Three years ago, the fifth richest man in Britain Jim Radcliffe was in The Grenadier pub in London with some friends when an idea struck: if Land Rover was calling time on the original Defender, who was going to sell him an uncompromising, rugged and utilitarian off-road workhorse? Well, as it turned out, he was. Now we have the first official photos of the Ineos Grenadier, whose inspiration is clear to see.
The styling is just different enough to the old Defender to keep Land Rover’s legal team at bay (trademarking suits were unsuccessfully filed very early on in the Grenadier’s development) and, actually, looks very handsome. Ineos is aiming to sell 25,000 Grenadiers a year to customers around the world (including the USA, a market for which the car will be homologated) who require a vehicle that hasn’t sacrificed its capabilities for a softer, more lifestyle focus – think farmers and emergency services, for example.
Beneath the boxy surface there’s a ladder chassis, BMW-sourced petrol or diesel six-cylinder engines mated to a ZF automatic gearbox, permanent four-wheel drive and multilink suspension. Total towing capacity is 3.5 tonnes. There are some neat features on the no-frills exterior, such as the vertically split tail gate, which is both convenient and practical (a standard European-size palette will fit in the boot), the integrated roof rails and the strips on the doors that allow for extra storage. There’s no word on pricing yet, nor details about the interior, but deliveries of the Ineos Grenadier are expected to commence in the tail end of 2021.
Photos: Ineos Automotive