When Jaguar ceased the production of the Land Rover Defender in 2015, it didn’t sit well with fans of the vehicle. After being in production for 67 years, it had amassed its share of loyal drivers who looked forward to new model releases. All this would come to an end. British billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe was so moved by the decision that he asked Jaguar if he could buy the Defender rights and continue production through his company the INEOS Group. According to Robb Report, Jaguar turned him down. He decided to build his own vehicle instead. As a result, INEOS Automotive was launched, acquiring an old Mercedes-Benz manufacturing plant with designers, automotive engineers, and a team that now builds a vehicle that is similar to the old Defender. This is how INEOS Automotive came into existence. The vehicle that is inspired by the Land Rover Defender is called the INEOS Grenadier, named after an iconic and historic London pub.
A new breed for a new age
The Grenadier is made for a single purpose. Ratcliffe’s motto is Built on Purpose, as the vehicle is made for off-roaders who require rugged dependability in their vehicles. This was an extreme response to the cessation of Land Rover’s Defender, and even though the automaker has resumed its production, Ratcliffe is moving forward with the new arm of his company and will continue to build the Grenadier.
Multiple partnerships for the new automotive manufacturer
With capability and purpose as the rationale for the vehicle, Ratcliffe’s team of automotive professionals designed the new 2022 Grenadier as an off-road utility vehicle under the influence of the discontinued Land Rover Defender with the same boxy body design, along with heavy-duty steel ladder chassis, long-travel progressive rate front and rear coil spring suspension for the beam axles and a six-cylinder internal combustion BMW engine. Ratcliffe formed an agreement with Hyundai of Korea for a cleaner approach to powering the vehicle with a new technology that would use hydrogen fuel cells to eliminate carbon dioxide emissions for future versions of the vehicle to comply with European standards, according to Wikipedia. Production is set to begin in July of 2022.
Ineos Automotive joined forces with BMW to develop the powertrain technology for the new Grenadier. The deal was struck in March of 2019. The new manufacturing plant for the joint venture is located in Bridgend, Wales, with an additional plant going up in Estarreja, Portugal to manufacture the body and chassis of the new 4×4. Development of the Grenadier is ongoing through a partnership between Ineos and Magna Steyr, an Austrian development company for mass production of the vehicle. The initial launch will produce a run of 25,000 vehicles per year when it is up to full speed.
Ineos has done its homework in preparation for the production of the Grenadier. They’ve examined a variety of different vehicles to borrow concepts that may be useful for incorporation into the new 4×4, including Ford Broncos, Nissan Patrols, Toyota Land Cruise, other Land Rovers, and more. After a few years of study, the engineers came up with a blueprint for a vehicle that would provide reliability, durability, and capability, which are set the be the hallmarks of the new Ineos Grenadier as it is expected to be ready to take on the harshest environments in the world. Another partnership was developed with the Carraro Group of Italy for the beam axles
A first look at the INEOS Automotive’s Grenadier
According to Motor Trend, we can expect to see a new sport utility vehicle with a body that is based on the Defender with a bit of additional width, but it will be a little shorter than the Defender. What we know so far is that the engineers are building the vehicle with a long-wheelbase in a wagon styling with the body of a crew-cab pickup for its first production run. Other variants are set to follow in short-wheelbase versions, and these are currently under development. The materials will be high-strength steel with a combination of aluminum composites.
Although Ineos has not released any details about what the interior of the new Grenadier will be like, we do know that there are plans to base the vehicle on the older Defender model styling. We can expect to see something that resembles an old-school nod to the past in its design, however, we’re going to have to wait to find out more about what the Grenadier will feature on the inside. In today’s market, they’ll need to throw in a few creature comforts and some radical technology if they want to compete in the intensely competitive market. When it comes to the timing of the release of the new 2022 Grenadier, the manufacturer isn’t quite sure what the precise timeline will be as there are still so many things that are still under development.
Although Land Rover has resumed production of the Defender, Ineos still plans to move ahead with a 4×4 SUV of its own. This gives off-roaders something new to look forward to. Although there is very little known about the new SUV so far, we should know more about it when Ineos commences its test runs. Until then, we have to be content to know that within the next year there is going to be a new contender on the market. It’s our hope that the new Ineos Grenadier will live up to the expectations that are being formed with each new piece of information we get about the capabilities of the purpose-built SUV. It’s already building a head of steam in the hype department. Who wouldn’t want to own a vehicle that can be driven in the harshest environments in the world? We’re going to keep our ears and eyes open for more details in the months to come.