The boutique brand is getting ready to hit mainstream brands where it hurts.
Ineos Automotive has announced plans to introduce an all-electric off-roader that will arrive in 2026, reports Autocar.
Founder Sir Jim Ratcliffe established the brand and promptly introduced the Grenadier, a talented off-roading vehicle that captures the spirit of the old Land Rover Defender. The upcoming model will be smaller than the Grenadier and underpinned by a new, in-house developed platform.
Not much is known about the newcomer, but Sir Ratcliffe is targeting a range of 249 miles. These aren't just claims, as the engineering process is well underway. The exterior styling is reportedly near completion, and so is platform development.
"It will be smaller than Grenadier and have its own character, but it will still look like a younger brother - the family resemblance will be there," added Sir Ratcliffe.
"Because it's electric, it will inevitably carry a bit of a weight penalty, but my expectation is that it will still have the range and capability of the Grenadier. We aren't going to compromise," he added.
Chief operating officer Hans-Peter Pessler (formerly of Magna-Steyr) remarked that the company considered partnering with another automaker to share technology but said the targeted off-road capabilities meant it wasn't possible.
"If we want to be honest about going into this off-road niche and ensuring that all of our vehicles have the level of capability we believe makes them authentic, then we have to go our own way," he said.
The Grenadier gains motivation from BMW-supplied inline-six engines.
Pessler also said the Ineos-developed platform would be scalable, suggesting the arrival of even more models. He noted that there is no room for in-board motors or high-tech vectoring systems, as Ineos vehicles need to be easy to maintain in the middle of nowhere.
Ineos is expected to sign the concept off by the end of 2023. From there, the niche automaker can begin the rigorous testing program, which includes a spirited jaunt on the unforgiving Schockl pass in Austria. This is the same place Mercedes-Benz goes when the G-Class off-roader needs to be evaluated.
As per the report, Sir Ratcliffe has said every Ineos vehicle needs to be able to tackle the brutal trail more times than any of its rivals.
The more compact battery-powered SUV isn't the only new model that Ineos has planned. A more luxurious vehicle will also join the lineup. It's expected to be a thoroughly reworked, more refined version of the Grenadier and not an entirely new model.
The more sophisticated variant will likely sacrifice some of the Grenadier's off-road talents for more civilized on-road traits. This will be aimed squarely at the aforementioned G-Class and perhaps even the new Defender, too.
Despite the team's immense expertise, Pessler has said it's essential that the company grows slowly. Aside from developing new models, the automaker has also said it will introduce annual updates to the Grenadier, giving the engineering team more to deal with. "It's easy to bring in the expertise, but it is the culture I need to focus on most," he added.
Scaling up at a steady pace is the key to success, as Land Rover will tell you. As the SUV craze swept across the world in the late '90s, the automaker introduced a slew of new models like the Freelander. This rapid expansion and increased production led to quality problems and future woes.
The company has a hydrogen-powered prototype of the Grenadier. "Fuel-cell electric vehicle for us is the right zero-emission option ... but because of the infrastructure problems, we can't make a full bet on fuel-cell until we have more confidence that people can fill it up," said the company's Mark Tennant.
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