You may not have heard of INEOS, but it’s a massive petrochemical company headed up by British business magnate and adventurer Sir Jim Ratcliffe. He sought to build a new car from the ground up and the Grenadier is it.
It’s a 4×4 in case you haven’t figured that out. In fact, it is being built as a “no-nonsense 4×4” that can handle the “world’s harshest environments”.
Head of design Toby Ecuyer set out to create a modern, functional and highly capable 4×4.
According to him, it is “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.”
So it’s all about utility and off-road ability, with function following form.
Details about the drivetrain and platform are sketchy, but some reports state there will be Toyota-sourced petrol and diesel options that sit on a ladder frame.
Fully customisable model
INEOS has hinted at a fully customisable model, designed to allow a number of in-sourced or third-party additions. It’s like open-source software — except in an engineering context for others to be able to embellish their car with almost whatever they need.
It’s off-road functional and practical, but INEOS insists that because this is a from-scratch engineering job, everything is proportionally balanced and nothing has been compromised in terms of design — both in and out.
You can imagine the level of practicality that is infused into the design, and this is without knowledge of the full extent of accessories. The belt lines along the doors are functional, the front bumper is large to sit on and with roof rails, ladders and side storage compartments it’s all sounding and looking a bit like a Land Rover.
Let’s talk about Land Rover
Let’s talk about Land Rover, a company that is on the verge of launching the much-hyped new Defender 110 into South Africa on Thursday 16 July.
After almost 40 years of the Land Rover Defender, the design of the new model is indeed very different in many respects. It’s softer, more modern, but still fits the bill of being overtly capable off-road — something Land Rovers must do.
It’s also quite customisable with a number of packages available for owners with different lifestyles.
INEOS on ‘testing drive’ with Grenadier
Only time will tell, but INEOS is now on a huge development programme testing prototypes over 1.8 million kilometres on and off-road over the next year. They’re testing in plain sight without camouflage.
Ratcliffe 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.”
He is no stranger to making money and starting up bold ventures. He is said to be within the Top 10 wealthiest Britons and he is confident in this new, heavily expensive venture.
Targeted at wealthier clientèle
The INEOS Grenadier is targeted at wealthier clientèle. While we don’t have any idea of the price, the insinuation is that it will be more pricey than a Defender, for example.
Judging the undisputed “coolness” of the old Defender and even the refreshed and thoroughly revised Mercedes-Benz G-Class, the Grenadier’s introduction may be quite well received.
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