Jim Ratcliffe, project creator and owner of Ineos, said that the coronovirus pandemic has affected not only people’s lives, but also his plans to produce the classic LAND ROVER DEFENDER SUV under the Ineos Grenadier brand. The Ineos Grenadier was originally scheduled to go into production this year, 2021. But due to coronavirus restrictions and the pandemic, it became clear that the first production car would not appear until the third quarter of 2022. All because of the postponement of field testing of the new SUV. According to plans to release the first production model, scheduled for July 2022.
Along with this statement Ratcliffe told about the last stage of off-road tests of the car. The first phase of testing is taking place around the Schöckl Mountain in Austria. This is near the Magna Steyr headquarters.
Magna Steyr is an Austrian company, the technical partner of Ineos Grenadier.
It is also planned another stage of testing, which will involve more than a hundred prototypes, to be exact 132 prototypes that will run a total of almost two million kilometers in the most severe off-road conditions? That is, each instance must pass more than 15000 km, that is the mileage used between full maintenance of the car. Before testing in Austria, the Grenadier was tested in the Swedish polar region. And after the Austrian phase, testing in the deserts of the Middle East and the final stage in the U.S. Valley of Death, the Mojave Desert in California (USA), where the temperature record for the Western Hemisphere is set. In 1913, the temperature was +56.7 Celsius.
After the completion of all tests, Ineos will begin production of the first production batch of SUVs. They will be produced at the plant in Hambach, France, where until recently Smart was produced. After Ineos Automotive purchased the plant from Mercedes-Benz. Before buying the Hambach plant, the plan was to assemble a new, old-school SUV in Bridgend.
Ineos Group Chairman Sir Jim Ratcliffe said: “Hambach has provided us with a unique opportunity that we simply couldn’t pass up – to buy a state-of-the-art automotive manufacturing facility with world-class employees.” Also instrumental in the purchase was the proximity of the facility to Germany, as the engines and gearboxes for the Grenadier are to be supplied by BMW.
The Grenadier project is aimed at people who would still like to buy the classic off-roader of the old-school Land Rover Defender. The vehicle will be powered by the latest generation BMW six-cylinder engines and transmissions.
The cost of the novelty ranges from £35,000 to £60,000.
Back in early 2021, when Ineos announced it was accepting orders for the first batch of SUVs to roll off the assembly line in late 2021, it received more than 20,000 applications for the Ineos Grenadier.