Ineos Automotive is bringing the Grenadier down under by the end of next year with myriad options and configurations to choose from.
Ineos Automotive has confirmed that the Grenadier – arguably the spiritual successor to the original Land Rover Defender, albeit independently developed – is due to arrive in Australia next year, starting from $84,500 plus on-road costs and options.
Buyers who loved the old Land Rover Defender’s uncomplicated industrial design bemoaned the release of the new more sophisticated (or over-complicated, depending on your outlook) vehicle that’s more suited to the school run.
Those buyers now have a real replacement for the old Defender in the Ineos Grenadier: a ladder-frame chassis off-roader with beam axles and straightforward mechanicals ready to go anywhere.
The year 2022 is shaping up to be a great one for off-road enthusiasts with the Grenadier landing in Q4 to take on the slightly more expensive Toyota Land Cruiser 300 Series (from $89,990 plus on-roads).
The story goes that Ineos founder, Sir Jim Ratcliffe, was ruminating over what he was going to replace his old Defender with, he thought the all-new version was too soft, so decided to make one himself. The initial discussions for this project happened at Ratcliffe’s favourite pub in London, The Grenadier, hence the name.
For a whole new company, the gestation period has been fairly short with Ineos only confirming its plan to build an off-roader in 2019. Three years on, and by next year UK buyers will have Grenadiers in their driveways.
Defender inspiration in the Grenadier’s exterior is clear as day; the industrial bodywork mirrors the Land Rover original’s shapes, though the schmick LED lights and classy detailing keep the Grenadier firmly in the 21st century.
The headline grabber for now is the Grenadier’s intent: toughness, simplicity and reliability were the core characteristics Ineos targeted.
Initially, the Grenadier will be offered as a wagon-bodied SUV or single cab ute with a dual cab version – sure to appeal to Aussie fans – still in development.
With a focus on simplicity and serviceability, Ineos teamed up with BMW for powertrains. Eventually, it’s thought there will be a hydrogen fuel cell model, but for now it’s petrol or diesel.
Under the bonnet buyers will get a choice of two 3.0-litre straight-six engines: a petrol ‘B58’ with around 212kW/450Nm, and a ‘B57’ diesel rumoured to put out 185kW/550Nm. Both engines will be matched to a ZF-sourced eight-speed automatic transmission.
Obviously this theory will need to be tested – hopefully next year when both vehicles are available – but there are plenty of indications that the Grenadier will be a stellar companion in the rough stuff.
The Grenadier sits on a ladder frame chassis, a tried-and-true basis for off-roading. Ineos partnered with Magna Steyr when it came to engineering and developing the heavy-duty coil suspension which employs a Panhard bar to keep the rear axle located in extreme articulation.
The Grenadier boasts permanent 4WD with lockable front, centre and rear differentials with front and rear beam axles to keep the rubber in contact with the rough stuff.
Finishing off the package are a set of Bridgestone all-terrain tyres tweaked slightly to Ineos’ preferences. As standard, 17-inch steel wheels feature, though buyers will be able to choose alloys and 18-inch wheels, as well as chunkier BF Goodrich KO2 tyres.
The Grenadier’s cabin is far more plush than an old Defender. There are tasty tech features like a 12.3-inch touchscreen with live speed, angle and tyre pressure readouts.
There’s even an off-road navigation system that lets you leave a breadcrumb trace of where you’ve been so you don’t get lost. Naturally, you also get DAB, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay functionality built in.
Meanwhile the seats – made by Recaro – look far plusher than a Defender’s, and offer eight-way manual adjustment. Cloth upholstery is fitted from factory, though leather will be optional.
If you do opt for leather, know that the cabin is still designed for easy cleaning with rubber floor mats and removable drain plugs.
To get you closer to nature, Ineos has fitted removable roof panels that can either be popped for ventilation or – like a Jeep Wrangler – taken off entirely and stowed in the back.
Unlike a Jeep, though, the Ineos Grenadier is fitted with two horns, one normal and a second with a gentler tone that can be used to politely warn vulnerable road users of your presence – how English.
Toyota Land Cruiser owners are kept loyal by not just bulletproof reliability, but also the knowledge that if there’s a mechanic nearby, they’ve probably got parts for their car.
This is one reason the Land Cruiser is so much more popular here than a Land Rover equivalent. Being a small company, Ineos has had to be clever about implementing service locations across Australia.
Ineos has partnered up with Bosch service in Australia which gives access to plenty of workshops, including BMW dealers and specialists.
As the Grenadier begins to sell more strongly, Ineos’ goal is to build its network so that customers are never further than 100km from a service location.
If it all goes pear-shaped and you get stuck, Ineos has implemented an off-grid support system with ‘flying spanners’ that will attend a damaged or stuck vehicle in a helicopter.
The Grenadier will be available for pre order from the 14th of October with an $800 deposit. Ineos expects customer cars to arrive in Australia by the fourth quarter of 2022.
The base price for a Grenadier in Australia is $84,500, and by early next year the configurator will expand its capability to give indicative pricing depending on options selected.
Buyers will be able to order a Grenadier in person at one of 16 authorised resellers covering most of Australia’s cities and regional centres, but those who want to will be able to order a car online as well.
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