After 67years of production, in January 2016 Jaguar Land Rover ceased production of the Land Rover Defender at their Solihull manufacturing plant in the UK, and this was the catalyst for one of Britain’s richest men and Chairman of multinational Chemicals company Ineos, Sir Jim Ratcliffe to plan mass production of what he believed was to be a true tough 4×4 vehicle. As the idea was initially conceived at his favourite pub, ‘The Grenadier’ in London’s Belgravia district, the new vehicle was christened the Ineos Grenadier.
By no coincidence, the Ineos Grenadier looks very similar to the original Land Rover Defender, it has boxy body features, a steel ladder chassis and beam axles with front and rear long travel progressive rate coil spring suspension and powered by BMW 6-cylinder engines. So, it’s not surprising that the true 4×4 enthusiasts are very excited about the car.
Now with less than 12 months before the first car will drive of the Hambach production line in the east of France, and a reported investment of more than £650m, the Ineos Grenadier is starting to get serious traction around the world. Here in Australia, one thousand prospective purchasers have already put deposits down to secure a vehicle for a late 2022 delivery with an expected starting price of $84,500 and a choice of BMW-sourced turbocharged 3.0-litre six-cylinder petrol and diesel engines at the same price.
As a point of difference to the traditional way of selling cars in Australia, the Ineos Grenadier won’t use a dealer network, rather they will be sold through agricultural machinery dealers, off-road specialists and 4×4 accessory manufacturers.
What I really like about the Ineos attitude to things is that rather than planning for an electric version of the Grenadier in the future, they are working with Korean carmaker Hyundai on a long-term plan to develop a reliable source of hydrogen in Europe and to use the Hyundai fuel cell technology which has no carbon dioxide emissions.
Some sceptic suggest that if Jaguar Land Rover couldn’t justify manufacturing the Defender anymore, what makes Ineos think they can ….. I personally think they will, it’s a cool looking car with good technology, its emphasis is on true 4×4 capabilities, and they have a different way of thinking. I’m almost tempted to put down a deposit!
Here’s carsales Rod Chapman’s review of the Ineos Grenadier.
Make sure you click on the video within the carsales review to see one of their few test vehicles in action when it recently toured Australia.