The Grenadier SUV being developed by British chemical giant Ineos is currently targeted to start production in July 2022, the company said on Wednesday.
That's about a year later than originally planned, but a lot has changed in the past year, and that's before you factor in the disruptions caused by the coronavirus.
Production will take place at the former Smart plant in Hambach, France, which Ineos purchased from Daimler last December. The original plan was to construct a new plant in Wales.
The rugged, utilitarian off-roader draws its name from an old word for a specialized soldier (as well as the London pub in which the idea was conceived), and features a design clearly inspired by the original Land Rover Defender. Ineos chief Jim Ratcliffe was prompted to develop the vehicle after Land Rover announced it was ending production of its original Defender.
Seeing that there was still demand for a rugged, low-cost off-roader from the mining, forestry and agricultural industries, as well as from enthusiasts, Ratcliffe wanted to continue offering a vehicle like the original Defender. In fact, he even tried to buy the rights to the old Defender from Land Rover but was knocked back.
Ineos teamed up with Austria's Magna Steyr to develop the Grenadier. Magna helped Mercedes-Benz develop the G-Class and still builds the iconic SUV to this day, so it's no surprise the Grenadier bares some resemblance to the G-Class as well. A lot of the testing is taking place in the same Austrian mountains where G-Class development takes place, including the famous Schöckl.
2022 Ineos Grenadier
The Grenadier is based on a platform with body-on-frame construction, solid axles with panhard rods front and rear, and progressive coil springs. To help reduce weight, the body is made from a mix of aluminum, high-strength steels and even some composites. Both regular SUV and pickup body styles are planned.
Powertrains will be sourced from BMW and include both turbocharged gasoline and diesel engines. The number of engines supplied annually is expected to however in the five-digit range, with Ineos previously hinting at an annual production rate of between 15,000 and 20,000 units.
Ineos has said the aim is to sell the vehicle worldwide, which means we could potentially see it in the United States. The company has said pricing will depend on how many orders it secures, but has hinted at a starting price of less than $65,000.