- Ineos Automotive begins series production of the Grenadier SUV in Hambach, France, after a few delays.
- Powered by BMW inline six-cylinder engines, the Grenadier is meant to be a rugged 4x4 in the style of the previous-generation Land Rover Defender that exited production in 2016.
- Ineos is setting up a dealership and service network in a number of regions, ahead of first deliveries in December of this year.
Ineos reveals it has kicked off series production of the Grenadier SUV, delivering on a promise to produce a rugged but modern SUV in the mold of the old Land Rover Defender. The new 4x4 is now being produced at a former Mercedes-Benz plant in Hambach, France, that Ineos purchased in December 2020, with the first customer deliveries just a few weeks away.
"Global supply chain issues continue to constrain output, but customer deliveries in volume are expected from early December," Ineos said.
The brainchild of Ineos founder and Chairman Sir Jim Ratcliffe, the SUV is named for The Grenadier Pub in London, in which it was first sketched out on a napkin in 2017, not too long after Land Rover ended production of the Defender model.
The new 4x4, intended to carry on the spirit of the Defender, is powered by a turbocharged 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder engine sourced from BMW, good for 280 hp and 330 lb-ft of torque, paired with a ZF eight-speed automatic transmission. The Grenadier will initially be offered as a five-seat station wagon and also as a two-seat utility wagon, offering permanent four-wheel drive along with a center locking differential as standard features.
Ineos has spent much of the year setting up a dealer network in Europe and elsewhere, after opening the order books this May, with the Grenadier set to start at £49,000, which translates to about $55,500. At the moment, Ineos has 200 sales and service sites around the world, including in the Middle East, Europe, Africa, and Australia.
"We’ve come a long way since the project kicked off in 2017, and this is a landmark moment for Ineos Automotive as a vehicle manufacturer," said Mark Tennant, Ineos Automotive commercial director.
However, orders in the US have not been opened just yet, with stateside pricing and specs remaining unannounced for now.
Ineos detailed two special editions earlier this year, named Fieldmaster and Trialmaster after the jackets offered by outerwear specialist Belstaff. These pre-configured editions feature convenience and luxury appointments such as leather upholstery, Safari windows, and exterior utility belts. These two versions will be offered starting at £59,000 in the UK.
When deliveries start globally, the Grenadier will face an extended cast of competitors including the new Land Rover Defender itself, which is now offered in three lengths, in addition to other luxury and premium 4x4 vehicles including higher-spec versions of the larger Ford Bronco and Jeep Wrangler in North America.
But the Grenadier does not intend to stretch into luxury territory now occupied by the likes of the Mercedes-Benz G-Class or the Range Rover Velar, to name a couple, intending to stay true to its original rugged intent.
Will the Grenadier be able to peel away Land Rover buyers, as well as buyers of other 4x4s? Let us know in the comments below.