New 2020 INEOS Projekt Grenadier: engines and specs announced

British chemicals company, INEOS, has announced more information on its successor to the outgoing Land Rover Defender

INEOS, the British-owned chemicals manufacturer, has provided more information about its upcoming successor to the Land Rover Defender. The firm has confirmed it will partner with BMW who will provide a range of TwinPower turbo petrol and diesel engines.

The specific units INEOS will use are yet to be announced, but we anticipate the Grenadier will feature BMW’s 252bhp 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol, and BMW’s 261bhp 3.0-litre straight-six diesels.

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Dirk Heilmann, CEO of INEOS Automotive, stressed that Projekt Grenadier will not be a parts bin special; he confirmed that the Grenadier programme has been accounted for in BMW’s research and development, and INEOS will receive the German firm’s latest powertrains rather than its previous-generation engines.

Projekt Grenadier: design and platform

Projekt Grenadier will mirror the Defender’s platform closely. Heilmann confirmed that it will be a body-on-frame construction with a steel ladder chassis and an aluminium body. He also confirmed that the finished product would be “fairly light,” with a towing capacity of 3.5 tonnes and a one-tonne payload.

Heilmann confirmed that the Grenadier’s shell will be all-new, hinting at a retro design, with a boxy shape and surfaces “flat enough to rest a mug on.” Like the old Defender, it will also come in a range of body styles, including a traditional “station wagon” shape and a pick-up version. Little else has been revealed about its styling, with only a vague teaser image to go off.

INEOS is still undecided about whether or not it will build short- and long-wheelbase versions of Projekt Grenadier. The firm claims its standard chassis strikes a good balance between off-road capability and passenger comfort, and it’s unsure whether it can justify the expense of developing a short-wheelbase model. We’ll update you if the company’s plans change.

Like the Defender, INEOS plans to make the Grenadier utilitarian and functional, with a fairly stripped-back cabin which forgoes such luxuries as carpet and sound deadening. Leather will be used on the seats purely for its durability and drain plugs will be included, allowing the driver to easily hose out the interior.

The British firm’s new off-roader will adopt a similarly spartan approach to infotainment. Mark Tennant, Commercial Director of INEOS Automotive, indicated that, in place of an integrated infotainment system, the finished product could feature a mount for drivers to use their own devices.

Project Grenadier: market and pricing

Tennant confirmed the production version “will not be a Chelsea tractor.” The company is targeting a working audience, hoping to capitalise on the booming four-wheel-drive double-cab pick-up market, offering Projekt Grenadier as an alternative to the Volkswagen Amarok, Ford Ranger and Mercedes X Class.

INEOS chairman and Projekt Grenadier founder Jim Ratcliffe stated: “the Land Rover Defender was the world’s most famous car, it conquered the planet. Many people have lamented its demise as it still fulfils a great function, but now there’s a gaping hole for a world class 4×4.

“It might sound arrogant to think we can fill that gap, but we have the confidence. We want to build something that looks cool and retains all the off-road ability of the Defender, plus it has to be reliable. This car will provide a step-change in reliability. If we can deliver that, I have no doubt it will be a success when it arrives in 2020-2021.”

The British firm is still deciding where the new model will be built. Currently, INEOS is torn between production sites in either the UK or western Europe. However, the company has confirmed it will not be built in Germany.

INEOS plans production volumes of between 25,000 and 30,000 units a year. Prices are yet to be officially announced, but INEOS has confirmed that it will “not be competing at the bottom end of the market.” Expect a starting price of around £30,000, climbing to around £45,000 for range-topping models.

Do you think there is a gap in the market now the Land Rover Defender is gone? Let us know below…

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