…writes Robin Roberts (and Miles Better News Agency).
The British-designed, German engineered and powered heavy duty 4×4 will go into production in Wales at the end of 2021 as part of a £600 Million investment directed by one of the richest men in Britain, Sir Jim Ratcliffe.
Heavily influenced by the previous Land Rover Defender loved by INEOS Group boss Sir Jim, it will be built in a new factory at Brocastle Industrial Estate, Bridgend and roll off production lines there towards the end of 2021, creating 200 jobs in the factory next to the Ford Bridgend engine plant which closes this year.
If demand for the BMW-powered Grenadier lives up to expectations, another 300 jobs will be created and the new factory expanded.
No price indication has been given but it is expected to be highly competitive in the marketplace when launched in the same way that its specification has been carefully honed to give the widest appeal and possibilities for buyers – private, public and fleets.
The company images show a long-wheelbase model as well as a double-cab pick-up version but more bodystyles will follow, depending on demand from particular markets after it initially goes on sale in the UK and Europe – and production is ramped up for global sales in places such as Australia and Africa.
Built from the ground up on an all-new platform, the INEOS Grenadier has been designed on purpose: Namely to meet the demands of its future owners for a rugged, capable and comfortable go-anywhere working vehicle.
“The brief was simple. We set out to design a modern, functional and highly capable 4×4 vehicle with utility at its core”, said Toby Ecuyer, Head of Design. “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 experience of designing world-class yachts has allowed Toby to bring a unique perspective to the design process of the Grenadier which has resulted in highly practical details packaged into a robust and purposeful 4×4 design.
Dirk Heilmann, INEOS Automotive’s CEO, 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.”
He has spent 20 years with Ineos and is a self-confessed car-nut.
He has traversed Fuerteventura in an old Jeep Wrangler, hopes to cross Canada from coast to coast and looks forward to travelling to some of the most remote places on Earth with the Grenadier.
The challenge of creating a highly capable modern 4×4, available to own across the world, is a mission that the car enthusiast in him found irresistible.
Sir Jim Ratcliffe, Chairman of INEOS, 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.”
From ground to Grenadier
- It will have permanent all-wheel drive, high-strength materials and maximum storage capacity, and will be easily repairable.
- The vehicle is based on a tough ladder chassis, offers lockable differentials and will have an interior that can be hosed down. It will have a one-tonne payload and 3.5 tonnes towing capacity.
- The Grenadier has been designed and engineered to tackle the toughest environments. From landowners and forestry workers to explorers and ski operators, the Grenadier is for those who depend on a utilitarian, uncompromising 4×4.
- But it will be comfortable, meeting the expectations of the 21stcentury consumer for equipment levels – and safety systems.
Some key design features
- Form follows function – and capability is the priority
- Grenadier will be comfortable, meeting the expectations of the 21st century consumer for equipment levels and safety systems
- Personalisation is a key requirement for customers
- It’s been designed as a blank canvas for accessories, so customers can tailor the Grenadier to their evolving requirements
- A wide range of accessories will be available from INEOS, but we also want Grenadier owners to incorporate their existing kit into their new vehicle, and for third-party producers to develop a range of compatible accessories
- The belt lines are functional – bump strips on the doors, or an optional ‘utility belt’ to the doors and rear body, to attach loads or accessories like a jerry can
- The small rear door opens first to enable easy loading and unloading of smaller items
- The rear ladder can be fitted to aid access to the roof, and its design means it is aligned with the shut lines of the tailgate
- The Grenadier can accommodate a Euro pallet
- Exterior wiring, with exit points to the front and the rear of the roof, is included as standard; this allows easy access for powering auxiliary lamps, work lamps or beacons
- Front fenders that you can sit on
- Roof bars and roof strips to enable loads to be mounted and secured directly without a roof rack but of course a roof rack can be easily added
- Storage box on the rear side is accessible from the exterior for grubby, smelly kit.