Earlier this week, we talked about the preparations for the mass production of the Grenadier frame SUV at the plant of the British company Ineos Automotive in French Ambach, and now it became known about the preparation of new modifications of the Grenadier, which had not been reported before.
Ineos Grenadier is already well known to our readers: it is a frame SUV with solid axles, designed based on the classic Land Rover Defender with the participation of the Austrian company Magna Steyr (its plant in Graz produces the Mercedes-Benz G-class, and the genes of this car are also visible in the Grenadier) . The development, which lasted more than three years, was completed, pre-orders began in September last year, and the start of mass production in Ambach is scheduled for July this year. At first, 5-door SUVs in passenger and commercial versions, with gasoline and diesel inline 6-cylinder BMW engines, will roll off the assembly line. Next year, it is planned to master the production of the Grenadier pickup truck with a two-row cab.
In October last year, Ineos Automotive announced a hydrogen-powered version of the Grenadier and even showed off a prototype powered by Hyundai’s electrochemical generator. Field tests of the hydrogen machine will begin at the end of 2022. According to Automotive News Europe, citing Ineos Automotive commercial director Mark Tennant, along with the hydrogen version, the traditional electric, that is, the battery version of the Grenadier, will also be tested at the end of the year.
Tennant acknowledges that a battery with an acceptable capacity will add about a ton to the weight of an SUV, but the company is counting on progress in battery development and the ability to reduce their weight in the future.
Ineos Automotive CEO Dirk Heilmann adds that in the long run, the Grenadier’s hydrogen power plant will prove to be more advantageous, as it does not increase the mass of the car, and refueling with hydrogen takes a matter of minutes. Nevertheless, the battery version is also needed, requests for it from customers are constantly received and it is possible to start production of the battery version much earlier than the hydrogen one. In addition, the battery version will allow Ineos Automotive to increase the production of SUVs for the European market without the risk of running into a carbon fine. If only versions with internal combustion engines are produced, then in Europe it is possible to sell no more than 10 thousand passenger SUVs per year and no more than 22 thousand commercial ones, over these volumes there is an annual fine.
Heilmann said that the serial hydrogen version of the Grenadier would not see the light of day until 2027, and it is not a fact that Hyundai will supply the components for its power plant – the British will look for the most suitable solutions in terms of price and performance. The battery version will hit the market much earlier, but Ineos Automotive executives are not yet ready to give an exact date.
It is curious that along with the electric version, a short-wheelbase, 3-door Grenadier may appear. In combination with an internal combustion engine, a short-wheelbase version is impossible for layout reasons: the 8-speed hydromechanical ZF “automatic” that comes with the BMW engines is too large; cross-axle differential – completely original). There will be no gimbals on the battery version, so you can safely “cut” the base. However, it is possible that for versions with internal combustion engines, the company will find a way out of the layout impasse and, as a result, will offer the three-door desired by many.