Ineos Automotive is tentatively slated to launch its first vehicle, the Grenadier SUV, in the U.S. later this year.
But even before the first one hits U.S. shores, Ineos confirms it’s developing a fully electric 4X4 SUV in conjunction one of its leading suppliers, Magna. But the new SUV will not be an electric version of the Grenadier.
Instead, it will be smaller, but it won’t be a pretender to the throne. The company says that the new Ineos model will still possess the “world-class off-road capability, without compromising on-road comfort or performance” of the much-anticipated Grenadier.
Given that we’ve driven the Grenadier off-road in the Scottish Highlands, we’d venture to guess that’s it still very capable.
Their next SUV
The new announcement confirms what we first reported in May 2022, when Ineos CEO Sir Jim Ratcliffe confirmed the company was already developing an electric vehicle, refuting earlier comments that the company was investigating a fuel cell variant.
At a meeting with company officials in May 2021, officials told TheDetroitBureau.com the company’s stance on alternate fuels was unequivocal: hydrogen fuel cells, not batteries, would power the electrified variant of their SUV. “That for us is a much more viable option then battery electric,” said Greg Clark, executive vice president, Americas at Ineos Automotive, located in Raleigh, North Carolina.
“Think about the nature and the purpose of this vehicle to truly take you off the grid. You don’t want to be worrying about being tethered to a charging network and mega-range anxiety, which is a huge consideration when you’re actually putting the vehicle through its paces off road.”
The company began testing a hydrogen fuel-cell variant alongside a battery-electric prototype last year. We now know which one prevailed.
Their next SUV, so far unnamed, will be the company’s third model line, having developed both the Grenadier station wagon (most would consider it an SUV) and forthcoming pickup with Magna. It’s no surprise the automotive supplier will put the new EV though rigorous testing on Austria’s Schöckl mountain, near Magna’s vehicle assembly plant in Graz, Austria, where the electric 4×4 will be manufactured starting in 2026.
“Having worked together on the engineering of the Grenadier, we’ve seen first-hand the value of applying Magna’s agility, knowledge, and experience to a complete vehicle development program,” said Lynn Calder, CEO of Ineos Automotive.
“Deepening our collaboration is a natural next step as we use the Grenadier as a springboard for our continued growth as a global automotive brand with this third model line.”
Following the arrival of the Grenadier in the U.S., the company plans to build variants using the same platform, which will include a Grenadier pickup truck, a long wheelbase version of the SUV, among others. The additional Grenadier body style should be easy to achieve, give its body-on-frame construction.
Wait, what is Ineos?
Ineos Automotive was founded in 2017 as a division of Ineos, a privately held chemical company that ranks as the world’s third largest, with $65 billion in annual sales, 25,000 employees, and 39 businesses in 31 countries. Their first SUV, the Grenadier 4×4 was developed with help from BMW, which supplies the engine and transmission, and Magna Steyr. The vehicle is built in the former Mercedes-Benz plant in Hambach, Germany that Ineos now owns.
Offered in three trim levels — base, off-road-oriented Grenadier Trialmaster and fancier Grenadier Fieldmaster — it is the vision of Ineos CEO Jim Ratcliffe, who developed the new vehicle as a true successor to the previous-generation Land Rover Defender, which ceased production in 2016. It’s named after his favorite London pub, which the company now owns.
It’s powered by a gas-powered BMW 3.0-liter straight 6-cylinder engine and 8-speed ZF transmission that produces 282 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque. It uses a Tremac transfer case, Eaton differential lockers, and Brembo brakes. Permanent four-wheel drive is standard.
So far, the Grenadier is the sole vehicle being offered, and interested buyers can place their orders with a refundable $450 deposit.
Ineos plans to have about 15 dealers in the United States, with most being in the lower half, or “smile” states, of the U.S. The automaker has contracted with BMW to handle routine maintenance.
Like the dealer line-up, the company has yet to announce pricing, but look for the answers to those questions to come later this year.