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Episode 127 Grenadier Prototype First Off-Road Drive Impressions


Matt Scott interviews Scott Brady on his first drive of the (prototype) Grenadier Trialmaster SUV from Ineos. The Grenadier represents a significant offering to the overland market, being the first build on purpose SUV for overlanding in several years (since the 200 TLC left the market). The Grenadier combines classic styling with body on frame construction, 5-link suspension, solid axles, and three differential locks. The Grenadier strikes the balance of capacity (payload at 1,900 pounds), capability, durability, and overall suitability for travel.

Host Bios:

Scott Brady

Scott is the publisher and co-founder of Expedition Portal and Overland Journal and is often credited with popularizing overlanding in North America. His travels by 4WD and adventure motorcycle span all seven continents and includes three circumnavigations of the globe. His polar expeditions include two vehicle crossings of Antarctica and the first long-axis crossing of Greenland. @scott.a.brady

Matthew Scott

Matthew is a leading expert in automotive adventure. He has extensively explored the world’s most remote places by 4WD and is considered an industry authority on overland travel. He is the only American to ever become an editor of a major Australian 4WD publication and has over 15 years of competitive auto racing experience. @mattexplore



Scott Brady: This content is brought to you by Overland Journal, our premium quality print publication. The magazine was founded in 2006 with the goal of providing independent equipment and vehicle reviews. Along with the most stunning adventures and photography, we care deeply about the countries and cultures. We visit and share our experiences freely with our readers. We also have zero advertorial policy and do not accept any advertiser compensation for our reviews. By subscribing to Overland Journal, you’re helping to support our employee owned and veteran owned publication. Your. Also provides resources and funding for content like you are watching or listening [00:01:00] to right now. You can subscribe directly on our website@overlandjournal.com. So Matt, today we get to talk about the grenadier. We’ve been given the green light to talk about.

Matt: The green light.

Scott Brady: The Yep. To talk about it.

Matt: We have been green Lit.

Scott Brady: We have to talk about our driving impressions with the Grenadier. We were actually the first in North America and all of the Americas to drive a America’s spec.

Matt: Yeah.

Scott Brady: Grenadier. So.

Matt: I mean, I actually have the one that I drove.

Scott Brady: Yes.

Matt: Right here.

Scott Brady: You have, we have one here in the US.

Matt: It’s uh, if you’re not following us, on YouTubes, this will make no sense. But it’s actually your, this is your birthday present.

Scott Brady: It was my birthday present, yeah.

Matt: And it’s got like a little, the doors open.

Scott Brady: Yeah. Exactly.

Matt: It’s very cute.

Scott Brady: I actually kinda love it. It was, uh, it was one of the best birthday presents I’ve ever gotten.

Matt: Yeah. So, so I’ve driven the model of it. You driven the real one. . And where did you drive it? [00:02:00] North Carolina. Or were you worried?

Scott Brady: I did. But before we get started, um, oh, I.

Matt: Backtrack.

Scott Brady: When we first sat down to have this conversation, I noticed that Matt actually has a gvo t-shirt on, which you did not do intentionally.

Matt: No. Cause cause I drove, I, I haven’t driven my G wagon in like months.

Scott Brady: Yeah.

Matt: And then I was like, this is clean. It’s like this. Bougie car guy brand, period. Correct. And it’s cool and I, I don’t know, I, maybe I shouldn’t taken my sweatshirt off. I was slightly warm, but it’s not.

Scott Brady: I like it and it’s gonna be relevant to the conversation cuz we’re actually, we’re gonna have, there’s actually comparison between that and.

Matt: And I think there’s a lot, there’s a lot more in common between these vehicles.

Scott Brady: No question.

Matt: Yeah. Um, especially with the association of Magna Stair who, you know, originally partnered with Mercedes to, to develop the G wagon for the.

Scott Brady: Exactly.

Matt: of, I.

Scott Brady: Yeah, and that’s part of what the fun is when you look at the galbo and you can tell it was assembled by someone who kind of was told, make the best. Sir Jim Ratcliffe, who is[00:03:00] the CEO and primary shareholder of the iNOSCorporation, he is a lifetime traveler and overlander. He’s ridden the length of Africa on a BMW.

Matt: Yeah.

Scott Brady: He drove around all of the places with defendersand he had a love for the defender model Land Rover. And when they decided to stop making the utility version and start making the Scottsdale version of the defender.

Matt: Yeah, that’s a good way to put it.

Scott Brady: Well, I, yeah, I mean it’s.

Matt: I mean, the defenders.

Scott Brady: That’s where I see them.

Matt: The defender’s fine. I just like, there’s that.

Scott Brady: It’s a different intention.

Matt: Trust thing that I don’t really. Have any more in it.

Scott Brady: It went from being a utility vehicle to being an SUV option for a lot of folks.

Matt: Like it was gonna be a discovery.

Scott Brady: Yeah. It’s almost like it was supposed to be the discovery.

Matt: So yeah. Jim. Cool dude.

Scott Brady: Yeah. Super cool.

Matt: Basically.

Scott Brady: He even tried to buy all the tooling.

Matt: That’s where the whole thing started.

Scott Brady: That’s right.

Matt: Huge Defender fan, lifelong traveler, as you said.

Scott Brady: Yep.

Matt: And then Landrover [00:04:00] was like, here’s the blank check. I want to buy the tooling and the rights to the Defender. I want to keep making it. You’re crazy for stopping and.

Scott Brady: Exactly.

Matt: You know, building this other thing, you know. Then we got.

Scott Brady: Yeah.

Matt: We got the Grenadier and.

Scott Brady: I mean, that’s what happens when you tell a billionaire no, is um, he’s like, well, I’ll just make, I’ll just make my own.

Matt: I think it’s hard to not have a little bit of a man crush on the studio. And I just found out he bought, he bought Bells staff.

Scott Brady: He did.

Matt: The, the cool thing with the Grenadier is what this guy’s doing with the Enio brand, which started as a, I mean a petrol chemical company.

Scott Brady: That’s right.

Matt: Chemicals company. And you can really see that the vehicle was developed with passion. Like there was someone staring the ship who actually cared or, and actually had a vision where I think these days, so many cars get so watered down. I mean, I do think that, you know, Jeep does a really good job of preserving the Wrangler.

Scott Brady: Yes, absolutely. Absolutely.

Matt: I, I think that the defender is maybe the example of, I don’t wanna say all show. No go cuz the vehicle is actually very, very capable. But it was like, you know, that [00:05:00] vehicle always felt to me, Okay. How can we make it appeal to, as wide of an audience, but still be based on just every other Land Rover model? Yeah. Kind of thing.

Scott Brady: It’s just the, it’s the difference between a new model that was pushed by design and marketing.

Matt: Yes.

Scott Brady: Versus a new model that was pushed by enthusiasts and engineers.

Matt: Yeah. There was a singular vision.

Scott Brady: That’s right.

Matt: With the, with the grenadier. And that is why I’m so interested in it. That’s why you are so interested in it.

Scott Brady: Yeah.

Matt: And and I, and I think it’s maybe important to say we’re not trying to disparage the defender, but it is inevitable that you make. Comparisons between the Grenadier and the Defender.

Scott Brady: Yeah, and we need to, we need to talk about how does the Grenadier compare to the original defender, which we have one right behind you here. How does it compare to the new defender? How does it compare to the G Wagon? How does it compare to the 70 series? These are all really importantquestions, and fortunately I just have so much time driving all of those and now the [00:06:00] Grenadier. That we definitely havesome opinions around that, uh, which I think will be relevant.From the beginning. We have.

Matt: Well, you have experience. I have opinions. I have, I have nothing but opinions.

Scott Brady: You have lots of experience.

Matt: Not with the Grenadier. I mean, you’re the, you’re, you’re the team with that.

Scott Brady: Yeah. Well, I just feel.

Matt: I’m just snarky.

Scott Brady: I feel so incredibly fortunate and it’s also been really important to note that we weren’t compensated in any way to go be the first to test the Grenadier. We received no compensation of any form and Grenadier, any OSS is not an advertiser.

Matt: Just genuinely excited. We were just, yeah, it was a perfect, it was a perfect fit with our experience and passion for the project and them wanting to have an impartial journalist, uh, review the product. Uh, it was a great, it was a great fit. So yeah, we got a chance to, to fly out to North Carolina. Uh, we went to the UA National Forest. And there is a private inholding there[00:07:00] that’s owned, uh, by the folks at Overland Experts. And Overland Experts is one of the, it’s like they’re, they’re right below the surface of what we see in popular Overlanding, uh, because they don’t really need to promote themselves to the public space. But they’re one of the most capable overland training, testing, and like kind of military support organizations out there. They do a lot of secret squirrel vehicle training stuff back east, and a hyper competent team of trainers and drivers. Most of them are ex-military, but because this is a, a private inholding where they have lots of buffer of land that gives it a lot of, um, secrecy. They do a lot of testing of OEM vehicles and military vehicles there, including the Grenadier. So we go to the Overland Experts facility and there’s a bunch of prototype grenadier there. Uh, there were other people there that were unrelated to, to journalism. [00:08:00] Um, there was some of the folks from seven P were. and some marketing team members related to Grenadier, but I was the only one there that got to talk about it, at least in a timely fashion. So, yeah.

Matt: So what’d you think?

Scott Brady: Well, I think the, for me, the, the immediate takeaway is that it has a placard on the vehicle. It’s actually rightat the, A pillar in front of the driver, and it says Built on purpose. And that is a fairly bold statement, and it also is something that is clearly the mission. Of the Grenadier, which is we’re gonnabuild a vehicle that’s suitable for NGOs in developing countries, and we’re gonna build a vehicle suitable for adventure travelers and overlanders that wanna do extreme remote travel. And it was built on purpose to do that. And when I drove it, I realized very early on that the vehicle very much was built to that specification, to that goal. I’ll give you some great examples[00:09:00] of it. When you sit in the vehicle, you’re sitting on Ricardo seats, which sounds very cool and very bougie, but there’s a bunch of advantages to Ricardo seats, but they are not electric in any way. They are all manual Ricardo seats.

Matt: Less weight, less stuff to go wrong.

Scott Brady: Less stuff to go wrong. And if you’re water forwarding, you’re not getting all those components wet, dirty, all the gears aren’t getting dusty and filled with gunk or whatever else, and all mechanical Ricardo seats. So a comfortable, supportive seat that’s lightweight.

Matt: And that’s an existing component, right? So as a startupcompany, they don’t have to spend x gajillion dollars designing these components. It seems to me that Grenadier, any oss,they’re relying on really trusted suppliers.

Scott Brady: It seems like it. Yeah. That’s, and that’s a good, that’s a good approach, uh, because you get to adopt all those learnings. There’s a lot of Bosch components on their BMW components designed by Magna Steyer in Austria. [00:10:00] So there’s a lot of, like you said. Premium suppliers and collaborators that are involved. So another great example is you sit in the vehicle and you look down and oh my goodness, there’s actually a, an all mechanical parking brake. This is 2023.

Matt: Yeah.

Scott Brady: My truck doesn’t have a mechanical parking brake. Not even one that you apply the foot.

Matt: Cause you drive a chevy.

Scott Brady: That’s true. Like they’re all that way. They’re all either, but it’s a foot break.

Matt: Yeah, it’s a foot one.

Scott Brady: Which what we want. Is a mechanical hand break.

Matt: Yeah. If, if it’s snowy and you have a parking lot by yourself. A mechanical hand break with your hand. Hand, yes. Brake. A lot more fun than one with your foot.

Scott Brady: That’s right. Well, there’s a lot of reasons for it. They are more fun cuz you can get, especially in this configuration, which is different from a Land Rover. The parking brake is on the rear axle. So if you have the, the center differential open and you apply the hand brake, you’re gonnainitiate the vehicle rotating [00:11:00] over-steering, drifting the vehicle, using the hand brake in a Land rover. It’s always funny when people tried to do that, cuz it was on the transfer case. had a very different effect.

Matt: Oh yes. The LT two 30.

Scott Brady: It has a mechanical hand brake. It has a cable activated transfer case with high range and low range, and then an open center differential in the transfer case that can be locked in either higher range or low range. So very much like the Land Rover transfer cases, but it’s an actual lever. Connected to a cable that runs down a cable into a, a physical transfer case. Matt: That’s cool. I mean.

Scott Brady: Which is, which is built by trem.

Matt: That is something that you don’t see.

Scott Brady: Which is built by trem.

Matt: Interesting.

Scott Brady: So it’s a TREM transfer case. It’s about 2.5 to one low range, which is plenty low when you combine it with the five, I think it’s a 5.4 to one first gear in the trans transmission that’s actually not finalized.

Matt: Yeah, that’s a ZF eight. Hp. Which.

Scott Brady: It is.

Matt: If anybody has heard me geek out on automatic transmissions, that [00:12:00] is the one that’s, that’s trusted from, it’s where Rolls Royce and Bentley agree.

Scott Brady: Yeah, that’s right.

Matt: Let’s.

Scott Brady: So great, great transmission.

Matt: Let’s, let’s talk about that two to five to one thing because there’s gonna be somebody here with a, you know, with a Rubicon or for some scenario, Lower is better. But I actually find like two to five, 2.5 to one. That’s what’s in, you know, the G Wagon for example. I think the Defender’s 2.771 and the LT two 30. Yep. Anything lower than that in, like, you almost end up with too short of gearing.

Scott Brady: Particularly in reverse. That’s where the, if you’ve ever driven a Rubicon Wrangler in the dunes or in the mud Yeah. Or in the snow. Uh, the four to one transfer case is actually a liability and initially, the four to one transfer case are these very low transfer case gears. They, they actually made a ton of sense because you had, these were Toyota Mini trucks and, and land cruisers and, you know, vehicles that either had a four speed automatic with a very tall first gear, or they had a manual transmission and having a four to one with a manual makes [00:13:00] and.

Matt: And they didn’t have the same power curves.

Scott Brady: Like, that’s right.

Matt: You know, it’s not about, It’s not always about how much torque or how much horsepower the vehicle makes. Oftentimes it’s where it makes it, and I think that that’s what’s. Scott Brady: Yeah, absolutely.

Matt: About the engine that they’ve chosen, which is I in North America, we’re just gonna get the B 58, which is the, the gasoline version, but they’re both, From a BMW derivative, B 77 diesel, B 58 petrol, and I wanna say they’re un running their own proprietary simpler Bosch electronic control. They make power so low and they have this flat torque curve.

Scott Brady: And it’s turbo.

Matt: You don’t have to have four to one. Let’s say that you have your pen star in the. In the, in the Rubicon. Well that doesn’t, one, the engine doesn’t really make much torque and it makes all of its torque very high up.

Scott Brady: That’s true.

Matt: Fact, when you take everything in, I think for utility use, yeah.

Scott Brady: Four to one in this application would actually be a negative. Uh, this vehicle has a 50 to one low range with an automatic, which is [00:14:00] absolutely perfect. Yeah. Um, it’s very clear. It, this has nothing to do with the grenadier. This is just in the same way that 50 to one is perfect with an automatic, 75 to one is perfect with a manual closer to a hundred is even better for extreme rock crawling. And it’s the same reason why we want to have a tire diameter that’s twice the wheel diameter. These are basic functionalities of a vehicle. That make them perform exceptionally well in the conditions that we like to travel in. So, 50 to one is ideal with an eight speed automatic, 5.4 to one first gear. It’s plenty low. Um, I did a lot of left foot breaking in the technical terrain on this course. There was no shortage of crawl ratio, both descending and for ascending.

Matt: So, I’m just, I’m just excited about it.

Scott Brady: Yeah, it’s super, it’s super cool.

Matt: I think bmw, like the bmw.

Scott Brady: like, it doesn’t, it shouldn’t even exist in 2023, but somehow.

Matt: I was talking about that.

Scott Brady: Somehow it does.

Matt: It’s, it’s pretty cool on, I think the one area that I’m a little bit skeptical of, they’re the [00:15:00] BMW power plants. BMW has been making straight six engines for a really longtime.

There’s an advantage to an inline motor, I’m not gonna say half the moving components. , but you have one head gasket. You know, you’ve got one set of valves, you have one cam chaff, well, maybe you have two cam chefs, dual overhead cam or whatever.

Scott Brady: But yeah, sure.

Matt: You know, it, it’s simpler. It’s easier to work on. There’s less components to fail. There’s one manifold.

Scott Brady: They tend to run cooler as well.

Matt: Yeah, they’re very smooth.

Scott Brady: Yeah, smooth.

Matt: You know, I, I have confidence in this engine because, You know, magnae, who, as I believe, correct me I’m wrong, was an engineering partner, is a correct term.

Scott Brady: That’s development and engineering partner.

Matt: Yeah. So Magnae was a few things. They’re an engineering company, they’re a manufacturing company on the engineering side. That’s, that’s where in os partnered with them on the manufacturing side and, and I, and I guess the, the engineering side, you know, that’s where the G Wagon came from.

Scott Brady: That’s right.

Matt: Right. Uh uh, back then it wasn’t Magna Stair, Magna was a Haiti company that bought. I think it was Styre Pouch. StyrePouch, yeah. At the [00:16:00] time, I mean, they’ve made everything from the Styre og, the pins goer, the half Langer.

Scott Brady: And the G Wagon.

Matt: Yep, that’s right. The G Wagon. They’re also a contract manufacturer, so this is a service that they offer. They have, again, going back to from an outside perspective, that 10,000 foot view, they’ve really chosen. Kind of the right people to assist them on this. The evoke that we drove in, yeah. Greece was gonna be built at the Magnus stair plant. They’re kind of like this contract manufacturer. That’s good at doing specific models and turning things around very quickly.

Scott Brady: Yeah, right.

Matt: They build the supra well.

Scott Brady: And that was when you mentioned that, that found that to be very interesting. So those that are listening that are Toyota fans, they’re gonna really hang their hat on reliability. Yeah. And. So you have the, the company that designed and built the G Wagon. You have the company that now manufactures the Toyota Supra. And as I understand it, based on the way that you described it, there are a lot of similarities.

Matt: Between that engine. [00:17:00]

Scott Brady: Between the engine in the Grenadier and the engine in the Supra. So Toyota is not going to use a motor that doesn’t have at least.

Matt: And they use the same transmission now.

Scott Brady: Fundamentally.

Matt: I mean, to be fair the Supra is a BMW Z four underneath.

Scott Brady: Yeah, sure.

Matt: Right. Again, what I’m getting at is this is a drive line where I’m starting to get confidence back.

Scott Brady: And it’s been around a while as well.

Matt: Because the problem, as you were saying is the cars have maybe not gotten reliable. We’re we’re, no.

Scott Brady: BMW had some dark ages. I mean, if you look at, I remember reading an article where they were comparing a 20 year old Lexus reliability against a two year old bmw. And it was like the 20 year old Lexus was more reliable by a wide margin. So obviously BMW is trying to address that and if you look at some of their reliability numbers, they are improving. In a lot of ways. I think you make a valid point. You have this vehicle that is very simple, very austere, minimal systems as minimal systems as they [00:18:00] can possibly have that d o T.

Matt: And its, yeah, and, and let’s touch on that too. Like everybody wants, not everybody, but there’s a contingent of people out there that seem to be very vocal, don’t maybe necessarily seem to be new vehicle purchasers, right? Like that’s, that’s something.

Scott Brady: A challenge.

Matt: That I’ve mentioned before is that there’s people who have opinions on new vehicles and there’s people who buy new vehicles. New vehicles have to be manufactured for those that buy them, not those that have opinions on them. It brings, uh, to, to finish off the engine thing.


They’ve worked with that platform before. You know, it’s a tried and true engine gearbox combination. I mean, in 2023, now that we’re in that, you know, the rest of it, the body, the axles, the drive line, the frame, that kind of stuff, that’s not that sophisticated anymore.

Scott Brady: Yeah. This is world, this is intentionally unsophisticated. Which I actually, so this is a body on frame vehicle. How rare is that defined in an suv? It’s got solid front and rear [00:19:00] axles, which is something that we always ask for.

Matt: Yep. And the price point isn’t really that bad.

Scott Brady: No. If you do some comparisons between vehicles, like if you were to compare a 200 series Land Cruiser in the UK to a 200 series Land Cruiser that was sold here in the US. Um, it looks like that this vehicle’s gonna come in, in the high sixties to the high nineties. As a range, uh, maybe even the low sixties. Soif you look at how much cars cost today, yeah, that’s a hell of a deal.

Matt: Well, so you have, I mean, just to branch out into competing vehicles, you have the Wrangler Great vehicle. I had a gladiator. I really, really appreciate them. They have the benefit of huge volume. I mean, they will make.

Scott Brady: Quarter million wranglers a year.

Matt: Yeah, yeah. They’ll, they make, they make huge numbers, so you’re able to get that economy of scale. You know those are anywhere realistically, mid to high thirties to seventies now.Yeah, I mean, we have.

Scott Brady: Oh yeah there’s a hundred thousand dollars wranglers. There’s hundred hundred thousand Wrangler 392[00:20:00]. Yeah.

Matt: Yeah, if you want ’em. And then on the far end of the spectrum of body on frame vehicles, you have the G wagon. Soif you’re gonna try and get a G wagon, the really cool thing, now you can get the professional package. It’s a little bit of a watered down professional package, but realistically, it’s appropriate. What the G five 50 is? I just, I was looking at one. It’s $189,000. Yeah, you’re not.

Scott Brady: If you could get it.

Matt: If you could get it right by the time you build it out and you do the professional pack and you do like maybe a cool color like the.

Scott Brady: The tan.

Matt: Yeah, the tan. Or they do the, the weird blue and you, you have these two opposite ends of the spectrum. I think when you consider that you’re getting an Austrian bill vehicle with German components and all of these key players involved in the 60 to 80 range with a twin turbo inline six and an eight speed, that’s, I’m not saying that it’s not a lot of money.

Scott Brady: Yeah, it’s just [00:21:00] everything is a lot of money in 20, everything’s a lot of money.

Matt: But I, I get this sneaking suspicion with the grenadier that there’s good value for money there.

Scott Brady: I agree.

Matt: Again, like you buy the 392 for 80, $90,000 and then you have to send it. Not you have to, but a lot of people then send it to a V and they get, you know, some nicer. Interior, some different bumper, some different wheels, some suspension, some this, some that. It’s done. I mean, you can get a roof rack, you can get, I mean, everything you, you can literally just spec the vehicle, pretty much get in it, throw a fridge in it, drive around the world when you’re done. Scott Brady: And it’s probably good to kind of compare the grenadier with a wrangler. We have a lot of time in the JL and, and the jk. They actually are quite similar. In fact, the recent, the more recent Jls have actually hada bump in payload as well. So you can get a JL close to 1400 pound payload, five length, front and rear suspension, solid axle body on frame. Yeah, so there’s a lot of similarities [00:22:00]between the two. What you notice most about the grenadier is the available interior space. The overall volume of the interior is significantly higher.

Matt: Because you’re building over the tires.

Scott Brady: That’s right.

Matt: Not building in between them and then adding and the roll. Pretty significant fender flares. Yeah.

Scott Brady: The roll cage of a wrangler just, and it’s got this kind of squatty roofline, which all those things make a wrangler extremely cool.It’s not the take.

Matt: Yeah, for sure.

Scott Brady: It’s literally not to take anything away from a wrangler. When it comes to, I’m going to buy a box and travel with it, the Grenadier is a box that you travel in. It’s literally as square as they could make it. And the interior as a, is as space efficient as they could possibly make it. It has a lot of interior room. It reminds me a lot of, of a one ton station wagon. Um, although it has a little bit more, uh, length on the inside.

Matt: I’m fascinated. I know that from some people I can’t mention, there’s, there’s kind of some OE solutions coming for [00:23:00] campers and pop tops.

Scott Brady: Yeah, that’s right. It’s the after market’s gonna hit it hard. And that’s gonna be the key to the success of the Grenadier, is in the same way that the Wrangler is one of the most qualifi qualified vehicles.

Matt: Maybe I have a differing view. I don’t think that the aftermarket needs to hit it that hard. I could, I could maybe advocate for a little bit larger tire. Maybe a little bit more suspension height for recreational off-roading. But I think the, the beauty of the Grenadier is what do you actually need? Are you just are, are people, you know, just gonna like, throw a bunch of led lights and crap on their Affirm card like they do with wranglers?

Scott Brady: They’re going to, yeah.

Matt: Yeah, they’re going to.

Scott Brady: But it doesn’t, I think they’re missing. It doesn’t, there It doesn’t need it. And I would agree with you. So we drove it on very technical terrain in ua. And the vehicle is on a 32 inch tall tire, the equivalent of uh, 32 by 1150, and it will easily fit a 33. So we kind of have this, it won’t take a 16 inch wheel, which I think there’s gonna be some more evaluation around that, but it doesn’t look like it’ll [00:24:00] take a 16.

Matt: But it’s on a 17, right?

Scott Brady: It is on a 17, which is fine.

Matt: A 17 is the new.

Scott Brady: It’s the new 60.

Matt: If you’re, if you’re thinking about tire availability. We’re talking about a stock Wrangler Rubicon tire. Right? I mean that is like the most, probably the most common off-road tire you can get.

Scott Brady: And it’s a nice balance. A 2 55 80 R 17 will fit on this vehicle with no modification. So that’s a full 33 inch tall. There is absolutely room in the wheel wells for a 35, like a narrow 35. So think of like the 35, 10, 50 Kenda.

Matt: Oh yeah. You have those on your, your GMC project.

Scott Brady: I got on the GMC and I love those tires. It’s a great size. There needs to be a lot more options around that size because it’s perfect. You don’t end up with too wide of a tire so you don’t end up with a lot of loss and efficiency. And it fits in the wheel well nicely cuz it’s the same width as the factory tire. I think that a 35, 10 50 on a 17 inch wheel on a grenadier with about a 50 millimeter lift [00:25:00] is gonna be, is gonna go anywhere you want to go because you’ve got a locking rear differential, a locking center differential, a locking front differential, and a five link suspension. So the rear has a lot of articulation. The front also has a lot of articulation.

Matt: Is it radius armed up front?

Scott Brady: No, it’s not. It’s five link in the front.

Matt: Oh, cool.

Scott Brady: Just like a wrangler. So if you were to compare a defender one 10, an original defender, one 10. To the Grenadier. The Grenadier has a lot more available wheel travel and articulation. The articulation in the front is only limited by the swaybar. If you remove the factor, which we’re not suggesting that people do that, but a lot of people may consider. Removing the front sway bar or putting a front sway bar with a different, with a different, uh, rating on it. There is a lot of available articulation out of the front. Yeah, so it’ll have more articulation than the G wagon in the front. It’ll have more.

Matt: well, That’s not very hard.

Scott Brady: It’ll have more articulation than the G wagon in the rear. It’ll have more articulation than the Defender one 10. The original classic, [00:26:00] it’ll have more articulation than a 80 series Land Cruiser cuz it doesn’t have a radius arm front suspension. It has a five link, so it’s gonna be on par with articulation to a Jeep Jeep Wrangler. More like a Jeep Wrangler jk, there’s, there is a little bit of advantage to the jl through shock length and shock positioning that the Grenadie.

Matt: And I do think that doesn’t have, that the, the Wrangler really, you know, Jeep does a great job of kind of designing for the aftermath.

Scott Brady: Absolutely.

Matt: Um, but they’re different buyers.

Scott Brady: Yeah. Right.

Matt: When I think of the Grenadier, I think of Overlanding 2010. I think when it was more about travel than likes on Instagram. And it was more about.

Scott Brady: Likes or light bars.

Matt: Likes or likes or light bars, and you know, hey, whatever the markets, the markets broadened Because of that, we’ve both done really well. And you know, in disclosure.

Scott Brady: Grateful, grateful.

Matt: Yeah, super grateful. Um, I really think that, I think that there’s gonna be a lot of people that miss the concept of the Grenadier. Because they’re not really aware. I don’t wanna say what real overlanding is, but it’s about [00:27:00] travel. Not conquering trails. Somehow overlanding became Hell’s Revenge in Moab , when that was always, it was already called something. It was called.

Scott Brady: Offroading.

Matt: Offroading. Exactly. I think where I’m so excited about the anti Grenadier and why, I mean, why I put my name in full price, no discounts, whatever I should have, by my estimation, one of the, one of the first. I mean the, the email got sent out at 11. I did know thanks to my buddy Scott. Then, uh, the email I was gonna sent out a certain time. Poit put really excited. I’m gonna do probably the bell staff Trail Master.

Scott Brady: Trail Master. Yep.

Matt: Addition.

Scott Brady: Which is the name of one of the jackets.

Matt: Yeah. Yeah.

Scott Brady: So it’s not to be confused, some people are calling it the Trail Master. It is not the trail, it’s trial. Just flip the.

Matt; Yeah, I, I, uh, I ride trials. Yeah. I got, I got roped into it, um, from my wife’s family where everyone rides, trials, including my mother-in-law.

Scott Brady: That’s awesome.

Matt: So I had no choice. I [00:28:00] was all into adventure bikes, you know, with my buddy Scotty and stuff. And then, you know, those are those big dumb things. That’s, that’s, that’s silly. And my first trial, I thought, you know, I’ve had this Bell staff trial master jacket for a long time. And I’m like, oh, I’m gonna, it’s gonna be so cool. I’m gonna do a trial in it, there’s like three other guys there doing it, thought I was the snowflake here. And, um, I have not lived that down in my family yet. But anyway, I, I’m really excited. I’m probably just gonna go all out on it. Like I, I turnkey, like I love the idea of a turnkey vehicle. With quality components and then, and maybe we’ll drive one like across Africa or something. Never. Or do something Never.

Scott Brady: And fully appropriate.

Matt: Yeah, fully appropriate. Cuz that’s what this, I think this vehicle is about. It’s not about, it seems to be all go and less about the show.

Scott Brady: Oh for sure. It’s basically a box with wheels, which is how overland vehicles were always designed.

Matt: Yeah, exactly.

Scott Brady: And it’s got great approach angle, great departure angle. Good [00:29:00] Breakover. Hundred and 15 inchwheelbase. So it’s right between a Wrangler JL Unlimited and a Land Cruiser. Land Cruiser’s one 12. Yeah. The jls at, uh, almost 118. So.

Matt: And think about the places that you’re actually exploringthese days. You know, in the age of the defender, one 10 or whatever. Yeah. There’s a dream. There’s places you couldn’t go without modifying the vehicle. You know, it’s, the world’s pretty much paved like you’re, you’re looking for trouble. Verging on to justify a vehicle with traction control, huge amounts of low end torque, locking differentials, all of the things that so many vehicles these days Tick the box of. You’re squarely in the realm of recreational off-roading. Which is great. Not disparaging it.

Scott Brady: I like reserve capability. And this vehicle has it.

Matt: Totally. Yeah. This, this vehicle has it, but as we were talking like the route one into Cape Town’s paved now it is, you know, you can, you can drive around the world in nearly anything. Like I’ve been really interested in eccentric stuff, like drive my little 68, 9 11 short wheelbase around the world[00:30:00] or something. Cuz you can do that now.

Scott Brady: Yeah, you totally, yeah.

Matt: Um, so to look at a vehicle like this that has plenty of articulation, all of the traction, aids differentials, et cetera. And 32 inch tires. Like there’s an argument that even that’s overkill for, for some things. Now, if you’re, there’s an argument there. I’m not arguing that.

Scott Brady: Well, and I think, I think the key now why capability matters, in my opinion, Matt, is that there are a lot more people doing it. So like if you were to go to Sedona, And try to find a camp spot. If you have like a standard level of capability, you’re camp next to 22 other people. Matt: Can I start lying to people about campsites being closed in Sedona?

Scott Brady: That I like. That’s what I like about having the additional capabilities you can get further, you further you can get further away, or you can take a more obscure route. Where you feel like you’re on more of an adventure than just on a road trip.

Matt: So I, I should balance things by completely calling myself out, um, because I, I have been the guy with, and I am the guy with very large tires and yeah, all of those things. [00:31:00] So there’s wants and there’s needs and damn it, I want them so you can submit something to our complaint box.

Scott Brady: Yeah, exactly. I like reserve capability. Yeah, I like reserve capacity, which means payload. This vehicle comes in at around 1900 pounds of payload, which is huge. Way more than anything else. You’re gonna find.

Matt: 1900 pounds equipped with a lot of the things you want.

Scott Brady: Yeah, that’s right.

Matt: With steel bumpers that realistically don’t need to be replaced. Snorkel.

Scott Brady: All the things.

Matt: Yeah. Obviously like, and this is with all manufacturers. The final payload is dependent upon the options that are selected. . Which is, which is maybe something that people think is a mistake as they’ll see, oh, Ford Ranger or Jeep Gladiator has 1600 pounds. Well, that’s sport. With manual windows and this and that.

Scott Brady: Manual transmission.

Matt: And whatever, to have a reasonably well equipped vehicle with that amount of payload, uh, you know, it’s cool. I mean, to be fair, the defender also the new defender, It does phenomenal payload.

Scott Brady: It does absolutely.

Matt: Um, and is very capable off-road.

Scott Brady: It’s complex. So the thing that I think a lot of people [00:32:00] like about the Grenadier is it’s boxy as simple as you can make a vehicle in 2023.

Matt: I like the little barn doors.

Scott Brady: Yep. The little barn doors are awesome. These are some of my takeaways from driving the vehicle. So, In the technical terrain, you’ve got very low head toss, which also speaks to tuning of the suspension.

Matt: Tuning and low center gravity.

Scott Brady: That’s right. And it also has not only long travel, but good articulation overall. So the hood stays really flat. There’s a couple things that I noticed that throttle modulation is good, but it’s a little aggressive on tip in. But this, again, this is, this can be something that they will change by the time.

Matt: People love that.

Scott Brady: They do. That is, that is definitely a consumer preference, so it may not change. But you attenuate that by using braking.

Matt: Modern, yeah. Modern cars, you basically just, you put the throttle down 10% and then it just, yeah. Shifts through the gears and goes.

Scott Brady: Exactly. Little bit more throttle response on tippinhas become much more common, but [00:33:00] that is present in the grenadier. So you’re kind of missing that really long throttle travel that you would get from a classic Land Rover. Which is always something I really appreciated about the vehicle. Same with a, with a G wagon under left foot braking. You can attenuate all of that. So I think that throttle modulation throughout the range is quite good.

Brake modulation is excellent. It’s not too grabby like we experienced that with the defender. It was, the brakes are a little grabby. Um, they’re a lot more sensitive on the initial application. Whereas the Grenadier very smooth brake application really allows for left foot braking. The tractioncontrol system works quite well. In fact, I really didn’t need a locker for any of it, but the locker settles the vehicle down and it also reduces trail impact. We were on trails that were intentionally meant to be.

Matt: Private property.

Scott Brady: Yeah, that’s right. Off-road course. So when you’re driving regular trails, you always want to engage four wheel drive and engage lockers is appropriate to minimize trail damage, but um, the lockers turn on and off really [00:34:00]easy. It’s right on the overhead console. Big fat switches. You could do it with a gloved hand. Super easy. It does have an off-road mode that you can go into. It changes some screens and changes some of the algorithms around the traction control. The traction control is a little less effective under left foot braking, so hopefully that’s something that they address. Uh, the tractioncontrol and off-road mode should not be reduced in effectiveness, under left foot braking. So you want to, to stay the same, uh, like an a track or something like that, that you’d see on Toyota. What I noticed when I was driving it at kind of modern, uh, moderate to higher speeds on the dirt. Was that you notice a little bit of that payload, so it’s a little firmer in the rear suspension, which again, there’s a reason to do. Matt: The only way you’re gonna get rid of that, that’s is airbags.

Scott Brady: Yeah. Or you just load it up with your gear and then it’s going to drive great. For those that are driving one unloaded, it’s going to be a little firmer in the rear, but there’s a reason for, that’s how you get the payload. These are iBoxSprings Progressive [00:35:00] rate. They’ve done everything that they can to address that, but it’s the nature of. Like if you hop into a 3,500 ram, the ride quality in the rear is gonna be a little firm because it’s meant to carry a bunch of stuff. Uh, just be aware of that when you drive the vehicle, it’s not an issue. It’s actually intentional. So a little bit firmer in the rear. Uh, I thought that steering was surprisingly direct for a solid axle. You know, a lot of you don’t want it to.

Matt: Circulating ball I suppose.

Scott Brady: Yeah, that’s right. It is. And you don’t want it to be too direct because it leads to a lot of driver fatigue. This isn’t a sports car, so we’re not trying to be super precise in the way that the steering responds. So I thought it was a nicely weighted steering and I thought that the, it was appropriately direct it, it didn’t feel vague. Like older Land cruisers in the seventiesseries, pretty vague. Uh, this is less vague, uh, but just the rightamount.

Matt: So I think the two areas, you know, we’ve sung the praises of the vehicle, how we want it to succeed. Let’s get into the dirty . We have [00:36:00] to, right? We have, we have to be balanced. So the things that really concern me are to get off the bat, the build quality, right? I haven’t experienced it, but whenever a new car company comes onto the scene, regardless of, you know, the, the engineering consultants and suppliers andwhatever. There are divisions at STIs that work on switch gear and, you know, noise, vibration, harshness and, and all of these things. H how did you feel the build quality of the vehicle was?And then after that, I wanna, I do wanna dwell a little bit on the, the service network of it. Um, cuz I know, again, to compare it to a Jeep or even a Land Rover. There, there, there’s a, there’s a dealer network. There’s currently zero announced dealers from what I’m aware of. With any os Yeah.

Scott Brady: We can talk about the things that I know about both of those things. I did ask the question, uh, they had some in OSpersonnel there that were related to after sales and. Some of the[00:37:00] systems, and I asked that question, the way that I look around build quality is that it’s built in a Mercedes plant. Soit was a prior Mercedes plant in Hoach France, designed by Magna Tyre, and it’s also very simple. So as far as my experience driving the vehicle, I had very little of that kind of plastic squeakiness going on. I didn’t have any rattles. Very little of the plastic squeakiness going on.

Matt: Not, not that you can’t get that with a major company. I mean, I think Fords do that for me as you know, like every little edge has a, has a mold seam line or whatever. Yeah. I think that’s cost cutting.

Scott Brady: But I think that the vehicle has an advantage around it being very simple. And I think the fact that it’s made in a Mercedes, a prior Mercedes plant, they use a lot of the same employees designed by Magne Steyer. I think those are things that help it to come across as build quality. It’s also not intended to be a a cheap vehicle, so, They are building it for a, a more affluent [00:38:00] consumer.

Matt: So I am, I am so surprised that they don’t have a Mercedes engine in it. There are increasing ties between in the OSS and Mercedes, whether that’s through their sailing efforts. They’re both, you know, supporters of the Mercedes Amg F1 team. Well, you, it was cool to see Louis Hamilton driving one of these things.

Scott Brady: Absolutely.

Matt: Which I thought was maybe a little bit of a conflict, but Mercedes was okay with it.

Scott Brady: I think it was great. Well, and maybe you know the answer to this. Does Mercedes have a program like that where they sell their engines out to other manufacturers?

Matt: They, they do. The best known example of it probably would be Aston Martin.

Scott Brady: Oh, okay.

Matt: So they have a, the same engine that’s in the E 63 S wagon that I lent you.

Scott Brady: It’s insane.

Matt: Which is.

Scott Brady: It’s insane. It makes no sense. Yeah. It’s literally insane.

Matt: If you get a chance to drive an E 63 s wagon, It’s insane. And did you launch it though?

I don’t think you launched it.

Scott Brady: No. I I mean, it’s your car, so I like, but I, no, but it doesn’t mean I didn’t get on.

Matt: But it’s under warranty. I mean, you I know.

Scott Brady: It was insane. It’s so crazy. It was insane.

Matt: Anyway, but it’s the same motor. It’s, it’s [00:39:00] their four liter bi Turbo. It’s kind of a hot V Yeah. Style. So they farm that engine out to a lot of people.

Scott Brady: I can see why it’s unbelievable. I thought it was like, this thing is so fast. And then I realized that there’s like a whole nother stage of the accelerator that I never had gotten into. And then it was like, blah , you know? Anyway, if I had any hair, it would’ve been.

Matt: I’m just, Curious to see like with, with these increasing ties between those two companies and, and the things that they sponsor. Especially when you have a company like any os and I think that this is an interesting thing to talk about is where the company’s gonna go. Because it doesn’t have to report to shareholders. Like that’s the thing is, that’s right. Any OS is one of the largest. Privately owned companies in the world.

Scott Brady: Yeah, that’s right.

Matt: I think it’s the largest privately owned company in the United Kingdom. Correct me if I’m wrong, could be wrong. But take Jeep, part of the STIs group, which is now, you know, Fiat, uh, Puja conglomerate, publicly traded. Land Rover publicly traded, all of these companies had their.

Scott Brady: His Land Rover publicly traded?

Matt: Through Tata. Yeah.

Scott Brady: Oh, I didn’t know if Tata was [00:40:00] privately held. No. Um, a Tata family.

Matt: I’m not sure what stock exchange you’re listed on, but.

Scott Brady: Yeah, sure.

Matt: I believe that they’re public. The cool thing here is it’s a vision of one person.

Scott Brady: Oh yeah, for sure.

Matt: There’s one person driving it. There’s one person that’s gonna use it. There’s, well, there’s many people are gonna use it, but there’s the guy at the top. Is motivated for it to be successful. Cause it’s in essence a, I don’t want to call it a passion project cuz that is like something you do when you open a coffee shop. But yeah, the point being that they don’t really have anybody else to answer to aside from one guy. Obviously he wants to be profitable. What, what happens next for this vehicle? You know, cuz where it’s at now.

Scott Brady: Yeah. I mean, I’d love to see a crew cab truck version.

Matt: What happens when Rubicon of this comes out?

Scott Brady: Yeah. I mean.

Matt: their SVR version of this.

Scott Brady: They’re likely gonna do that. I, I mean, I don’t know. I have no information to that extent. But why not? Why wouldn’t you?

Matt: Why wouldn’t you?

Scott Brady: Have a more. an even more capable variant of that, and I think people will be looking for it. I think that they’re going to, they’re gonna be very surprised by how high the[00:41:00] ticket price can be of this vehicle with the right packages. But I also am really grateful the fact that you can buy us like a stock standard one still. Yeah. With, without a lot of options because it, that’ll also take you around the world. I drove most of the course without putting the lockers on. And the times that I did was just to test their capabilities. So you’re gonna be able to go anywhere you want, even without the locker version. Uh, but as far as the, the build quality, my initial impressions were quite good. And it’s because it is very simple. Like the, the, again, the seats, no electronics in the seats, the dash. Like there’s actually no gauge pod other than this very small, little like vestige warning pod that’s in front of the driver. The only thing on the dash is this screen that ha, it’s in the center and it shows all the things. So there’s just not much to go wrong. I do suspect, like I think about my G Wagon after 30 something years. There were, there were some squeaks and rattles, but not many. Yeah, and I think it’ll probably be similar to that. The dealer network is the big [00:42:00] unknown. And it’s gonna be really importantthat they get that right. It’s gonna be important that they get the experience right. When someone has a problem that they’re taking care of. I think you can get away with a smaller dealer network if you take care of people when there’s a problem.

Matt: My fear is that it’s gonna, it’s gonna be like a lotus now Lotus.

Scott Brady: So major cities and that’s it.

Matt: Lotus makes some fascinating cars, but they’re after sales support. It’s that usually like the The used exotic car dealershipin some city. And they happened to pick up Lotus cuz it was like, Hey, do you wanna be a Lotus dealer? Yeah. Cool. Cost five bucks. Here you go. I do hope that there are some brick and mortar. Any os places down the road that.

Scott Brady: That is the plan is for them to have a full brick and mortar dealer network with service.

Matt: And are, I read somewhere BMW dealers might be able to service.

Scott Brady: They’re gonna be high on the, on the list of not only being a dealer, but also being able to service. But I think the most important thing when we think about driving this around the world, anybody who’s driven around the [00:43:00]world sees these little Bosch service centers everywhere.

Matt: Little spark plug.

Scott Brady: That’s right. Sign. Exactly. So think about Sir Jim Ratcliffe, right? This guy’s gonna want to drive his own car around the world. He’s gonna be thinking about that problem too. And that’s why they worked with this, you know, Bosch network. So the one thing that’s very encouraging as far as a travel vehicle is. You know, there are Bosch service centers all through the Americas. They’re all through Africa. You see them everywhere in Eastern Europe. If you can get to a Bosch service center, they’re gonna be able to figure out a way to provide you with some support. So it actually makes it one of the largest service networks.

Matt: And again, if, if the vehicle is. Simplistic in its design. And there’s nothing, I mean, oftentimes you have to take a modern vehicle to a dealer because there’s proprietary software, technology, servicing equipment, et cetera, that comes along with it. Some modern vehicles, you literally can’t replace a battery without like having the [00:44:00] $10,000. Well, usually it’s a Bosch computer to, to tell the com you know, what’s going on. You know, hopefully they. Made those silly mistakes.

Scott Brady: Yeah. It’s, you know, time’s gonna tell. I, I think that based upon everything I can see and the people that they have involved, I think we’re gonna be, we’re not gonna be looking at Land Cruiser reliability. We’re also not gonna be looking at Land Rover reliability. I think it’s gonna be kind of in the middle of the road. And it’s gonna be.

Matt: I’ll take it.

Scott Brady: And it’s gonna be simple enough. We’ll see. Yeah, I mean it is really too early to know. It would be purely speculation on my part. There are some concerns that people have voiced around the bmw drivetrain, uh, but it does seem that if you look at the reliability numbers for BMW in the last couple years, they’ve gone the other direction in a positive way.

Matt: And that being said, generally their motors are great. It’s just everything else around them.

Scott Brady: Exactly. That seems to, yeah. I did a lot of research on this motor and there is not, Like there’s examples of them going hundreds of thousands of miles. It’s literally, [00:45:00]there’s not like some, there’s some concerns around like the early vanos systems and stuff, but Yeah. But that has a lot of, that’s been addressed, so it’s really, yeah.

Matt: I mean, a lot of that was pioneering technology that is now relatively commonplace, so. Scott Brady: That’s right. Yeah. Yeah, I would agree. You know, and then when you think about it as an overland vehicle, the one thing that I noticed was the rear seats when they fold down. They don’t, the whole floor isn’t flat, so you end up.

Matt: Death for dog people.

Scott Brady: Uh, well when they flip forward, the floor is flat.

Matt: But then how does your dog put his head on the center console and you give him?

Scott Brady: Yeah, so I think that someone’s gonna need to come up with like a low profile drawer system that ends up with this perfectly flat floor back there. Cause you gotta be able to sleep in these things. It is long enough to sleep in, which is really important. It has a pretty high roof line, so you end up, you know, being able to kind of sleep inside the vehicle. So that’s something that I, that I like. Um, it, you know, it’s gonna have an auxiliary battery option from the factory, which is kind of cool. And the batteries [00:46:00] are underneath the passenger seats in the second row, so they’re very low and.

Matt: Centralized Mass.

Scott Brady: Yeah. Centralized. So that’s kind of cool. So I think, I think we’re gonna be pretty pleased with this thing under. under most circumstances, you know, it’s not gonna be as capable as a Wrangler, but it’s gonna be pretty close.

Matt: Cool. Well, I can’t wait to drive it. Hopefully we do some, stupid things and.

Scott Brady: I’ll, I’m sure that’ll happen soon. I’m, look, I think we’re going to have some announcements here soon that we can share. So, cool. Thanks Matt.

Matt: Yeah.

Scott Brady: We gotta riff on Grenadier. I mean, imagine, I mean, think about it. It is 2023 and we just got to talk about a new car company that’s introducing a body on framed solid axle, four wheel drive, you know.

Matt: Which is like.

Scott Brady: It’s like we would’ve never imagined.

Matt: I think if you’re in the position to support it, it probably makes sense to at least give it a try. Right? Yeah. I mean, how many of us have sat around a campfire and said, I wish somebody would make a vehicle like this. Nobody gets it. They’re not offering this. Well now somebody is. Scott Brady: Yep. Um, and the worst thing that can happen [00:47:00] is people don’t step up to support it. If you don’t, if you don’t support your local new restaurant, they close. If you don’t support exactly the company that’s actually making the car you’ve been screaming about for the last 20 years. Um, and we’re not telling people obviously, to go buy new vehicles, but it’s just more like if you have Yeah.

Matt: Stay within your means and, and yeah.

Scott Brady: Stay within your means for you. If we don’t support people who are doing cool stuff, then, you know, we don’t get, we don’t get cool toys.

Matt: Yeah, exactly.

Scott Brady: Awesome.

Matt: Cool.

Scott Brady: Thanks man.

Matt: Until next time.

Scott Brady: Yeah. And then we’ve got a, a full article on Expedition Portal on the first drive of the Grenadier. We also have on YouTube a first drive video that shows a lot of the off-road performance that we just talked. So check those out on the expedition portal, YouTube channel, and until next time, we’ll talk to you.