- Passes testing on The Schöckl
- Production due to start in July 2022
- Australian deliveries expected late 2022
THE INEOS Grenadier – the utilitarian off-road vehicle conceived by British businessman Sir Jim Ratcliffe after Land Rover refused to sell him the rights to continue building the classic Defender – has passed the next stage in its gruelling schedule of pre-production testing.
With Austrian auto firm Magna Steyr enlisted as its development engineering partner, the latest test location was the mountain known as The Schöckl near its Graz plant in Austria.
"We've made great strides since the very early versions of the Grenadier I drove a year ago," said Sir Jim. “The Schöckl is a proper challenge for any 4x4. Today was a real test for our prototypes, and they came through very well. There is still work to do, but I am confident that the Grenadier will do the job we have developed it for.”
Renowned for their unforgiving and destructive hard-rock terrain, the Styrian mountains have been used for decades by Magna Steyr. Most significantly, more than four decades of the Mercedes Benz G-Wagen have been developed and proven on The Schöckl prior coming to market. The G-Wagen is manufactured at the Graz Manga Steyr plant.
To achieve its rigorous testing targets, INEOS has revised its project timings and pushed back the start of Grenadier production. This latest sign-off from the boss puts INEOS Automotive a step closer to its intended production vehicle start date in July 2022.
Conquering the Schöckl follows testing cold weather engine calibration in northern Sweden; with hot weather testing in some of the world’s harshest environments including Death Valley in the USA and the dunes of the Middle East, set to start shortly. Testing in Australia is also slated for further down the track.
The rigorous testing process will see more than 130 second-phase Grenadier prototypes rack up 1.8 million kilometres in extreme environments around the world.
The Grenadier could be described as the lovechild of the Mercedes Benz G-Wagen and the old Defender. It’s a traditional utilitarian 4x4 created in a similar mould to these two iconic vehicles with a boxy flat-sided body atop basic ladder-chassis frame, suspended on coil springs and live axles.
The Grenadier will be powered by BMW six-cylinder petrol and diesel engines and feature a dual-range four-wheel drive driveline with the option of locking axles.
The Grenadier will initially be offered as a five-door wagon and four-door double-cab pick-up, with INEOS not ruling out further body styles in the future.
The INEOS Grenadier is being developed for markets around the world including Australia and New Zealand, with deliveries expected here in the latter part of 2022.
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