Ineos Grenadier revealed with pickup version

  • 2020's answer to the original Land Rover
  • All-new British off-roader, designed and engineered in the UK
  • Looks really familiar...

There's a new British challenger on the commercial vehicle landscape and it's called the Ineos Grenadier. A 'function-first' project to build a practical and highly capable 4x4, the interesting news for us is that it will come not only as a born-again Land Rover Defender box but also as an open-backed pickup truck.

The final shape of the Ineos Grenadier shouldn't be a surprise, after the likes of the Bollinger B2, the reappearance of the Ford Bronco and, of course, the determination of Land Rover to keep some visual links to the old Defender.

When it comes to designing an off-road vehicle, there are only so many ways you can style a box on wheels - and Jeep still make Jeeps, so you can't copy that.

Even so, the Grenadier is astonishingly derivative for what's supposed to be a clean-sheet design, with a brand-new bespoke chassis, purposeful off-road hardware and a BMW six-cylinder engine.

The Ineos Grenadier

BMW is the one firm that doesn't have some sort of commercial chassis, rugged 4x4 truck or military vehicle it can raid for intellectual property to sell along with the powertrain, so there's no influence there - in fact, most of the Grenadier's grubby stuff has been developed in partnership with Magna-Steyr, creators of the Pinzgauer and Mercedes-Benz G-Wagen.

The Pinzgauer with some of the Ineos team

The design team could literally have made it look like anything they wanted...

A mild sense of deja-vu

The rounded shoulders, the bold window surrounds, the distinctive 'cap' style roof with 'Alpine windows' (they're not - they appear to be tie-down rails working with thick rubber strips on the roof as an integrated roof rack) and the rear-mounted ladder all look a bit... well, a bit like a super-rich businessman didn't like the idea of a new Land Rover Defender that was really a squared-off Discovery, and set out to make his own new Landie.

The upside of this? The Ineos Grenadier is a proper old-school 4x4 with a separate chassis, real chunky axles (none of this soft 'independent' suspension nonsense here) and a beefy diesel or smooth petrol engine feeding what should be a strong, purposeful transmission system.

Ineos Grenadier rear view

The chassis - at least on the pre-production units shown so far - is a solid box-section with tubular reinforcements, coil-sprung front and rear with positive axle location and substantial rubber bushes on the body mounts, suggesting a reasonable amount of rigidity and refinement.

If you've been looking at the Land Rover Defender, and wondering how it's going to handle a demountable workshop, or a vehicle crane, or a bowser, or 'getting a bit of a thump when green laning', Ineos has you in its sights. And the starting point is that unlike Land Rover, who have forgotten the 130 and hi-cap pickup versions of their 'workhorse' off-roader, the Grenadier has been shown as a pickup.

Ineos Grenadier Pickup

Some of the renders/pre-production shots imply that there could be removable panels above the front seats, but given the shutlines, large number of small, flat panels and target market, it wouldn't be a surprise to find a variety of bodystyles from Ineos or aftermarket suppliers.

No, really, I've seen it before

The Grenadier does bear a passing resemblance to the Land Rover's Spanish cousin, the Santana PS10 (AKA Iveco Massif), but it is all-new and totally unrelated to that cart-sprung clone.

The Santana PS10

But it's not like there's been an absence of British-built, hardcore 4x4s after the Defender ended production - most notably the Foers Ibex, which is a bespoke, monocoque off-roader. Originally derived from Defender parts, it's now configurable to almost any spec, including 6x6, pickup (with over 1.0-tonne capacity), tipper and racing models.

The Foers Ibex F8 - built in Rotherham

It even has a patented centrally-mounted 'vector' winch that can operate on two corners at once to rotate the vehicle or crawl like a cable car. It's got rock-rails integrated in the chassis and 90-degree approach and departure angles, and it can have a 430hp V8...

Grenadier - worth the wait?

Final, in-our-hands verdict will reveal the truth, but on paper the Ineos Grenadier looks well suited to meeting the needs of people who want more traditionalism in their 4x4.

Early suggestions of pricing, around £50,000 to £60,000, aren't unreasonable for what's on offer - bearing in mind a Jeep Wrangler will set you back almost £50,000 with a four-cylinder diesel engine and less 'built in Britain' cachet.

The flipside of that coin is that not many Wranglers get sold here, and typical commercial SUVs survive on the back of expensive, profitable soft versions. Most people who want a separate chassis, 4x4 and customisable bodywork now choose pickups, with the likes of Isuzu and Nissan proactively marketing chassis-cab variants - and the aforementioned Ibex (thought not a volume manufacturer) could also be more cost effective.

So it looks like to succeed, the Ineos Grenadier is going to have to rely on the same 'it costs so much you must be rich to have one' cachet that keeps the G-Wagen alive - and hopefully commercial variants will cost less, and have proper rubber floor mats, drain holes and winding windows to be realistically priced.

Also read:

>> Toyota Land Cruiser Commercial 4x4 review

>> Mitsubishi Shogun Sport Commercial 4x4 review

>> Land Rover Discovery Commercial 4x4 review

>> Ford Ranger pickup review

>> Ford Ranger Raptor review

>> Jeep Gladiator pickup review