If you’re one of those who thinks that the new Defender is far too Chelsea, the Grenadier could be the SUV for you. Or rather it could be, if Ineos was referring to the Grenadier as an SUV.
“We’re dropping the S,” says Mark Tennant, Commercial Director of Ineos Automotive.
“It’s a utility vehicle and our primary focus is to build the brand around the vehicle as a working tool. So in practice we’re targeting small business owners, fleet operators and people who need to tow stuff or carry lots of stuff. It should be for work primarily but also useable for play. It’s the classlessness of the vehicle that appeals.
“The new Defender is a great-looking vehicle. It’s what we were expecting it to be, given the platform, and we wish Land Rover every success. But we don’t see it quite being in the same space as the old Defender was, shall we say.”
To fulfil those off-road requirements, Ineos has confirmed that its work-horse of a vehicle will use a ladder chassis with different bolt-on body styles (at least one of which will be a pick-up) and two different wheelbase lengths. There will also be beam axles, locking differentials and a minimalist but hard-wearing interior, as well as short front and rear overhangs.
Quite what those overhangs, or the rest of the car, will look like – we’re not yet sure. And despite the exterior apparently being signed off, we may not see images for another year yet.
Ineos director Tom Crotty did concede that the design may not be for everyone. “It may be a Marmite thing. People may love it or hate it,” he said.
“We’ve done some testing with focus groups though and it has been extremely well received.”