickup trucks that have become working tools for tradespeople and families across the country, Ineos could be onto something. Time – not to mention a spot of towing, loading and exploring off the beaten track – will tell if it’s a shrewd move.

What do you think of the Grenadier? Does a hardy 4×4 have a place on our roads any more? Have your say, below.

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Comments

  • Alex M Henderson says:

    Very appropriate and fitting that the Grenadier has been born in almost the same way the Series 1 Land Rover was; Maurice Wilks having the courage and foresight to design a workhorse for post war Britain based on the use of an army surplus Willys Jeep on the farm.
    I applaud the courage and self belief of all the people involved in this brave project and wish Ineos the best of British luck in bringing the Grenadier into being, although I am rather disappointed that the manufacture will take place, in part, outside the United Kingdom.
    I will watch this space for more news and will be prepared to put my money down on this, the next generation British workhorse.

  • Steve Cronin says:

    If they can keep the price down in the region suggested, they could be on to a winner. Sad though that UK’s metal bashing talents are ignored but at least our “Meccano” abilities, or those of the Welsh region have been supported.

  • Vardon Jewell says:

    Shame it now appears it’s going to be built in FRANCE !

  • Clive Danks says:

    Congratulations Jim, a well deserved pat on the back for picking up on the enormous gap (or gaff) created by JLR in switching to it’s ‘Chelsea Defender’; which serves few who need a serious off road no frills workhorse. Shame it isn’t totally British built but it’s predicted price point looks to seriously challenge any competitor. Looking forward to seeing the final line-up on British roads.

  • J.Bridges says:

    As commented above what a shame the vehicle will now be assembled in France NOT Wales. This project should have been UK made now it’s just another foreign vehicle, at least Land Rovers new Defender has British made engines

  • Kenneth L Martin says:

    I love the idea, the look and the pickup. If these can be purchased in the U.S. For u der $70,000 USD I will buy one. I have a Land Rover LR4 and will sell it to get a Grenadier….

  • N Amos says:

    It does appear on the face of it that Land Rover are ejecting themselves from the utility / commercial aspect vehicle’s. The Grenadier does look at first glance to be a more versatile vehicle and could lend itself to many applications like the old series and Defender models did for some many years. So i wish them luck with the project.

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