Don’t be fooled. This isn't an old Land Rover Defender with a body kit.
This is the Ineos Grenadier, and as much as it looks like the original Defender, the retro-styled SUV you see here is in fact built by up and coming UK-brand Ineos Automotive.
There is no doubt that the design of the Grenadier is heavily inspired by the original Defender. It features a very similary boxy style to the old Land Rover model paired with round headlights upfront and small circular taillights at the rear. The Grenadier even has a bubble roof and a raised hood, which were signature styling cues of the old Defender. Similarly, the rear of the SUV features barn-style doors instead of the now more popular tailgate. This allows the Grenadier SUV to carry larger or longer items more easily.
Even though the design is undoubtedly inspired by one of Land Rover’s most iconic vehicles, that’s where the similarity ends. Ineos says the Grenadier is built brand new from the ground up. It rides on an all-new platform, making it very original. For now, there are no details about the powertrain just yet. However, the twin exhaust should be an indication that the Grenadier will pack some power under the hood.
Similar to the powertrain, there are no photos of the Grenadier’s interior just yet. But based on the exterior design, expect it to have a retro-themed with function over form in mind. Who knows, it might even be styled similar to the old Defender as well.
“The brief was simple. We set out to design a modern, functional and highly capable 4x4 vehicle with utility at its core. A design that is ‘easy-to-read’, with no ambiguity about the Grenadier’s role in life. There to do everything you need, and nothing you don’t. Nothing is for show. Modern engineering and production techniques ensure the Grenadier is highly capable, but we have been able to stay true to the essence of creating a utilitarian vehicle that will stand the test of time,” said Toby Ecuyer, Head of Design.
Interestingly enough, Ineos design chief Ecuyer is known more for designing yachts than automobiles.
For now, the Grenadier is still in the prototype stage. Ineos will soon be taking their test vehicles on- and off-road for a year-long development program. Their goal is to accumulate a total of 1.8 million kilometers of testing to see which areas of the vehicle can be improved.
Ineos has not announced an official release date for the Grenadier just yet as testing is still on-going. We bet, however, die-hard fans of the older model will be lining up to buy one as soon as reservations are available. Will Defender loyalists flock to this more faithful interpretation rather than the rounder, softer Defender from Land Rover?