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Ineos Grenadier debuts as a 'form-follows-function' off-roader

motor1 logo motor1 01/07/2020 Christopher Smith

a truck driving down a dirt road: Ineos Grenadier © Motor1.com Copyright Ineos Grenadier

It's still in the testing phase, but the Defender-themed design is officially revealed.

Don’t call it a Defender. Yes, that was the original intent of Sir James Arthur Ratcliffe, a British billionaire who tried to purchase the rights to the old Defender from Land Rover. That endeavour failed, so he put together a team and created this, the Ineos Grenadier. There’s certainly a resemblance to the much-loved Defender of yore, but this off-roader is its own animal from the ground up.

Before you start gathering your down payment, there is something you should know. While this does mark the debut of the Grenadier's design, it’s still an in-development project. Instead of keeping prototypes under wraps with camouflage, Ineos took the road less travelled by revealing the design early. According to Ineos Automotive CEO Dirk Heilmann, this was done because Ineos is “a new business, building a new brand, and we want to take people with us on this exciting journey.” Honestly, it’s hard to argue with a simple, refreshing concept like that.

Insight into Ineos:

Unfortunately, it means there’s very little information available about the Grenadier at this time. The design obviously pays homage to the old Defender, but that’s where the similarity ends. Ineos has designed and built the Grenadier from the ground up as its own vehicle, utilising cost-saving measures like identical round headlight and taillight designs. It is also designed to be highly customisable, with personalisation being a key component of the Grenadier ownership experience. That goes for factory options as well as factory-built and third-party add-ons. It seems Ineos is well aware of how 4x4 owners love to customise their rigs.

To that end, the Grenadier is a purpose-built, utilitarian off-roader that Ineos says has a clear, unambiguous purpose. The beltline features rubber trim for protection. The rear features offset side-opening barn doors, with a small door on the left for accessing smaller items. With both doors open, Ineos says the Grenadier can carry a European-sized pallet inside.

Speaking of inside, we have absolutely no information to share at this time. The same goes for the Grenadier’s powertrain, though some of the press photos above show what appears to be solid axles front and rear. A pair of bright exhaust tips suggests it will have at least modest horsepower under the bonnet.

From here, Ineos will take Grenadier test vehicles on and off the road for a year-long development program. The goal is to accumulate 1.8 million kilometres (1,118,468 miles) while sussing out any areas of improvement. As such, no official on-sale date or expected price range is available.

At this point – like Heilmann said previously – we’re just along for the journey.

Source: Ineos

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