The Ineos Grenadier, intended to replace the old Land Rover Defender, looks too complicated, too expensive and now likely not to be made in Britain.
The plan by Jim Radcliff to deliver a proper ‘workhorse’ replacement for the old Land Rover Defender has been coming together for a few years, from a bright idea during a pub lunch to the reveal last week of the Ineos Grenadier in pretty much final design form.
To no one’s great surprise, the Ineos Grenadier looks very much like a Land Rover Defender of old with some added G-Wagen DNA, which, despite a clear degree of plagiarism, makes a statement of intent that this isn’t like another luxury Land Rover, but a serious machine for serious tasks.
But beyond the looks and ladder chassis underpinnings, the Grenadier comes with very modern BMW engines and their complicated systems, and plenty of modern technology too. Which is going to make it very difficult to fix if it goes wrong in anywhere remote or extreme. Which isn’t great news for a workhorse.
Not only that, but it seems the starting price for the Grenadier is going to be in the £45k range, twice the entry point of the old Defender and pretty much in line with what Land Rover want for their new Defender. Which doesn’t seem ideal for a workhorse 4×4 either.
Now it seems the Ineos Grenadier won’t be built in Britain after all, as plans – and work already started – to bolt the Grenadier together in Wales (with chassis from Portugal) have been put on hold as Ineos are now in discussions to buy Daimler’s Smart plant in France.
We understand that the prospect of a fully fitted plant ready to roll must be hugely appealing for Ineos, but the whole project does seem to have drifted a very long way from the original concept.
Ineos need to sell 25,000 Grenadiers a year to be viable. It’s getting harder and harder to see where those buyers will come from.