Ineos has brought its first ever vehicle, the Grenadier 4×4, to Yorkshire as part of a global debut tour.
The Grenadier is a vehicle created out of a passion for the famous Land Rover Defender. When Land Rover announced it was to end production after nearly 70 years, fans of the model were understandably crestfallen. However very few could do something about it.
One such person was Sir Jim Ratcliffe, northerner and founder, chairman, and CEO of multinational petrochemical company Ineos. He approached Jaguar Land Rover with a view to buying the Defender’s tooling but, unable to come to an agreement, decided to build his own replacement.
Despite the similarities in appearance, the Grenadier — named after Ratcliffe’s favourite pub in London — is a new car from the ground up, and uses BMW engines with an eight-speed ZF gearbox.
Like the classic Defender, it’s a box section ladder chassis, with a body on top, and permanent four-wheel drive with a low-range selector. First revealed in June 2020, the Grenadier is now in an almost production form and ready for the press to sample it.
The Grenadier tour actually servers two purposes. Firstly, with events at venues in Shropshire, Sussex, Hertfordshire, the Scottish Borders, Dumfriesshire, and of course Yorkshire, it allows Ineos to rack up on- and off-road mileage for its prototype cars as it aims to put a million miles under the wheels.
More importantly, for us, it gives members of the media to get up close and personal with the car and chat to some of the team behind it. Although it’s not ready for media to drive, it was available for passenger rides around the Duncombe Park estate in North Yorkshire.
Should the Grenadier prove successful, which should be a given considering it had 50,000 people showing interest before it was even revealed, Ineos will also build a pickup-bodied version.