Many people mourned the loss of the old Land Rover Defender and its no-nonsense approach to off-roading. Even if that no-nonsense approach came from a lack of development on an ageing platform. Still, there are those people out there that don’t want a complicated car to get muddy in. They want a rugged, dependable and fundamentally simple vehicle. That’s where in INEOS think they can fill that void with the new Grenadier.
Shown here for the first time is the exterior appearance of the INEOS Grenadier and you can’t escape its inspiration. At first glance it looks like a poor knock-off of the classic Defender. I can’t yet work out if that’s a good thing or not. I guess it does look kinda cool.
Little has been confirmed about what lurks underneath the retro body. We do know that it’ll feature a BMW engine of some sort and probably sits on old-school ladder chassis. We’ll hand it over to INEOS to explain more about the inception and motivation behind the Grenadier:
“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”.
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.”
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.”
Personally I think Land Rover already launched the ideal replacement for the Defender in 2020 but maybe there are people out there that want their cars rough and ready. What do you think? Let us know in the comments.