Grenadier plan powers ahead; BMW engines set to be used in new 4x4 workhorse.
Byline: Al Suttie
INEOS boss Jim Ratcliffe's plan to develop a back-tobasics 4x4 - Projekt Grenadier - has moved a step closer with news that it will be powered by BMW engines.
Both petrol and diesel units will be provided by the German marque and the Grenadier is due to go on sale in mid-2021.
Precise details of which engines from BMW will be used have yet to be confirmed, but it's likely the Grenadier will use the 252bhp 2.0-litre turbo petrol and 261bhp 3.0-litre turbo diesel from the X5 range.
However, the team behind the Ineos-backed car say it is not a collection of other companies' parts but a coherent model that BMW has accounted for in its development programme.
This means the Grenadier will use the latest BMW powerplants rather than previous generation motors.
The Projekt Grenadier will not come with an electric option for the foreseeable future as Ratcliffe believes it adds too much weight and complexity for what he wants to achieve.
The Grenadier aims to be a replacement for the Land Rover Defender that went out of production at the end of 2015. Ratcliffe says this has left a gap in the market for a truly utilitarian 4x4 that is not an SUV.
He says he wants to put the "utility back into 4x4s" and the new car will be narrower than most rivals such as the Toyota Hilux and Jeep Wrangler.
He added the Grenadier will have its wheels as close to the corners of the vehicle as possible for the best off-road ability.
While the Grenadier has moved away from the first idea as that looked like an older Land Rover, the simple approach to design has remained at the core of the car.
It will feature flat glass that's cheaper to make and replace if it's broken, as well as a paredback interior with rubber mats and seats that can be hosed clean.
Ratcliffe added: "It might sound arrogant to think we can fill the gap left by the Defender, but we have the confidence.
"We want to build something that retains the off-road ability of the Land Rover that also provides a step-change in reliability. If we can deliver that, I have no doubt it will be a success."
Ineos Automotive believes it can sell up to 30,000 Grenadiers each year, with many being used in places such as Africa and Australia.
The company is currently looking for a factory site in the UK where it can assemble the Grenadier using its own chassis with aluminium bodywork offered in a variety of styles to suit the needs of different users.
Ratcliffe expects the Grenadier to cost from PS30,000 when it goes on sale.
Z CONFIDENT Ineos boss Jim Ratcliffe
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|Publication:||Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)|
|Date:||Mar 22, 2019|
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