The ‘Real New Land Rover Defender’ Ineos Grenadier is given a workout by Lewis Hamilton, with Ineos boss Jim Ratcliffe riding shotgun.
Sir Jim Radcliffe, boss of chemical giant Ineos, had a back of a fag packet moment back in 2016 and decided he wanted to build a 4X4 true to the ethos of the original Land Rover Defender, just as Land Rover was about to end the production of its iconic original in favour of a new ‘luxury’ Defender.
There have been many ups and downs in the intervening years for the project, but the Ineos Grenadier – named after the pub Ratcliffe had his fag packet moment – went on sale six months ago with production starting last month.
It’ll take Ineos a month or two to get production properly ramped up, but with real customer Grenadiers about to arrive, it’s time for a bit of extra publicity for the Grenadier to boost interest. And Jim Ratcliffe has the solution – a Grenadier drive with Sir Lewis Hamilton.
As Ineos is a sponsor of Mercedes F1, we imagine it wasn’t too difficult to persuade Lewis Hamilton to turn up and play with the Grenadier for the cameras, so we get video of Lewis Hamilton driving the Grenadier on road and off, accompanied by Sir Jim riding shotgun in the passenger seat.
As you’d expect, the Grenadier drive wasn’t exactly a cautious one, with Lewis Hamilton pushing it hard both on and off road, with both Hamilton and Ratcliffe impressed and surprised by how well the Grenadier acquitted itself on road.
I’m genuinely enjoying driving this car. It’s very comfortable considering some of the huge dips we were driving down… I was pretty much flat-out around the course. I’m massively surprised at how much grip there is.