Sir Jim Ratcliffe has proven that a British billionaire can bring a whole new car to market, today launching his “homecoming” Ineos Grenadier – a rugged, hardworking and practical 4X4 machine.
The Grenadier, named after a Knightsbridge pub, is expected to cost between £ 30,000 and £ 45,000 and will go into production in Wales at the end of next year.
It aims to deliver the kind of unadorned 4 × 4 performance that made the original Land Rover a legend.
Ratcliffe, who was named Britain’s fifth richest man by the Sunday Times this year – with an estimated wealth of £ 12.2 billion – achieved what the man at the top of the rich list – Sir James Dyson – failed after pulling the plug on his own electric car project last year.
Here’s everything you need to know about Grenadier and how it will appeal to buyers who have already turned their noses at Land Rover’s new style-oriented Defender.
Grenadier launches the vacuum left by Land Rover: it is the first model launched by the Ineos Automotive brand of Sir Jim Ratcliffe. It’s a utility SUV that works hard to the same end as the original Land Rover series and later the Defender
If imitation is the most sincere form of flattery, then Ratcliffe’s long-awaited SUV certainly looks very familiar – resembling the square silhouette of the previous generation Defender that stopped producing four years ago.
The all-new Grenadier all-terrain vehicle was designed three years ago in the pub of the same name in Belgravia in London by the owner of Inoes to fill what he perceived as a “gap in the market” for an all-terrain vehicle. “stripped” ground that is capable of going anywhere.
The industrial-looking Grenadier has been designed to be easy to customize and modify so that owners can impose their own personality and stamp, but also modernize the SUV for all the tasks required.
The developers behind the project say it won’t be a “jelly mold” or “road princess” sport utility vehicle, in what could be considered a subtle dig at the all-new Defender recently launched by Land Rover.
Sir Jim Ratcliffe announced plans to create a spiritual successor to the Land Rover Defender soon after production of the previous generation model ended in early 2016
The Grenadier is a square and raw 4X4 that caters to several markets. While the majority of customers are likely to be farmers and farm types, it will also appeal to lifestyle buyers and those who are obsessed with serious off-roading.
As of launch, the Grenadier will be powered by 3.0-liter BMW gasoline and diesel engines, but an electric hydrogen version will follow
Sir Jim Ratcliffe realizes what Sir James Dyson couldn’t …
The arrival of the Grenadier comes not only at a time when there is an obvious vacuum in the market, but which is also making its debut in an unprecedented period where companies suffer and global markets and fortunes are hammered by the pandemic of coronavirus.
It also follows the well-documented collapse of Sir James Dyson’s own auto business.
The vacuum cleaner magnate’s latest electric SUV was shown in its final prototype state last month, as the British billionaire – who surpassed The Sunday Time Rich List 2020 with a net worth of £ 16.2 billion – explained why the plug-in vehicle was deemed “not commercially viable” and the project was canceled in 2019.
While the two vehicles couldn’t be more different – with the Dyson electric car designed to be a luxury cruiser – the Ineos Automotive Grenadier is also looking to the future of alternative fuel powertrains.
Sir James Dyson poses in front of the Dyson electric SUV ready for production – project dubbed ‘N526’ – which was halted last year after Britain’s wealthiest man said it was not commercially viable
The Dyson electric car was a seven-seater SUV for the luxury market. As you can see in these images, this one-of-a-kind prototype model was in production when the project was finally canned
Despite project failure, Sir James Dyson said canceled electric car was not the end of “the company’s interest in mobility”
The newcomer to the automotive industry has confirmed that there is an electric hydrogen version to follow.
The company plans to jump into the future with a high-tech fuel cell that uses hydrogen in a chemical reaction – rather than batteries – to generate electrical energy.
And cleverly, it will use hydrogen gas created as a by-product of the Ratcliffe petrochemical commercial empire to fuel them.
However, upon launch, the new Grenadier will be powered by 3.0-liter turbocharged six-cylinder petrol and diesel engines, supplied by BMW.
Unveiling the new engine, the bosses of Ineos said: “Designed to overcome all conditions, it will offer the best off-road capabilities, durability and reliability to those who depend on a vehicle as a working tool, wherever they are found in the world. . ‘
Market gap: Although Land Rover has attempted to market its new Defender as an all-terrain all-terrain vehicle, many – including Sir Jim Ratcliffe – believe it does not meet the needs of customers who bought the vehicle. previous generation
Grenadier targets a market that has not been taken into account by Land Rover
President Sir Jim Ratcliffe said: “The Grenadier project began by identifying a gap in the market, abandoned by a number of manufacturers, for an all-terrain utility vehicle.
“This gave us our technical plan for a capable, durable and reliable SUV designed to handle the toughest environments in the world. But you also had to watch the play. “
This gap in the robust mud plugs market was mainly created by Land Rover ending production on January 29, 2016 of its one year old Defender approximately 67 years after its launch (as original Land Rover) at the Amsterdam fair in April 1948.
Ray Massey, editor of the Daily Mail Motoring, posing in an original Land Rover Series 1 model
The last Land Rover Defender of the previous type left the Solihull production line on January 29, 2016. The new 2020 Defender is under construction in Nitra, Slovakia
The latest Defender could have many options that would make it a tough all-terrain vehicle – like an electric winch and tread plates on the hood – but this is probably the usual terrain for the new version.
Preliminary images of the Grenadier show it is tested in extreme environments and conditions
During the period, more than two million were built. It has been replaced by a modern, high-tech 21st century Defender model, now on sale in showrooms for £ 40,290.
Even to the untrained eye, the new Grenadier has more than a passing resemblance – at least in good shape – with these highly appreciated original Land Rover Defenders which have now become collectibles and investments since the end of production in 2016.
Land Rover’s lawyers – who have already attempted to arrest new rival Grenadier in its mud tracks – continue to watch closely in case there is a potential case for a design violation.
But the team behind the Grenadier is confident of having a winner in hand.
How the Ineos Grenadier compares to the Land Rover’s Defender of the old and the new
Expected price: £ 30,000 to £ 45,000
Production and first deliveries: Late 2021
Built: New Bridgend factory, South Wales.
Dimensions: (estimated. Similar to the first Merceds-Benz G-Wagon)
Length: 4,700 mm
Width: 1800 mm
Weight: about 2.6 tonnes (east)
BMW 3.0 liter 6cyl petrol BMW 3.0 6 cyl diesel
Hydrogen electric fuel cell (to follow)
Gears: 8-speed ZF automatic transmission with three locking differentials
Towing: 3.5 tonnes
Original Land Rover
Price in 1948: Around £ 450
Launched: Amsterdam fair, April 30, 1948
Built: Solihull, United Kingdom
Width: 1,549 mm
Size: 1,867 mm
Weight: N / A
Engine: 1595cc 4 cylinders in line.
Gears: Four-speed manual
Drive: Four wheel drive
Towing; N / A
2020 Land Rover Defender
Price: From € 45,290 – Defender 110 Range price from € 55,560
Launched: Frankfurt Motor Show, September 10, 2019
Built: Nitra, Slovakia
Length: 4,758 mm
Width: 2,008 mm (mirrors folded down)
Wheelbase: 3,022 mm
Diesel: 2.0-liter 4-cylinder diesel engine
Essence: 2.0-liter 4-cylinder petrol and 3.0-liter in-line 6-cylinder petrol
Plug-in electric hybrid version (PHEV) to follow next year
Gears: 8-speed automatic
Drive: All-wheel drive
Towing capacity: 3.5 tonnes
It is “a truly uncompromising 4 × 4 built from scratch,” the company said in a statement released today.
Two versions of the Grenadier from launch
Ineos Automotive will launch two variants of its own all-terrain vehicle – a classic 4X4 design and a double cab pickup with a rear loading platform.
Part of the unmet demand for old school SUVs has been blocked, in part, by an increase in demand for large basic double cab pickups, they believe. Other variants should follow.
So far, only grainy spy shots of the disguised camouflaged vehicle have been seen.
A car enthusiast, fitness fanatic and adventurer, Ratcliffe, 67, and his team believe that there is still a dynamic market for robust 4X4 boxy 4X4s like old boots – Tonka Toys for adults.
They decided to combine “robust British design and spirit with German technical rigor” to produce a “capable, durable and reliable 4 × 4 engineered and built to handle the harshest environments in the world”.
It is a “truly uncompromising 4 × 4 built from scratch,” the company said in a statement released today.
The Grenadier was created to “look like a real 4 × 4” with a form of industrial design that follows its function and with “an interior that can be watered”.
Customers will be able to adapt the Grenadier to their own tastes and requirements with a multitude of additional functionalities and after-sales equipment
It will have 21st century equipment levels for terrestrial security systems. Connected smartphones can be used for satellite navigation and music, as with Apple CarPlay
All-terrain vehicles have been designed as a “blank canvas” for accessories, so that customers can adapt the Grenadier to their own tastes and requirements. Significantly, all accessories will not be linked to Ineos but will be “open source” so that customers can incorporate their existing kit – or a cheaper kit from third-party suppliers.
But although they aim to “strip thrift stores”, it will not be spartan and will be comfortable, they insist.
It will have 21st century equipment levels for terrestrial security systems. Connected smartphones can be used for satellite navigation and music, as with Apple CarPlay.
Toby Ecuyer, head of design, explained: “The brief was simple. We decided to design a modern, functional and high-performance 4 × 4 vehicle, of which utility is at the heart.
“He’s there to do everything you need and nothing you don’t have. Nothing is for the show. “
He added: “Modern engineering and production techniques ensure that the Grenadier is highly capable, but we have been able to stay true to the essence of creating a utility vehicle that will stand the test of time. “
Toby Ecuyer, design manager at Ineos Automotive and the man who wrote the design for Grenadier
The name Grenadier comes from one of Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s favorite pubs in trendy London, where he had the original idea of launching a new vehicle on the market.
Ineos insists that any great resemblance to vehicles such as the original Land Rover Defender or the first Mercedes-Benz G-Wagon is simply the result of the engineering and physics necessary to build a SUV using a separate “body on frame” or a “ladder frame”. And beam axles.
The company’s chief commercial officer, Mark Tennant, said, “It looks like it looks like because of the work it has to do.
“It will not be cheap but it will be achievable. It is designed for this purpose. Nothing is for the show. “
Ineos has identified three main target groups for the Grenadier
The first of these groups is made up of public service customers such as farmers, foresters, domain managers, ski instructors, small businesses and charities and aid groups abroad, relief and the United Nations.
But that doesn’t mean it can’t be a centerpiece either.
In fact, the second market is that of the lifestyle customers of hunting, shooting and fishing fraternities – those who need a vehicle to tow a boat or horse box. It will also target “nice moms and dads” who want a slightly different family journey.
Finally, the Grenadier should be extremely popular among enthusiasts who want a no-frills 4X4 for fun or as an off-road hobby.
About two-thirds of sales will be made to lifestyle and utility buyers, with budget enthusiasts offering a useful market for used vehicles.
Inspiration for the Grenadier 4X4
Ineos bosses say one of the key models was the wartime American Wilys-Overland Jeep – which also inspired the first British Land Rover – with a simple utility brief and quickly went into production massive.
Ratcliffe and his team worked on a set of key principles, the Grenadier had to have the following:
– A wheel at each corner
– 4 permanent drive wheels
– A “scissor ladder” and beam axles
– Outstanding off-road performance
– A mechanical transfer case
– A towing capacity of 3.5 tonnes
– A modern and comfortable interior
– Watering capacity – indoors and outdoors
– Ease of repair
– A design that was neither a “jelly mold” nor a “cookie cutter”
Where will Grenadier be built?
The new Grenadier will go into production at the end of next year at a specially built factory in Bridgend, south Wales, near the Ford engine plant which is due to close in September.
The bosses estimate that it will build up to 25,000 SUVs per year, initially creating 200 jobs, rising to 500 in the longer term.
Around 100 employees are already working with their engineering partner MBTech in their center near Stuttgart, Germany.
A sub-assembly plant in Estarreja, Portugal, producing chassis and bodywork components will create up to 500 additional jobs in the longer term.
Ineos Automotive has acquired world class expertise when needed.
The new Grenadier will go into production at the end of next year in a specially built factory under construction in Bridgend in South Wales
The new plant is close to the Ford engine plant which is due to close. Ineos Automotive plans to build up to 25,000 SUVs per year, initially creating 200 jobs, to reach 500 in the longer term
The Austrian Magna Steyr, who manufactures vehicles under contract for large manufacturers, is a partner of the Grenadier 4X4 and develops the suspension.
German automaker BMW supplies the 3.0-liter turbocharged six-cylinder petrol and diesel engines and the eight-speed automatic gearboxes also come from the German ZF, which supplies BMW, Jaguar Land Rover and many others.
The ladder type chassis is built by Gestamp in Spain and the axles are from Carraro, Italy.
The project also brought in talented staff with experience such as Ford, Daimler, Volkswagen, Bentley. Jaguar Land Rover and Lotus.
Will there be dealers? Ineos also presented the sales, maintenance and repair network plans
Dirk Heilmann, Managing Director, Ineos Automotive
Instead of a traditional dealer network, customers will be able to shop online and through a network of existing agricultural traders and tractors, “pop-up sites” at county fairs and agricultural and equestrian events, and in off-road experience centers where buyers can test the vehicles for themselves.
For repairs and maintenance, it provides a “flying key” service as well as a partnership with a major international chain of repair centers.
Now that the blankets are off, more than a million kilometers of testing is planned for the coming year, particularly in South Africa and the arctic tundra.
Ineos Automotive CEO Dirk Heilmann said: “As of today, the covers are closed. The presentation of the design now allows us to focus on the next critical phase of vehicle development, testing its capabilities and durability. “
“Testing” in plain sight “without the need for camouflage, foam blocks or false panels is an added advantage.”
Approximately 35% of sales will be made in North America, 30% in the United Kingdom and Europe, including Germany, the rest being in Africa, Asia, Australia and New Zealand.
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