Ineos will design factory-fit options and aftermarket kit for the Grenadier but isn’t shy about making it ‘open-source’ so other equipment makers can produce add-ons to suit.
“Every owner’s use for their vehicle will be different,” said Heilmann, “and we’re very happy with that.”
Chassis and powertrain
Heilmann said he expects the Grenadier to be heavier than the old Defender 110, which is narrower but slightly longer, but that’s mostly because the Land Rover is a considerably simpler, less well-equipped vehicle with a much lighter powertrain. The target weight is around 2400kg, but today’s initial prototypes are 80kg too heavy, so weight must be reduced to improve the Grenadier’s all-important off-road performance.
Ineos’s engine choice is the BMW B57/B58 family, so each Grenadier will have a modular 3.0-litre petrol or diesel straight six that sends its drive through a ZF-supplied eight-speed automatic gearbox (and a separate low-range transfer case). Depending on spec, these engines make anything from 261bhp to nearly 400bhp in their BMW applications.
Heilmann said that although the Grenadier’s performance will make off-roading a priority, its on-road ability will be “fine for anyone who’s used to driving, say, a Jeep Wrangler”. However, the performance potential will probably require an on-road speed limiter.
The car’s relatively old-tech body-on-frame chassis, twin live axles and non-independent coil suspension are a rarity nowadays; even the Hilux has independent front suspension. However, the body is a complex mixture of aluminium, high-strength steel and composites.
“We’ve had to learn that aluminium isn’t always the best choice for strength and crash purposes,” said Heilmann, “so we’ve chosen the right materials for the right jobs.” But much of the outer skin – the bonnet, the doors and the mudguards – is aluminium.
Timetable and marketing
Tennant and Heilmann say the project is running only a few weeks behind, despite Covid-19, and they’re looking now at ways of getting that time back. “It’s a tight schedule,” Heilmann said, “but by 2021 we want to be doing our first production runs, and at the end of 2021 we should have production cars coming off the line.