The clock is ticking down to the unveiling of one the most eagerly awaited automotive debuts of the decade.
There are just days to wait until people get to see what has been billed as a rival to the Land Rover Defender for the first time.
In reality the Grenadier is not a rival to the new Land Rover Defender but rather the automotive icon it replaced.
The aim behind the project is to create a spiritual successor to the legendary off-roader.
It was produced at Land Rover’s factory in Solihull for almost 70 years, before production came to an end in January 2016.
In September last year Land Rover unveiled an all-new Defender but it is very different to the model it replaced – and considerably more expensive.
Today Ineos has revealed when the Grenadier will be unveiled and as countdowns go it’s a pretty short one.
The car maker has also released a tantalising glimpse of the new Grenadier.
The teaser picture offers a glimpse of the vehicle’s bonnet and badge and its rugged utilitarian character is clear to see.
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Ineos has said the Grenadier will be unveiled this week – on Wednesday July 1.
The news was announced on company’s Facebook page.
The post accompanying the teaser picture said: “#GrenadierUnwrapped 1st July 2020. Don’t miss it.”
CoventryLive will be covering the big reveal when it happens.
On the dedicated Ineos Grenadier website the company says: “The Grenadier is coming. And because we believe in function over form, we’re going to reveal exactly what is in our truly uncompromising 4×4.”
It adds: “The Grenadier will be a robust off-roader with an uncompromising focus, engineered to overcome in all conditions. A no-frills, utilitarian working tool that is capable, durable and reliable.”
What is the Grenadier?
The Land Rover Defender is arguably the most iconic vehicle ever and was produced at the same factory in Solihull for almost 70 years before production came to an end in January 2016.
Its simplicity was part of its appeal – along with its capability and what made the Defender so special was its go anywhere capability.
Based on the US Willys Jeep, used by the Allies to great effect during the Second World War, the Land Rover was created as a utilitarian off-road vehicle.
Although a new Defender has since been unveiled and is now on sale, there are some who have not welcomed it, feeling that the spirit of the old Defender has been lost.
Sir Jim Ratcliffe, who is a graduate of the University of Birmingham and once worked as an engineer in Coventry, founded energy and chemical giant Ineos, which is estimated to be worth in the region of £3.2billion.
A renowned Defender enthusiast, he announced the project in February 2017.
The rugged off-roader will be produced at a new factory being built in Wales.
The bespoke new manufacturing facility is on a greenfield site in Bridgend, South Wales, next to the Ford engine factory which is set to close.
Site development is underway to support planned start of production in 2021.
Ineos is also investing in a sub-assembly plant in Estarreja, Portugal.
The Portuguese facility will produce the Grenadier’s body and chassis, working in conjunction with Ineos’s European supply chain partners.
Ineos Automotive was the spin-off company set up to deliver the Grenadier.
This year saw the launch of a Facebook countdown which invites people to chart the Grenadier’s progress.
The Ineos project is being run by Dirk Heilmann, formerly head of engineering and technology at Ineos, who became chief executive at Ineos automotive.
Speaking when the project was announced Mr Heilmann said: “Our job is to create the world’s best 4×4.”
Automotive expert Dr Charles Tennant shared his thoughts on the Grenadier project with CoventryLive.
He said: “With Land Rover clearly going after the premium luxury end of the market, with a more lifestyle orientated customer for their new Defender, Ineos were going to target their Grenadier vehicle as a utility orientated 4×4, robustly engineered to be driven in all conditions and withstand daily punishment.
“The Grenadier is specifically aimed at farmers, utility companies, explorers and off-road enthusiasts all over the world who require a no nonsense uncompromising vehicle with minimum fuss.”
Magna Steyr is undertaking the series development phase of the Grenadier.
Its subsidiary Magna Powertrain has been responsible for chassis and suspension development on the Grenadier since the inception of the project.