For those with a love of adventure travel, there are few new vehicles that elicit the sense of exploration like the Grenadier. Its space efficient shape, solid axles, metric ton payload (2,200 pounds), and triple locking differentials all serve to reinforce its built for purpose ethos. However, we have not seen the Grenadier out in the wild, overlanding and proving its mettle in the remote corners of the globe. We did receive news of early prototype overland testing in Namibia (with Sir Ratcliffe behind the wheel), but there has been few images in the wild. We were fortunate to get first access to the Ineos Grenadier overland testing in the Western Sahara of Morocco.
First Ineos Grenadier Overland Test in Morocco
Having spent considerable time in the Western Sahara, including traveling in the same areas as the Grenadier testing, it is notable to see them so far afield, particularly at this stage of development. While many of the vehicle attributes and performance characteristics can be programmed and modeled in the engineering offices, they still must be validated in the field, gauging the effectiveness of the transmission tuning, throttle mapping, traction control and stability control systems, and chassis dynamics. Driving in the dunes and deserts during this first Ineos Grenadier overland test also stresses the cooling systems, and subjects the suspension to many miles of corrugations.
In our time spent in person with the Grenadier, it was immediately apparent that the chassis was designed with durability and the overlander in mind, comparable to G-Wagen underpinnings, but with better suspension articulation due to the multi-link suspension and long-travel progressive Eibach coil springs.
Morocco also gave the engineering and validation teams the opportunity to test the Grenadier at speed, in both the dunes and on the rocky tracks near Erfoud. These conditions are punishing, and I remember the number of race-prepped competition vehicles that did not survive those tracks when I raced the Outback Challenge in that region. It is a proper test!
There is also something special about seeing a caravan of Grenadier moving across remote terrain, all optimized in their simplicity, their purpose. It is also worth noting that several of the test units are wearing different tires from different manufactures. There are BFGoodrich ATs clearly visible, as well as a set of Bridgestone ATs, and possibly a set of Continentals. Tire technology has advanced considerably in recent years, and conditions like these rocky tracks in Morocco will quickly reveal tires with chipping and chunking issues.
Walking with the Wounded Grenadier
This first Ineos Grenadier overland test also showcases the new Walking with the Wounded Grenadier, complete with a Front Runner roof rack, BFGoodrich Tires, and a factory snorkel. I was fortunate to help assist Walking with the Wounded and interact with their team during my crossing of Antarctica with Expeditions 7, and was so impressed by the quality of the organization. Walking with the Wounded provides support and opportunities for veterans around the world.
The Next Adventure with Ineos
As the world continues to open its borders and the Grenadier gets closer to production, we will start to see even more testing of this exciting new model. These tests will provide important insights to the Ineos team, and also give us clues to what we might expect when we are finally able to shift the Grenadier into low range, lock the differentials, and find out how it performs for ourselves.
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