"I'm genuinely enjoying driving this car."
He may be used to tearing around a track at breakneck speeds, but Sir Lewis Hamilton is just as comfortable tackling tough terrains as he is driving a Formula 1 car. In a new promotional video for Ineos, the 37-year-old takes the new Grenadier for a spin.
Ineos chairman Sir Jim Ratcliffe joined the seven-time world champion as he gave the off-roader a shakedown, both off- and on-road. "I'm genuinely enjoying driving this car," remarked Hamilton. "It's very comfortable considering some of the huge dips we were driving down… I was pretty much flat-out around the course. I'm massively surprised at how much grip there is."
The Grenadier was designed to be a formidable off-roading machine, much like the old Land Rover Defender. But, unlike its spiritual predecessor, the Ineos exhibits remarkable on-road comfort and refinement.
"The Grenadier was designed to be good off-road, but we didn't know it was going to be as good as it is on the road. I can definitely say I don't think anyone has ever driven it like Lewis drove it," added Sir Ratcliffe.
In the video above, Hamilton can be seen hustling the top-heavy Grenadier through the bends with gusto. Surprisingly, the large SUV takes everything in its stride and performs admirably.
Then again, this brief shakedown is nothing compared to what the Grenadier has already been through. Ineos has sent the off-roader to the toughest corners on earth and has racked up 1.1 million miles in Death Valley, the Arctic Circle, and the treacherous dunes in the Middle East.
The Grenadier may sport a rugged and old-school design, but there's nothing archaic about its mechanical components. Under the hood, you'll find a straight-six BMW engine (offered in gas or diesel) mated to a slick-shifting, ZF-sourced automatic transmission.
Ineos is also considering the introduction of an all-electric Grenadier, but that remains to be seen.
American customers can already place an order for their Grenadier, with three variants to choose from. The base model weighs in at $59,600 while the Trailmaster and Fieldmaster both retail for $67,376. The company is taking a considered approach when it comes to choosing partner retailers.
Aside from a six-figure investment, dealerships will have to show they can provide a worthwhile experience to Ineos customers.
"Our reservation holders have told us they want to be part of something. They want to meet with like-minded people. They don't just want to go on a coffee run but a full weekend or week's worth of expedition. Potential dealers will understand that and be presenting great ideas for that," said the company's Greg Clark.