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New Ineos Grenadier 2022 detailed: Hardcore Land Rover Defender rival to arrive in Australia

The Ineos Grenadier is intended as an uncompromising and functional 4WD.

While the latest Land Rover Defender may have disappointed some die-hard fans, the Ineos Grenadier looks set to wow the off-roading crowd.

The British-made Grenadier - a clear homage to the Defenders of old that also takes styling cues from the Mercedes-Benz G-Wagen, the Land Rover Discovery, and with nods to off-roaders like Suzuki Jimny and Mitsubishi Pajero - is a boxy traditional-looking 4WD with a ladder frame chassis and live axles front and rear. It will have coil springs and be manufactured in a new purpose-built factory in Bridgend, Wales.

The hardcore 4WD will have BMW's latest 3.0-litre straight-six petrol and diesel engines, permanent four-wheel drive, and front, centre and rear locking differentials. 

Dirk Heilmann, CEO of Ineos Automotive, said the vehicle would have some traction control systems "but we will not get carried away".

There no plans for hybrids or plug-in electric versions of the Grenadier, although the company behind the 4WD, Ineos Automotive, is considering the viability of hydrogen fuel cells to power future versions of the off-roader.

It will initially be available as a wagon, but other Grenadiers will include a dual-cab ute version. There will be long and short wheelbases.

The Grenadier project kicked off in 2017, when Sir Jim Ratcliffe, chairman of UK company Ineos and a car enthusiast and experienced adventurer, recognised that there was strong demand for a no-nonsense utilitarian off-roader in the vehicle market.

“This gave us our engineering blueprint for a capable, durable and reliable 4x4 built to handle the world’s harshest environments,” he said. “But it had to look the part as well.”

Ineos Automotive - a subsidiary of Ineos, a manufacturer of petrochemicals, speciality chemicals and oil products - was created to oversee the project.

The Grenadier design and engineering teams have closely adhered to the project’s principles of “form follows function – and capability is the priority”, Ineos Automotive commercial director Mark Tennant said.

Meanwhile, Mr Heilmann said: “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,” he said. 

“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.”

The Grenadier has roof bars and roof strips to enable loads to be mounted and secured directly without a roof rack. The Grenadier has roof bars and roof strips to enable loads to be mounted and secured directly without a roof rack.

Grenadier testing will be conducted in the UK, Sweden, Iceland, the USA, and with summer testing in South Africa and perhaps even in Australia.

According to Ineos, a key design feature of the Grenadier includes a blank canvas for accessories, which will be compatible with parts from the brand and third parties.

“A wide range of accessories will be available from Ineos, but we also want Grenadier owners to incorporate their existing kit into their new vehicle, and for third-party producers to develop a range of compatible accessories,” the brand said.

“The belt lines are functional – bump strips on the doors, or an optional ‘utility belt’ to the doors and rear body, to attach loads or accessories like a jerry can.

“The rear of the Grenadier is practical as well as visually striking; the small rear door opens first to enable easy loading and unloading of smaller items.

“The rear ladder can be fitted to aid access to the roof, and its design means it is aligned with the shut lines of the tailgate.

A key design feature of the Grenadier includes a blank canvas for accessories, which will be compatible with parts from the brand and third parties. A key design feature of the Grenadier includes a blank canvas for accessories, which will be compatible with parts from the brand and third parties.

“The Grenadier can accommodate a Euro pallet (1200mm x 1000mm) [Note: an Aussie pallet is 1165mm × 1165mm].

“Exterior wiring, with exit points to the front and the rear of the roof, is included as standard; this allows easy access for powering auxiliary lamps, work lamps or beacons.

“Roof bars and roof strips to enable loads to be mounted and secured directly without a roof rack (but of course a roof rack can be easily added).

“Storage box on the rear side is accessible from the exterior for grubby, smelly kit.”

Mr Tennant said the company was aiming to price the Grenadier "a bit above" vehicles like the Ford Ranger Wildtrak, Jeep Wrangler and their ilk – so expect it to cost in the region of $75,000 to $80,000 ... or more.

If you’re keen to get your hands on a Grenadier, you’ll have to be patient because they're not expected in market until early 2022.