Stars of The British Motor Show 2023 – INEOS Grenadier
One of the standout stars of the 2023 British Motor Show will be the INEOS Grenadier – which has tongues wagging throughout the car industry at the moment.
So what is the Grenadier, and who on earth is INEOS?
Well, the chunky off-roader’s story began in a pub, of all places.
Now, ideas thought up over a pint in the local boozer don’t tend to be brilliant – especially if that idea is to start a car company from scratch. But that didn’t stop INEOS Grenadier creator Jim Ratcliffe from embracing his beer-fuelled creativity.
Ratcliffe was miffed when the original Land Rover Defender went out of production, because he couldn’t buy anything that matched its rugged durability in the rough stuff.
To make matters worse, when he saw JLR’s own reinterpretation of the Defender – which is a far more domesticated vehicle – Jim was determined to put things right with his own idea of what a British off-roader should be like.
The result is the Grenadier – a back-to-basics 4×4 which aims to become the defacto ‘go anywhere’ machine.
It’s a pretty ambitious pledge from a company with no previous history in the road car industry, but of course, Ratcliffe is not your typical cottage industry inventor.
He’s the billionaire owner of INEOS, the third largest chemical firm on the planet, and Britain’s wealthiest individual. Not exactly starting from scratch, then…
As well-resourced as Ratcliffe is, though, creating the Grenadier presented a whole other challenge entirely.
At its core, the Grenadier takes inspiration from iconic work-horses like the original Land Rover, Mercedes G-Wagen (of which Ratcliffe owns several), and the Toyota Land Cruiser.
This makes it entirely old school underneath. The body sits on a ladder frame construction, has beam axles and recirculating ball steering, which is almost unheard of for a modern car.
This reflects the entire point of the Grenadier, which is to provide the complete opposite driver experience to a road-focused modern SUV.
The Grenadier is an unashamed throwback to an era of 4×4 which were happiest in the wilderness, towing heavy trailers and being used as glorified tractors.
It comes equipped with two tried-and-tested powertrains from BMW – a petrol and diesel. The former is a 3.0-litre turbo which produces 283 bhp and 332 lb ft of torque, while the turbodiesel delivers 248 bhp and 405 lb ft.
There are also several different specifications available.
The Grenadier Utility Wagon is, as the name suggests, the utilitarian option. It has no rear seats, and is kitted out as a van.
If you want to bring your friends along, then you’ll need the Station Wagon. It has five seats and is available in three trim levels – the standard car, the Trialmaster and the Fieldmaster. These higher trim levels are named after Belstaff coats, a brand which Ratcliffe also owns.
As you might expect, the Grenadier is designed from the ground up to be practical. It has up to 71 cu.ft of loadspace, a 7,716 lbs towing capacity, 12,125 lbs winching power, and more strapping points, camping accessories and roof ladders than you can shake a stick at.
Oh, and if you were wondering where the Grenadier name comes from, it’s the name of the pub in Belgrave Square where Ratcliffe first came up with the idea. Neat, eh?
If you are curious to have a look around this incredible off-roader, you can find it at The British Motor Show 2023 – between 17th and 20th of August.