While the Ineos Grenadier is being introduced to many worldwide markets, a second model line is already in the works with the agenda being to go all-electric with the smaller 4×4 model. Contrary to some earlier rumours, the Grenadier will not have an EV version as instead the automotive company is betting on hydrogen fuel cells and testing for that will begin from the end of this year.
The smaller electric 4×4 meanwhile would be built on an entirely new platform and will not share any underpinnings with the Grenadier. That is crucial since a bespoke EV architecture helps save weight and also comes in handy in the design aspect along with maximising interior space.
Just like the new Land Rover Defender, there could be three and five-door versions of the new 4×4 in the pipeline. As confirmed by Group CEO and chairman, Sir Jim Ratcliffe, the new model will still adhere to the core product values of being a rugged 4×4 workhorse. Until now, it has been tricky for car-makers to engineer hardcore off-roaders with an electric powertrain due to the complexities arising out of managing the off-road aspect and the range plus the weight of the battery pack. Ineos hopes to find a right balance between finding the right amount of range also meeting cost targets.
“What we’re also looking at quite carefully at the moment is a smaller version of the Grenadier – electric,” Ratcliffe said in an interview. “We need to embrace the future, which clearly, in an urban environment, is going to be electric – but even in a country environment, if you’re a farmer, you probably will have an electric vehicle you can drive around on tracks and things like that. So you want one that’s capable, but it’s electric. I think that’s our vision at the moment.”
Despite being electric, the new model would be expected to be a lot cheaper than the flagship Grenadier and also be the key driver for sales in global markets. While BMW powertrains are currently seen in the Grenadier, we can maybe expect some EV technology in the smaller Ineos to be also borrowed from the German luxury car-maker.
We will get more clarity around the expected launch timelines and further details soon but suffice to say, Ineos is clearly wanting to be a mainstream premium SUV brand to take on the likes of Land Rover.