Conceived in a London pub, inspired by the old Land Rover Defender, and built in an old Smart-car factory in France: that’s the colorful background of new Ineos Grenadier, made more colourful still by the fact that Jaguar Land Rover tried appreciably hard to ensure this car never saw the light of day.
Join road tester Richard Lane as he samples a prototype version of this rugged new off-roader, which is made by the recently formed Ineos Automotive to function as a spiritual successor to the old Defender.
It uses a body-on-frame construction and robust, six-cylinder BMW engines, the petrol version of which – tested here – makes 281bhp and 332lb ft, channeled to all four wheels via ZF’s eight-speed automatic gearbox and electronically controlled differentials in each axle.
Prices are set to start at around £48,000 when the Grenadier goes on sale later this year, and at that point we’ll also try it on the road.
For now, we have at our disposal a disused quarry, plenty of mud, and a short stint at the wheel of the latest arrival in the hardcore off-roader class.