Let’s throw it back to many years ago when everyone wanted to hold on to the grab handles in a Land Rover Defender and conquer the most challenging terrains off the asphalt. Unfortunately, Jaguar Land Rover ended the production of the iconic Defender model in 2016. Admittedly, many gearheads demand more than power and brutality from SUV manufacturers today. Still, some buyers would rather get the luxury and hi-tech features elsewhere. Such buyers demand more utility than anything else from SUVs, but the Bronco and Wrangler may be the only vehicles to fit in this bracket. Well, that’s before the back-to-basics workhorse, the Ineos Grenadier.
Like every other gearhead, Sir Jim Ratcliffe, founder of INEOS Petroleum, was unhappy when JLR announced plans to discontinue the previous-generation Land Rover Defender production. The multibillionaire saw a void he needed to fill, but the idea did not take shape until a visit to a local London Pub named – you guessed right- The Grenadier. The Ineos Grenadier is named after the pub where the vehicle was first conceived.
At Global SUV, we are glad that a new name is stepping into the off-road bullring to give intending buyers some headache and help the market keep up with the demand for no-frills off-roaders. The off-road-capable family-sized SUV is built for rugged terrains, and a glance at the outside and inside shows that it is a solid machine. Here are a few things to know about the no-nonsense 4×4.
Built By Veterans
Have you ever imagined what would come out of the manufacturing plant if top veterans in the automotive world agreed to work on a vehicle? It’s the Grenadier. The core of the 4×4 SUV is a BMW inline-six, the same engine in the BMW X7. The engine breathes power to all four wheels through an eight-speed automatic transmission from ZF, a reputable global technology company. ZF has worked with famous names like BMW, Aston Martin, Bentley, Lamborghini, etc.
As expected of every vehicle fully engineered by Magna, all components of the Grenadier integrate seamlessly to offer the driver and passengers a fantastic experience. In case you don’t know, Magna Steyr, the company that builds the Mercedes-Benz G-Class, has over 100 years of experience in automotive engineering, and it has produced about 30 different models of vehicles. The Grenadier’s bespoke tires are from Bridgestone, while Carraro manufactures the Axles. Developed by some of the best in the automotive industry, the Grenadier relies on centuries of combined experience to compete in the off-road segment of the SUV market.
A Beastly Off-Roader
Determined to build a genuinely robust off-roader, Ineos did not make any concessions with the Grenadier. The result is an SUV with more utility than sport. Featuring body-on-frame construction, the Grenadier stands on a solid foundation. Solid beam axles complement the full box-sectioned ladder frame at both ends, improving performance. The award-winning 3.0 liter BMW straight-six engine delivers low-end torque. While intending buyers can opt for either the diesel or gasoline engine, only the gas version will be available in the States. The diesel engine delivers 245 horsepower and 406 lb. ft of torque, while the gas version delivers 281 hp and 332 lb. ft of maximum torque.
The driveline integrates an eight-speed automatic transmission with a Tremec two-speed high-low transfer case, permanent four-wheel drive, and triple locking differentials. They are all attached to insanely strong suspension systems. Designed to perform off the asphalt, the SUV’s six-stud wheels are wrapped in bespoke Bridgestone off-road tires with BF Goodrich K02 off-road tires as an option. With 10.3 inches of ground clearance and 31.49 inches wading depth, the Grenadier has everything it takes to ace it in water and challenging terrains. The SUV offers a 35.5-degree approach, 28.2-degree break over, and 36.1-degree departure angle thanks to its high bumpers and a tucked-up exhaust.
A Land Rover Defender Knockoff?
Like the vintage Land Rover, the Grenadier has headlights in flat-top front fenders, a pronounced shoulder on the body side, a slightly protruding grille, a clip-on roof, etc. The visual cues suggest that the Ineos Grenadier is inspired by the classic Land Rover, but it is far from a Land Rover Defender clone. With a width of 75.9 inches (excluding mirrors), the Grenadier is much wider than the Land Rover, which has 70.5 inches. Unlike the Land Rover Defender, the Grenadier has 30/70 split rear doors, ensuring easy access to the rear load space in confined spaces. An optional three-rung ladder can be fitted to the smaller rear door for easy access to the roof.
On the side, deep swages doubling as an optional clip system align with the door handles. The roof protection strips also double as tie-down rails to fasten luggage loaded on the Grenadier’s load-bearing roof. According to owner & founder Sir Jim Ratcliffe, Ineos was tempted to “indulge in design frills, curvaceous corners, and fancy electronic gadgets.” However, the team remained faithful to the plan to produce a no-nonsense off-roader.
Intentionally Accessorized Interior
If you are looking for a technology-heavy interior, you may opt for the intelligent Geely Azkarra or the dramatic Cadillac Lyriq. But if you want a functional interior with ample storage and everything that makes off-road driving easier, get in the Grenadier cockpit. A minimalist dashboard houses the 12.3-inch touchscreen infotainment which supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
Some of the controls are intuitively positioned at the top of the cabin, giving the Grenadier an aircraft-cockpit theme and keeping the dash low enough to increase visibility. Recaro seats sit firmly on a heavy-duty utility floor while numerous grab handles hang around the cabin. Below the infotainment touchscreen are manual switch controls, while a secondary toot horn sits on the right of the steering wheel. The positioning of the controls gives equal access to the driver and co-driver, while passengers also have maximum comfort.
The Grenadier will get to the U.S later than Europe, and its competition is the Jeep Wrangler and Ford Bronco. There’s no precise information on its starting price in the U.S, but we expect it to be around $70,000. If our guess is correct, the Ineos Grenadier would cost over $10,000 more than Ford Bronco and Jeep Wrangler. Intending buyers can make reservations by paying a fully refundable $450 for one Grenadier, and they can make up to five reservations.