The covers have finally come off the Ineos Grenadier – one of the most eagerly awaited automotive debuts of the decade.
Ineos Automotive has given the world its first look at a vehicle which is aiming to be the spiritual successor of the old Land Rover Defender.
The company said revealing the exterior design of its “no-nonsense 4×4 vehicle” was another step on the road towards start of production.
Created from the ground up on an all-new platform Ineos Automotive said it had been designed to be “a rugged, capable and comfortable go-anywhere working vehicle”.
Head of design Toby Ecuyer said: “The brief was simple. We set out to design a modern, functional and highly capable 4×4 vehicle with utility at its core.
“A design that is ‘easy-to-read’, with no ambiguity about the Grenadier’s role in life. “There to do everything you need, and nothing you don’t. Nothing is for show.
“Modern engineering and production techniques ensure the Grenadier is highly capable, but we have been able to stay true to the essence of creating a utilitarian vehicle that will stand the test of time.”
The timing of the reveal took many by surprise. With the vehicle not going into production until next year a full reveal of the design would not normally have been expected until much later.
Just days ago the company said it would take the wraps of the Grenadier on July 1.
Ineos Automotive’s CEO Dirk Heilmann explained why.
He said: “We are delighted to be able to share the design of the Grenadier so early in the process.
“Most manufacturers would hold back, but we are a new business, building a new brand, and we want to take people with us on this exciting journey.
“Showing the design now allows us to focus on the critical next phase of the vehicle’s development, testing its capability and durability.
“We have a very challenging programme ahead, as we put prototypes through their paces in all conditions, on the way to accumulating some 1.8 million test kilometres over the coming year.
“From today the covers are off. Testing ‘in plain sight’ without the need for camouflage wrapping, foam blocks or fake panels is an added benefit.”
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The Grenadier journey began in 2017 when Ineos chairman Sir Jim Ratcliffe, a renowned Land Rover Defender enthusiast, identified a gap in the market for a stripped back, utilitarian, hard-working 4×4 engineered for modern day compliance and reliability.
He was inspired after production of the old Land Rover Defender ended at the Land Rover factory in Solihull after almost 70 years.
The old Defender was not immediately replaced and its successor was eventually revealed in September last year and has now gone on sale.
Ineos Automotive was formed and a senior team of automotive professionals assembled to bring the vision to reality.
Sir Jim said: “The Grenadier project started by identifying a gap in the market, abandoned by a number of manufacturers, for a utilitarian off-road vehicle.
“This gave us our engineering blueprint for a capable, durable and reliable 4×4 built to handle the world’s harshest environments.
“But it had to look the part as well. As you will see today, Toby and his team have done a great job in delivering a design that is both distinctive and purposeful.”
The Grenadier is now in the series development phase, supported by our engineering partner Magna Steyr, with prototype testing under way.
It will go into production in late 2021.
You can find out more about the Grenadier project here.