Ineos Automotive, which first revealed its prototype Ineos Grenadier sport-utility vehicle to U.S. media a little more than two months ago, just released images of the interior design of its forthcoming SUV.
As with any new vehicle, the interior features an infotainment system with a 12.3-inch touchscreen, which can also be accessed using a rotary dial. Unlike most modern vehicles, however, it doesn’t dominate the interior; toggles, buttons and dials do. They populate most of the instrument panels’ center stack, as well as its overhead console. It’s unique, and quite a departure from most automotive design.
Forsaking too many electronic screens, the Grenadier’s design adheres to its mission to be engineered to be timeless and extremely durable, one that’s truly meant tackle tough terrain, not merely an unpaved polo club parking lot.
“When we started thinking about the Grenadier’s interior, we looked carefully at modern aircraft, boats and even tractors for inspiration, where switches are sited for optimal function, regular controls are close to hand, auxiliary ones are further away,” said Toby Ecuyer, head of design, in a statement. “The layout is functional and logical, designed with ease of use in mind.”
Ineos designed a number of built in, pre-wired auxiliary switches to work accessories such as winches, lights and other aftermarket items.
Designers were careful to use enduring materials that could withstand the demands of its occupants. The Grenadier’s Recaro seats are water- and stain-resistant. Upholstery can be wiped down. There’s rubber flooring with drain holes so that the interior can be hosed out, although carpet and leather trim will be available for those who prefer it. Designers also fitted the cabin with dry storage space under the rear seat, in addition to the usual storage up front.
A very traditional approach to SUV design
The interior’s design is appropriate for the Grenadier, a body-on-frame SUV with a bodyshell comprised of reinforced steel and aluminum. Owners can sit, stand or work on the bumper, fenders and hood. Its roof has a static load capacity of approximately 750 pounds, enough to hold a tent, you and a friend, plus you can reach it via a ladder mounted to one of the barn-style rear doors.
The side rails are designed with L tracks for mounting jerry cans, shovels, rescue ramps, luggage and other items on the side of the vehicle. Grab rails atop the rear side windows assist in accessing the roof, or can be used as tiedown points. Its sunroof is removable, but windshield and doors remain fixed. As you’d expect, the undercarriage is equipped with front and rear skid plates, rock sliders, as well as protection for the oil pan, transmission the three differentials, and the fuel tank with up to four mil grade steel.
“In terms of capability and rugged dependability, you’ve got a vehicle that’s built for a 30-year lifespan plus rather than a 10-year lifespan,” said Greg Clark, executive vice president for Ineos Automotive at the concept’s U.S. reveal in Houston.
A vehicle born out of passion
The Ineos Grenadier is creation of Sir Jim Ratcliffe, CEO of Ineos, one of the world’s largest chemical companies. A longtime Land Rover Defender enthusiast, Ratcliffe decided to build his own version of a next-generation Land Rover Defender after the last one rolled off the line in 2016.
Thus, Ineos Automotive was born, feeding a market the company feels is underserved. Radcliffe wanted a vehicle engineered to last more than a decade, one designed to attack difficult terrain, not simple two tracks.
What’s under the hood
Being such a new company, Ineos partnered with BMW Group and Magna Steyr to assist with bringing the vehicle to market.
A BMW turbocharged inline 6-cylinder engine and ZF 8-speed automatic transmission with manual shift capability calibrated specifically for the vehicle will be standard. A manual transmission will not be offered. A diesel engine will be sold in most markets, but not in the United States or Canada due to the difficulty in meeting emission requirements, although Mexico remains a possibility.
The Grenadier will come with a two-speed transfer case, three locking differentials, and a 7,700-pound towing capacity. There are solid beam axles for maximum articulation and a galvanized steel-ladder frame. Both steel and alloy wheels will be offered.
Ineos’s key to a successful launch
The car will be built in a former Mercedes-Benz site in Hambach, Germany, a plant that received a substantial investment from Daimler during the past five years. Ineos has agreed to continue contract manufacturing the Smart EQ at the facility as part of its sales agreement. One third of Ineos’ planned Grenadier production, about 10,000 units will come to North America once a dealer network is in place.
The company says 130 prototypes have completed half of their 1.1 million miles of testing. Ineos expects to begin taking orders for the new vehicle in October, with European deliveries starting in July 2022.
Look for U.S. to follow some months after that, once a dealer network has been established.
Ineos Grenadier – Frequently Asked Questions
Who is the Ineos Grenadier?
It is an SUV to be built by Ineos Automotive, a division of the world’s third-largest chemical company.
Why is it called the Ineos Grenadier?
It was named after the Grenadier pub in London, and Ineos CEO Sir Jim Ratcliff’s favorite watering hole.
Where will the Ineos Grenadier be built?
Look for sales to start in Europe in the summer of 2022, with the U.S. to follow some months after that.