News : Ineos Grenadier’s off-road ability perfected by Magna Steyr

Ineos has contracted Magna to develop the Grenadier 4x4

Ineos Automotive has announced that its utilitarian 4×4 will be named ‘Grenadier’ after the pub in which it was conceived, with more than 6000 international fans and followers responding to an online poll to choose the vehicle’s name. It started out as an idea three years ago, and is now getting very serious indeed, with prototypes in testing, a new deal inked with Magna Steyr, a factory being built in Wales, and a section of the market pining for a replacement for the original Land Rover Defender.

Ineos Automotive has confirmed that the Austrian four-wheel drive, and volume-build specialist Magna Steyr will undertake series development of the Grenadier – and it has issued the above photo of the team responsible alongside a Pinzgauer on the company’s stamping ground of the Shöckl mountain near Graz. This is great news for anyone who thinks that Ineos will have its work cut out making the Grenadier working properly off-road – it recently perfected the new G-Wagen for Mercedes-Benz.

Magna Powertrain has been working on the chassis and suspension systems onboard since inception, according to the company. The development comes om the back of the recent announcement that the Grenadier will be built in a bespoke new factory on a greenfield site in Bridgend, South Wales, not far from where Ford announced it will be closing its engine factory. Ineos Automotive says this will create 200 jobs initially, and up to 500 in the long term. Site development is now under way to support planned start of production in 2021.

The new car, which was conceived to replace the Land Rover Defender now that JLR has moved it upmarket, will be built in volumes of up to 25,000 per year in Wales. The bodies and chassis will be built in a sub-assembly plant in Estarreja, Portugal. The facility will produce the Grenadier’s body and chassis, working in conjunction with the company’s European supply chain partners. Ineos has also confirmed that the new car’s engine will be a 3.0-litre BMW straight-six.

Government backing for the new plant

Marketing chief Tom Crotty told CAR, ‘the Grenadier will be an ‘uncompromising 4×4 with a ladder chassis, beam axles, locking differentials. It would initially be in station wagon guise, but other bodies would follow, starting with a twin-cab pick-up. Aftermarket specialists would be encouraged to come up with their own configurations and accessories. There will be long and short wheelbases.’

Welsh Government Economy and Transport Minister, Ken Skates, said: ‘This announcement is great news for Wales and I’m delighted Ineos Automotive will be setting up home in Bridgend which has a long history of skilled manufacturing expertise. The Welsh Government has worked closely with the company to make this happen and I look forward to seeing the development of the new site progress ahead of the planned start of production in 2021.’

Ineos Group Chairman Sir Jim Ratcliffe said: ‘We have looked long and hard at possible manufacturing locations for Grenadier across the world with lots of good options to choose from. The decision to build in the UK is a significant expression of confidence in British manufacturing, which has always been at the heart of what Ineos stands for.’

Keith Adams
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  1. Just why does a “greenfield site” need to be lost to this admittedly worthwhile project? With all the supposed closed industrial sites in south Wales, surely one could one found by Ineos. Yet more destruction of the environment. I’d back Extinction Revolution camping out on this sward of our ONCE green and pleasant land.

  2. I do hope the project succeeds, but what irony that one of the biggest brexiters in the country is having his vehicle bodies produced in Europe!

    • Seems a bit odd to have 2 separate plants to produce this, it would surely make more sense to produce the whole thing in either Wales or Portugal?

      • Probably more democratic than the unholy alliance of billionaire tax dodgers, their brainwashed Neanderthal goons & other Putin / Trump worshippers who (think they) have something to gain from getting the EU out the way.

  3. I wish it well, but I fear that they target a narrow segment of the market, squeezed between the cheap and cheerful pick ups from Asia and the more sophisticated SUVs.

    Add into that the push to electromobility, Rural Defender customers are very suited to be adopters, they don’t go far or fast, low torque electric power is great for hauling and off road and they invariably have access to off street parking, 3 phase power supply (many generating their own power through solar and wind) and will desire the simplicity, reliability and low sevicing of an EV power train.

    It makes me wonder as to why they have not got at EV version at launch!

    Could it be the Brexit mindset has of its creator is looking back rather than forward?

  4. Very surprised that this “basic” off roader will have 3 litre 6 cylinder BMW engines (petrol or diesel), when the new Defender uses 2 litre Ingenium units.

    The Grenadier will have an awful lot of power, surely not needed for the roles it will be undertaking?

  5. Not built in Wales just assembled with a body and chassis made in Portugal.,the engine made in Germany so the factory isn’t building cars it’s assembling CKD kits. It’ll be interesting to see how it does but Ineos will have it’s work cut out with the established Japanese 4×4 manufacturers such as Isuzu Mitsubishi,Nissan & Toyota having such a grip on the market segment

  6. Not sure it matters whether they are assembling or building – it’s in the UK – it’s work for people and it’s a brave venture – let all of us glass half full guys get behind it.

    • The car industry is multinational now and most cars are assembled from parts made all over the world. At least the body will be British and the Grenadier could create hundreds of jobs in Wales and hopefully thousands of exported models, so let’s back it.

      • Multinational and parts from all over the world – yes! But not body and chassis, vehicle manufacturers will not even ship skin panels these days. The low density leads to very high logistics costs – costs that your efficient competitor does not have. Vehicle manufacturers use body and engine manufacture as a big chunk of added value, it does not make sense to give this margin to your suppliers because the more you do this the less margin you have for yourself.

  7. Being positive – Radcliff is not Delorean. He has the money.
    I’ve met consultants who are putting in his ERP system and they say it’s all top grade best of breed and these guys have worked on projects at BMW. They’ve got a “virtual factory” up and running now.
    He’s got a billion cash in the bank ringfenced for this project. Only question in my mind – where are his dealers? If he’d done this a few years earlier could have bought the shell of rover…

  8. By the time this vehicle is launched there should be a plug in Hybrid Defender available, and there’s going to be a massive change to Electric and Hybrid vehicles in the couple of years, will this vehicle find itself behind the times or will it be able to find enough buyers in its niche?

  9. I’ve a sneaking suspicion hybrid and electric going to blow up in a lot of people’s faces in short order because customers aren’t buying them for climate reasons (which is good because they’re unmitigated shite for the environment) they’re buying them because cheap electricity.

    As soon as that changes, and it will, demand will go down quicker than the MV Estonia.

    And of all the possible engine choices why pick Bavarian Money Wasters – plenty of other viable options.

  10. Sad that none of the design and engineering has been done by UK companies. We have some of the best automotive engineering and design consultancies. Ironic given Radcliffe’s support for Brexit.

  11. I can only hope it is a better thing than the Defender that had the BMW engine, they were bloody awful and the company I was working for ended up getting shot of them all and using Ford Rangers which were cheaper to buy, cheaper to run, more comfortable and more reliable.
    Land Rover lost the plot towards the end of the Defender and the replacement isn’t going to serve the market it should be aimed because that market was lost a long, long time ago. It will be much more likely seen on the school run, parked on the pavement to justify the off road capability.

    • The Defender never used BMW engines. Final versions of the car used Ford Puma diesels – also used in the Transit. The new car is indeed targeting a different market, a profitable one – and frankly I couldn’t give a stuff if owners of the new car choose to allow their children to travel in it now and again!

      • There was a South African produced Defender with a BMW engine.
        How do you know that this different market is profitable? It is certainly a relatively small niche market with very few players outside military (that is not profitable!) Unimog maybe?

  12. All sorts of flag waving nonsense has accompanied every article about this car, yet it becomes more Teutonic by the minute – BMW engines and Steyr drive trains. This factory in South Wales will be like Vauxhall at Ellesmere port – a screwdriver operation receiving crates of parts from the Fatherland.

    • Forgot to add that they mention Carraro – this is a large long established and very reputable Italian supplier of 4wd tractor axles so Ineos are going down a tough proven and pragmatic/cost effective sourcing route.

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