This is the Ineos Grenadier – an all-new auto from an all-new firm, but 1 with a distinctly acquainted seem.
Just three decades in the past, in 2017, Ineos Chairman and auto admirer Sir Jim Radcliffe made a decision to do a thing other auto makers appeared to be shying absent from: generate a car with off-highway ability at its heart, a utilitarian auto exactly where kind adopted perform.
This is the outcome, the 1st model from Ineos Automotive, and a auto that usually takes its name from the pub exactly where the idea was 1st formed. Automobile Express was invited to Ineos HQ to just take a seem at the Grenadier and satisfy some of the staff behind it.
At the helm of the new firm is Dirk Heilmann, an Ineos worker for twenty decades but, like head of layout Toby Ecuyer, with no earlier expertise of the auto business, other than remaining a self-confessed petrolhead. So is that a dilemma or reward for someone who’s CEO of a new auto firm?
“A little bit of equally, truly,” Heilmann advised us. “We’ve acquired a pretty proficient bunch of automotive designers and engineers we’re performing pretty carefully with, which is massively useful and handy. But equally, I assume, remaining from a various business and pondering about factors in a a bit various way, I assume which is also assisted a great deal as very well.”
In the same way, head of layout Toby Ecuyer started off his job as an architect, and a lot more not too long ago has been creating super yachts. “If you can layout 1 point, you can layout an additional,” he mentioned. “So, if you can layout a toaster very well, I assume you can layout a auto truly very well, much too. I assume it is a lot more to do with your creating principles than anything else. But I assume it does have gains.”
Ex-Bentley and JLR man Mark Tennant is commercial director and unveiled the guiding principles behind the project: major with off-highway mobility, sturdiness and trustworthiness, and layout it is acquired to seem great.
Ineos has chosen its companions very well to assistance attain that. Magna – with a long time of expertise of automotive layout and engineering, as very well as making the G-Class for Mercedes and the I-Pace for Jaguar – is performing on the engineering. BMW will be supplying 6-cylinder petrol and diesel engines, and ZF will be supplying the transmission methods.
The bulk of the assembly was envisioned to take spot in a new factory in Bridgend, South Wales, so the Grenadier would be British-built, despite the fact that Heilmann states it is “international” and Ineos is recognized to be in talks above the doable acquire of the Mercedes-owned Clever factory in France.
It’s some way off – the 1st autos will be with customers in 2022 – but Heilmann states that revealing the car now suggests the firm can get on with 1.2 million miles of tests the auto in basic sight.
The seem the Ineos staff settled on is pretty regular, pretty comparable to an aged Land Rover Defender in condition and some of the detailing, but also with a lot more than a trace of Mercedes G-Class about it – unsurprising provided Magna’s involvement, potentially.
“We have been seeking at all sorts of various automobiles,” Ecuyer discussed. “From Unimogs to armed forces automobiles to aircraft to lorries and vans. To the Willys jeep, clearly, and Land Rover, the Land Cruiser, Nissan Patrol, Bronco, virtually anything. They are all pretty uncomplicated and pretty genuine. We believed that was a fantastic spot to attempt to intention for.”
Obtaining the utmost out of the system – which makes use of a regular, if not primarily superior-tech, ladder-frame chassis and beam axles – was crucial, as was making the most of interior area. Which is why Ineos settled on a acquainted, upright condition.
Simplicity of use and upkeep have been also crucial, with characteristics this kind of as the ‘utility belt’ operating around the center of the auto making it possible for house owners to attach components, and tethering eyes lower down the doorways. And even though Ineos will offer a raft of components, it will inspire house owners to use current package and make it possible for other companies to develop their possess components. “It’s a universal method,” Tennant advised us. “We want to be truly open-source about it.”
Even the flat bonnet surfaces have been built to be functional. “This is a truly helpful area to sit on, set your tea on, notebook on – it is pretty much a workbench in tons of techniques,” mentioned Ecuyer.
There’s also a cubby box concealed behind a rear panel, exterior wiring points and vertically split rear doorways that open large to expose a area that will just take a Euro pallet.
Overall, Ecuyer states the Grenadier is, “Roughly the identical measurement as a G-Wagen. I assume it is the identical height and duration.”
What we will not see for a even though is the interior, but Tennant promises that it’ll be bang up to date. “We’ve acquired to have a degree of consolation that a twenty first-century buyer is going to anticipate,” he states. “You’ve acquired to have area for your elbows in the car. And you have acquired to have the stages of connectivity, the screens, all the factors that people today have the appropriate to anticipate now.”
Tennant also promised innovation in how Ineos will offer the auto. “We’ll be as immediate as doable,” he states, “We will not be completely on-line – we want to give people today the possibility to kick tyres and just take a test drive.”
On pricing, we realize that at today’s costs the Grenadier would get started with a four. On the other hand, with a classification of N1, it will officially be a commercial car, so VAT will have to be extra. That suggests a whole starting off value most likely near to £50,000 for individuals who can’t claim the tax back through their business enterprise.
This is only the starting off issue for Ineos, however. A double-taxi select-up version has been verified, even though Dirk Heilmann has also promised that “we will have some electrification.” As an alternative of a total EV, which is a lot more very likely to be a hydrogen gasoline-mobile set-up, which Heilmann states is very well suited to the ladder-frame chassis. Function has previously started off on the 2nd-era Grenadier, he hinted.
Do you choose the new Ineos Grenadier to the Land Rover Defender? Enable us know your thoughts in the remarks section…