Ineos Automotive – the newly-formed car making subsidiary of chemical-producing giant Ineos – has unveiled its Grenadier off-roader and confirmed technical details and Australian timing.
The Ineos Grenadier will come in both long and short wheelbase options, with wagon and utility body styles. A double-cab ute body will also be built, with all variants to be made available for the Australian market. Wagon-bodied Grenadiers will go on sale first, with ute bodies to follow.
No date has been set for an Australian launch, though at this stage it could be late 2021 or early 2022.
Ineos Automotive commercial director Mark Tennant told CarAdvice: “We’re going to (launch in) Europe first in the back-end of 2021 and then (come) to Australia pretty quickly after that.”
The Grenadier will be built in Wales on a bespoke ladder frame chassis and suspension designed by Austrian firm Magna Steyr (the same company that manufactures the Mercedes-Benz G-Class).
The Grenadier’s suspension utilises progressive coil springs and a panhard rod with Carrara-sourced live axles front and rear. The steel frame construction uses aluminium doors, bonnet and fenders – much like the original Land Rover Defender.
A 'utility rail' for mounting accessories runs along the side of the vehicle, with the intention to be as universal as possible (including for existing aftermarket equipment).
"We’re going to have a lot of accessories but we’ve also got quite an open-source view of the world in terms of existing kits that people who are new to Grenadier may have in their garage already," Mr Tennant told CarAdvice.
Flat-topped guards above the front wheels have been used to create a "workbench" surface, with nylon rails fitted to the roof that can act as roof racks (however a dedicated roof rack system can still be fitted). A split rear door allows access to the rear of the vehicle in tight spaces.
The Grenadier will be powered by BMW-sourced ‘B57’ diesel and ‘B58’ petrol engines – both configured as turbocharged 3.0-litre inline six-cylinder units.
While exact performance figures remain secret, mention of the engines’ application in the BMW X5 SUV suggests the Grenadier could see the 250kW/450-500Nm ‘B58B30M1’ engine for petrol versions, and the 195kW/620Nm B57D30O0 single turbo or 294kW/760Nm B57D30S0 quad turbo variant for diesel applications – as all feature in the X5.
However, the engines are unlikely to retain the same outputs they do in BMW applications, with tuning to be specified for use in the Grenadier:
“We’re in the process of refining ... maximum torque output at the lowest possible RPM and maintaining that as opposed to out-and-out power,” Mr Tennant told CarAdvice. “(It’s) too early to be specific on figures, but it will be our tune.”
A ZF-sourced automatic transmission will be offered for both engines. The number of drive gears and the configuration of the transmission has not been disclosed, however it’s likely a torque-converter setup will be used given the Grenadier’s off-roading aspirations.
A permanent all-wheel-drive system with a mechanical centre differential (with mechanical locking) is also equipped. Ineos claims the Grenadier will have a 3500kg towing capacity.
Australian pricing remains unconfirmed. Mr Tennant acknowledged the Grenadier cannot compete on price with Thailand-built utes – such as the Australian-delivered Toyota HiLux, Ford Ranger, Mazda BT-50 and Isuzu D-MAX – and hinted it could cost similar money to top-end utes such as the Ford Ranger Raptor, which costs about $80,000 drive-away.
Ineos claims the Grenadier will come with “all safety features you can imagine” – and says the vehicle will meet Australian, European and US standards – however the company did not confirm which safety systems would be included.
While images and details of the Grenadier’s interior have not been revealed, Ineos says the Grenadier will be comfortable and not make owners “suffer for the privilege of having a utilitarian vehicle”.
Ineos says it is on-track with an initial €1 billion (AU$1.63 billion) budget for the Grenadier project, however the company notes this amount includes development of the off-roader as well as building the framework for Ineos Automotive as a producer and distributor of cars.
The brand’s distribution and servicing model for Australia and New Zealand is expected to be finalised and announced in the coming weeks.