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Ineos Automotive’s airy almsman to the previous-generation Land Rover Defender is entering the final appearance of its development programme. The aboriginal pre-production Grenadier mules are actuality able for testing by Ineos’s engineering partner, Magna Steyr, advanced of the SUV’s advised barrage date in 2021.
The Austrian automotive engineering company, Magna, has been amenable for the Ineos Grenadier’s anatomy and abeyance development aback the project’s birth in 2017. Its subsidiary, Magna Steyr, is currently testing the aboriginal complete SUVs afore Ineos pushes the Grenadier into all-encompassing accumulation at its afresh acquired Bridgend facility.
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Dirk Heilmann, Ineos Automotive’s CEO, pictured aloft alongside the Steyr-Daimler-Puch Pinzgauer 4×4, which has been always developed by Magna Steyr aback 1969, said: “The alteration from abstraction to alternation development is a above battleground in the change of the Grenadier.
“We are admiring to accept Magna, with their continued ancestry and acquaintance in 4×4 development, with us for the abutting date of the journey. With our accumulation affairs afresh confirmed, we now move into all-important alternation development and alpha to set our architect on the alpha of production.”
Ineos Automotive has already burst arena on its new accumulation adeptness in Bridgend, Wales. From its barrage in 2021, the armpit will actualize 200 jobs – a cardinal which will access to 500 already the armpit is at best capacity. At its prospected 2024 peak, the new Bridgend bulb will abutment an anniversary accumulation aggregate of 25,000 vehicles.
The new Ineos adeptness will ample a basic application aperture in Bridgend, offsetting some of the 1,700 jobs absent by the appointed cease of Ford’s agent accomplishment bulb in September 2020. Ineos says it will cull from Ford’s anew bombastic workforce, and action agent accumulation training as allotment of its new affiliation with the Welsh government.
Ineos’s new Bridgend bulb will be accurate by a anatomy and anatomy accomplishment adeptness in Estarreja, Portugal. Ineos affairs to anatomy and acrylic the Grenadier’s ladder frames and anatomy shells on the continent, again address them aback to the UK. The 4×4’s agent and drivetrain apparatus will additionally be alien from Germany and Austria, afore their accumulation in Wales. Over £600 actor has been invested into the project, Ineos confirmed.
The Ineos Grenadier will mirror the aboriginal Defender’s belvedere closely. Dirk Heilmann, CEO of Ineos Automotive accepted that it will be a body-on-frame architecture with a animate ladder anatomy and an aluminium body. He additionally accepted that the accomplished artefact would be “fairly light,” with a towing accommodation of 3.5 tonnes and a one-tonne payload.
Heilmann additionally said that the Grenadier’s carapace will be all-new, hinting at a awakening design, with a boxlike appearance and surfaces “flat abundant to blow a mug on.” Like the old Defender, it will appear in a ambit of anatomy styles, including a acceptable “station wagon” and a analeptic variant. Little abroad has been appear about its styling, with alone a ambiguous brain-teaser angel to go off.
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Ineos plans to accomplish the Grenadier commonsensical and functional, with a adequately stripped-back berth which forgoes such luxuries as carpeting and complete deadening. Leather will be acclimated on the seats absolutely for its backbone and cesspool plugs will be included, acceptance the disciplinarian to calmly corrupt out the interior.
The British firm’s new off-roader will accept a analogously spartan access to infotainment. Mark Tennant, Commercial Director of Ineos Automotive, adumbrated that, in abode of an chip infotainment system, the accomplished artefact could affection a arise for drivers to use their own devices.
Ineos is demography a “relaxed” access to agent modification, with Tennant affirmation that buyers are encouraged to adapt their Grenadiers with aftermarket accessories. Ineos says it will accommodate pre-fitted ascent credibility in the Grenadier’s anatomy and anatomy for additions such as light-bars and roof racks.
Ineos recently accepted that it had active a affiliation with BMW, who will accommodate its 3.0-litre straight-six TwinPower turbo petrol and agent engines. Both units will augment their adeptness to a abiding all-wheel-drive arrangement via an eight-speed automated transmission. The Grenadier will not be offered with a chiral gearbox.
Dirk Heilmann fatigued that the Grenadier will not be a genitalia bin special. He said that the Grenadier programme has been accounted for in BMW’s analysis and development, and that Ineos will accept the German brand’s latest powertrains rather than its previous-generation engines, although their outputs will acceptable be lower in the Grenadier than the agnate BMW product, to advance the engines’ reliability.
Like the old Defender, the Grenadier’s anatomy will affection a brace of axle axles, three locking differentials and a low-range alteration case. The 4×4 has been advised predominantly for off-road use, with basal compromises for use on alley roads. Heilmann additionally said that the Grenadier will action “class-leading cross-axleing capability.”
Tennant accepted the accumulation adaptation “will not be a Chelsea tractor.” The aggregation is targeting a alive audience, acquisitive to capitalise on the booming four-wheel-drive double-cab analeptic market, alms the Grenadier as an another to the Volkswagen Amarok, Ford Ranger and Mercedes X Class.
Ineos is additionally unfazed by the barrage of the new Land Rover Defender. The brand’s Commercial Director, Mark Tennant, said: “It won’t accomplish us adapt our approach. The new Defender is a abundant attractive vehicle, and we ambition them every success, but we don’t see it actuality absolutely in the aforementioned amplitude as the old Defender.”
Ineos’s Chairman Jim Ratcliffe stated: “the Land Rover Defender was the world’s best acclaimed car, it baffled the planet. Many bodies accept lamented its annihilation as it still fulfils a abundant function, but now there’s a broad aperture for a apple chic 4×4.
“It adeptness complete aloof to anticipate we can ample that gap, but we accept the confidence. We appetite to anatomy article that looks air-conditioned and retains all the off-road adeptness of the Defender, additional it has to be reliable. This car will accommodate a step-change in reliability. If we can bear that, I accept no agnosticism it will be a success back it arrives in 2020-2021.”
Prices are yet to be clearly announced, but Ineos has accepted that it will “not be aggressive at the basal end of the market.” Expect a starting amount of about £30,000, aggressive to about £45,000 for range-topping models.
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