Ineos Grenadier headed for Singapore



British specialist carmaker Ineos set to launch its Grenadier off-roader in Singapore in 2022, with first deliveries expected around end 2022


SINGAPORE

Ineos Automotive, a British-based startup automaker, has announced that it plans to introduce its Grenadier SUV in Singapore in 2022, following an online media conference on 30 November where it shared its expansion strategy for the region. 

The Grenadier is a rugged off-roader that’s powered by 3.0-litre BMW inline six engines, and is aimed at off-road enthusiasts who want an uncompromising 4×4 in the same vein as a classic Land Rover Defender or Jeep Wrangler. The car is built at Mercedes-Benz’s former Smart assembly plant in Hambach, France (below), which Ineos acquired from the German carmaker in 2020.

Ineos is still finalising its choice of dealership partner for Singapore, with the brand’s head of Asia-Pacific operations, Justin Hocevar, only revealing that they have streamlined their shortlist to three potential candidates, with an announcement expected to be made in the first quarter of 2022.

Order books will be expected to open shortly after, in the second half of 2022, and first local deliveries are expected to take place towards the end of 2022 or early 2023. Pricing details are yet to be finalised too, but as a reference point, the Grenadier’s retail price would be around 50,000 British pounds in the UK. In Singapore’s context that should put it roughly in the ballpark of Land Rover’s Defender, which means somewhere around S$350,000 or so with COE.

What is Ineos?

Sir Jim Ratcliffe, founder of The Ineos Group

The Ineos Group is a British multinational chemicals company that was founded by Sir Jim Ratcliffe (above), who is currently the UK’s richest man. The company manufactures and distributes petrochemical and oil products such as fuels, lubricants and hand sanitisers, among others, and supplies its products to a variety of industries, including food manufacturing, packaging, construction, and pharmaceuticals.

In recent years, Ineos have delved into other ventures outside of its main core of petrochemicals, with a noted focus in the sporting and automotive world. The company holds a one-third stake in the Mercedes-AMG Formula One team, and founder Ratcliffe is a noted sports fanatic and adventure enthusiast, having once undertook a three-month long motorcycle journey across South Africa.

What is the Ineos Grenadier?

Ineos Automotive, the company that produces the Grenadier, was born out of Ratcliffe’s desire to develop a modern equivalent of the classic Land Rover Defender. Ratcliffe initially approached Jaguar Land Rover to buy the tooling for the original Defender when it went out of production, but was rebuffed, and decided to go his own way instead, resulting in the Grenadier.

The car’s reminiscence to the Defender is evident, with a similar silhouette and rugged styling theme. Ineos describes it as “an uncompromising, no-frills, no-fuss 4X4”, and the company apparently benchmarked not just the Defender, but also other off-road icons like the Mercedes-Benz G-Wagen and Toyota Land Cruiser in its development.



Under the skin, the Grenadier features BMW-sourced drivetrains, with a pair of BMW turbo inline six engines available. The petrol version uses BMW’s B58 3.0-litre unit, which produces 281hp and 450Nm of torque, and is likely the version that Singapore will get. There’s also a diesel model using BMW’s B57 3.0-litre engine, with 245hp and 550Nm of torque. 

Drive is delivered to all four wheels through ZF’s eight-speed automatic gearbox, which is also shared with BMW, and incorporates a two-speed transfer case. There are also three differential locks, a central mechanical one and two electronic ones (one at each axle), while the suspension is made of solid beam axles with coil springs.

Interestingly, Ineos also says that a hydrogen fuel-cell version of the Grenadier is under development, and a concept model is expected to be showcased some time in 2022, with a view to production shortly afterwards.

Design elements such as the external ladder and roof bars underline the car’s off-road capability, while Ineos also says that parts such as the lamps and fenders are designed to be simple and easy to fix when damaged.

The interior is similarly rugged, with easy to wipe down surfaces and a rubber floor with drain plugs that makes it easy to hose down. The seats are also made of hard-wearing, water-resistant materials, while there are plenty of storage spaces everywhere.

In addition, the Grenadier’s switches are widely spaced out and made to be easy to operate while wearing gloves, and there’s plenty of scope for customisation, with available plug-and-play wiring for the addition of external electrical accessories. However, there’s also a modicum of modernity, with a 12.3-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay/Android Auto compatibility.

What are Ineos’ plans for the Grenadier?

Ineos’ sales ambitions for the car are modest, given its status as a specialist carmaker and the Grenadier being an extremely niche product. Hocevar notes that while there are no specific sales targets for each individual market, Ineos intends to sell about 30,000 units of the Grenadier globally once it launches next year, with Asia-Pacific possibly accounting for around 10 to 15 percent of that volume.

The Grenadier is designed to be versatile, with both commercial and passenger versions being developed. The former is targeted at large fleets (e.g. Government services) or business users, but for markets like Singapore, the Grenadier is more likely to be a lifestyle vehicle, aimed at off-road enthusiasts who would normally go for the likes of a Jeep Wrangler or a Land Rover Defender.


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about the author

Ben Chia
CarBuyer's senior staff writer went out to explore the Great Big World, including a stint working in China (despite his limited Mandarin). Now he's back, ready to foist upon you his takes on everything good and wonderful about the automotive world. Follow Ben on Instagram @carbuyer.ben