INEOS Automotive gets serious with Defender replacement
Marketing ramped up for Projekt Grenadier off-roader; feedback on price, specification and design requested, and 2020 release date scheduled
Projekt Grenadier is INEOS Automotive’s first project, inspired by CEO Jim Ratcliffe’s love for the Land Rover Defender. Lamenting the end of an automotive era upon the final Defender leaving Land Rover’s Solihull production line, Ratcliffe has promised to fill the 4x4 market gap with an all-new practical, uncompromising and hard-working off-roader to honour the Defender’s spirit. However, INEOS Automotive is asking for fans’ help.
In a bid to create the greatest-ever utility vehicle, the company has launched an online survey allowing enthusiasts to voice their personal preferences on what the perfect 4x4 entails. People can even give their recommendations on what the vehicle should be called, too.
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The project title is currently named after the pub in which the venture was first envisioned, as well as to reflect the project’s rigorous German engineering mated to rugged British spirit. Due for release in 2020, the Grenadier is aimed as a direct rival to the market’s best-loved utility vehicles.
What does the survey involve?
INEOS Automotive is encouraging off-road drivers alongside 4x4 owners and enthusiasts to complete its online survey, exploring respondents’ main interests, hobbies and driving preferences alongside their vehicles’ main purposes and their preferred brand. The survey also picks people’s brains by asking for their perspective on what makes a 4x4 so special, and explores the key features every off-roader should possess.
Respondents’ thoughts on safety, design, build quality and running gear are all considered, including fuel type, number of doors and potential gadgets. So if you have longed for a short-wheelbase diesel-hybrid five-door pick-up with built-in sat-nav and a low-range gearbox, now’s your time to say.
What is INEOS Automotive?
Launched in 2016, INEOS Automotive is led by Jim Ratcliffe, currently Britain’s wealthiest man. Employing a senior team of visionaries, engineers and off-road enthusiasts, the company aims to provide the automotive sector with a dependable and practical utility vehicle, taking the position previously filled by the Land Rover Defender.
Unable to acquire the rights to continue Defender production after Land Rover ceased manufacture in January 2016, Ratcliffe founded his automotive firm in London to create a ‘spiritual successor’ – a direct rival to Land Rover’s own Defender replacement.
Engineering works are currently taking place in Germany, with an aim to utilise input from the 4x4-owning general public via online surveys, journals and social-media reach.
When will Projekt Grenadier be launched?
An exact date hasn’t yet been confirmed, but the vehicle is expected to arrive for 2020.
The INEOS Automotive team is reportedly in negotiations to determine the most suitable location for the 4x4’s production facility, but the specialist is seeking the advice of 4x4 and off-road enthusiasts to hone the ideal automotive workhorse first.
AutoClassics will bring you further news on the project trajectory as soon as we can.