Start-up car maker Ineos has released another video of its Grenadier project, confirming additional details around its new four-wheel drive powertrain.
Chemical company Ineos has embarked on its first foray into the world of vehicle production.
Jim Ratcliffe, the founder and owner of Ineos, has previously said the idea of the Grenadier came from Land Rover ceasing production of its original Defender in 2016, and introducing an all-new Defender this year.
BMW-sourced petrol and diesel engines are going to be used for the Ineos Grenadier, both being turbocharged inline 3.0-litre six-cylinders.
Although these engines have been used widely in the likes of BMW sedans, SUVs and sports cars, this will be the first time the engines are used in such a hardcore off-road vehicle.
And to that point, the Grenadier's engine will likely have different outputs compared to BMW applications, as Ineos engineers chase low-down torque to suit off-road driving.
Unlike Land Rover’s new Defender, the Grenadier is built using traditional and time-honoured ingredients: steel ladder chassis, live axles, coil springs and locking differentials.
Such a utilitarian focus means Ineos isn’t prioritising class-leading safety for the Grenadier, and a five-star ANCAP safety rating is unlikely.
Rather, Ineos are placing a lot of emphasis on the mechanical engineering, off-road ability and utility of their new four-wheel drive.
Ineos has also confirmed the Grenadier’s gearbox: a ZF 8HP torque converter automatic unit, which is already widely used in 4X4 applications: Ram 1500, Land Rover Defender, Volkswagen Amarok, Jeep Wrangler, Gladiator and Grand Cherokee, amongst many other SUVs, performance and passenger cars.
The video also puts any chance of a manual transmission to bed. Like many other new vehicle developments, the Grenadier will be automatic only.
The video also shows a gear-driven transfer case, with ‘TREMEC’ cast into the housing. Job Zwollo, Engineering Project Manager at Ineos Automotive says this transfer case is a clean-sheet design for the Grenadier.
This transfer case will have a lockable centre differential for permanent all-wheel drive, low-range gearing, and will be manually (lever) operated.
“We are targeting to be best in class (off-road), so the transfer case needs to be that too.” Zwollo said.
Zwollo also mentioned that as the Grenadier will be going into field testing with "one hundred plus" prototypes this year, Australia will be one location where the Grenadier will be shaken down before the 2021 release. Australia was mentioned along with America, Africa, and New Zealand as testing locations.
Although Ineos had originally earmarked the Grenadier to be produced at a new facility in Bridgend, Wales, a recent annoucement has put that under serious doubt.
In a statement on their website, Ineos has confirmed they are in discussions with Mercedes-Benz to acquire a production facility in Hambach, France to produce the Grenadier. Seen as an "alternative to building its own plants", this opportunity comes as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic on the international automotive industry.
This facility was previously dubbed 'Smartville', and was the production facility for the Smart microcar.