The mass production of the legendary previous-generation Land Rover Defender frame SUV was discontinued at the beginning of 2016. In the summer of that year, the founder of the petrochemical company Ineos Jim Ratcliffe (Bloomberg called him “the richest man in the UK”) turned to JLR with a proposal to buy the rights to the “classic” Defender, but was refused. Then he decided to create a new car “based on” the cult model: it is assumed that she will have the so-called “retro design”, but at the same time a more modern “filling”. The name of the future novelty is Grenadier, the so-called London pub, in which the idea of the release of the model appeared.
The project started in 2017. The Ineos Grenadier chassis and suspension are developed by the Austrian auto-engineering company Magna. Its subsidiary Magna Steyr is now testing prototypes of SUVs. Subsequently, the Ineos Grenadier series production will be launched at the facilities of the recently acquired Ford plant in Bridgend, British (this company previously produced gasoline power units for Jaguar Land Rover).
According to AutoexpressThe production of an SUV in Wales will begin in 2021. By the time the conveyor is launched, the site will have about 200 jobs, and by the time the plant reaches its maximum capacity, their number will increase to 500 (some of them will be occupied by employees of the former Ford motor company, who will be left without work in September 2020). It is expected that this will happen closer to 2024: by this time the company intends to reach a production capacity of 25 thousand copies per year.
Investments in the project exceeded £ 600 million (which is equivalent to almost 50 billion rubles at the current exchange rate). The release of the chassis and bodies for the first Ineos car will be launched at a site in the Portuguese city of Estarrez, and the gasoline and diesel three-liter engines developed by the BMW TwinPower Turbo series, as well as all-wheel drive transmission will be produced in Germany and Austria. Components are planned to be sent for assembly in Wales. Note, Grenadier will not have a mechanical gearbox, only an eight-speed automatic is provided.
According to the director of Ineos Automotive Dirk Heilmann, the new SUV will be “quite light”, its towed mass will be 3.5 tons, and the payload is 1 ton. The design was promised “square” with surfaces so flat that “it would be possible to put a mug.” The car will be offered in versions of the “traditional” station wagon and pickup. It is known that the interior will be trimmed with leather (for reasons of durability). According to Mark Tennant, commercial director of Ineos Automotive, instead of a built-in infotainment system, the car will only have a mount that allows customers to use their own devices.
The company believes that Grenadier will compete with Volkswagen Amarok and Ford Ranger in the market for all-wheel drive pickups with a two-row cab. Recall, Land Rover is already releasing a new generation of Defender, but this car will not be the rival of the Ineos SUV. The estimated minimum price of Grenadier will be about 30 thousand pounds (2.47 million rubles), for the top performance, you may have to pay 45 thousand pounds (3.71 million rubles). Note that now the price of VW Amarok in the UK starts at 35,403 pounds (2.92 million rubles), and the current Ford Ranger – 22,914 pounds (1.89 million rubles).