Grenadier, the automotive start-up aiming to produce an off-road vehicle in the spirit of the original Land Rover Defender, recently held its second Q&A session. Executive Vice President of Ineos Automotive Americas, Greg Clark, fielded questions from the public, covering issues such as timing, driving events, and vehicle specifics. Mr. Clark also talked about the company’s recent global media drive, which saw the Grenadier being tested in challenging on and off-road situations in Scotland.
Mr. Clark started the Q&A session by addressing the announcement in late 2023 that shifted the timing for details such as pricing and ordering from Q1 to Q2 2023, and he assured the public that more information would be provided in the coming months. Apparently, the most requested information was when members of the public could drive the Grenadier for themselves, to which Mr. Clark responded that the global driving tour had already kicked off and would be touring eighteen different stops around the USA and Canada, giving reservation holders specifically the opportunity to test drive the vehicle before anyone else.
Although the vehicles are still prototypes and not fully production-ready, Mr. Clark wanted to seize the opportunity to visit as many places as possible around the US and Canada to give as many people as possible a chance to get behind the wheel.
Mr. Clark noted that many folks have asked about the Grenadier’s on-road drivability and on-road manners, and he was pleased to see that this was picked up by almost all publications. The level of refinement of the Grenadier was also a key feature that was reportedly praised. He said that it was partly due to the powertrain and the refinement that the great powertrain delivers, but it was also due to the easy calibration of the vehicle, which allowed drivers to point the Grenadier very precisely in the direction they wanted to go.
The session also addressed the Grenadier station wagon and the plans to release it. Mr. Clark stated that the automaker was proud of the vehicle and noted that a pickup truck was also in the works. He said there had been questions about whether Grenadier would bring a short wheelbase or a soft top to the market, but they were outside their plans. However, Grenadier does have plans for a battery-electric vehicle that will be released in 2026.
Hydrogen was another topic of interest, and Mr. Clark stated that Grenadier was committed to it. However, he was evident in his stance that infrastructure would be leading this topic.
The session continued with Tom Barker, a Grenadier’s UK product management team member, answering more detailed product questions. For instance, for rust prevention, the ladder frame chassis of the vehicle is coated with powder and cavity wax preparation, which ensures maximum protection against rust. Furthermore, the Grenadier’s raised air intake prevents dust from entering the engine and will come with a cyclone accessory. The auxiliary battery is mounted on the right-hand side of the vehicle and will feature a standard US connection.
Mr. Barker confirmed that all the fasteners in the Grenadier would be metric, great news for us Anglophiles! However, the automaker has no plans to offer an auxiliary gas tank at the moment, although it has not ruled out the possibility of doing so in the future. In terms of paint options, Ineos Automotive is happy with the gas black on its steel wheels, but other options may become available, and the automaker will not offer body paint protection as an option, as it believes customers should decide what kind of film and paint protection they want.
The Grenadier’s front bumper will be made of steel for the US market, and it will be shorter than the plastic bumper used for right-hand drive models. Ineos Automotive is proud to be partnered with BMW for the transmission of the Grenadier and has no plans to replace it anytime soon. Finally, Ineos Automotive does not recommend removing the rear seats of the Grenadier, as that is where the sentry battery unit is stored. However, the rear bench can be folded forward to create a space of five feet and ten inches, which could be suitable for sleeping in the back of the vehicle. Perhaps a rooftop tent will be offered at launch, a question we might have asked.
While the Ineos Automotive team has provided some interesting details about the Grenadier, which was expected to launch in 2022, what we all really want to know is when we will see them on the roads and trails of North America. It appears the answer to that question is Quarter Two, 2023.
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