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Thoughts and Musings on the Ineos Grenadier

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3 minutes ago, Gazzar said:

All the more reason.

Which would you prefer to arrive at the pearly gates in? A Toyota Yaris, or an Ineos defender?

That is, if you can't cope with a series.

Well you see I have a carbon neutral Defender but if I had to change it would be the Ineos

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16 minutes ago, mmgemini said:

Well you see I have a carbon neutral Defender but if I had to change it would be the Ineos

That's all right then. If the defender departs, you know what you must do.

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2 minutes ago, Gazzar said:

That's all right then. If the defender departs, you know what you must do.

What worries me is the Defender could depart second

 

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Just now, mmgemini said:

What worries me is the Defender could depart second

 

Ah. Difficult, that. I've gone on a very reluctant health drive to postpone that type of problem as much as I can.

I hope it's worth it.

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I saw Ineos reply to a question on social media about price - saying it would be competitive with utility vehicles, I wonder what bracket that is ?  Will it be the pickups ? 

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Posted (edited)

I'm not sold on the looks. For me it is at odds with the rest of the development effort. This is how obvious it must be for school teachers when one student copies another. It appears to be rooted in teddy being thrown out the pram when they were told they couldn't continue manufacturing the defender.

I love the results of inside out design work, where everything is designed around a set of key objectives and the form takes up a sort of abstract beauty. Case in question F1 cars. Designed to excel in aerodynamics protect the driver.

I'd be very surprised if they can honestly say they took the key requirements of serviceable, durable, drives well off and on road, wastes no more fuel than needed, and they realised the design solution set was so narrow in scope it was unavoidable to look like a defender. To me this feels like we'll get the best axle, chassis, running gear, but can't spare the resource to give the body the same effort.

Don't get me wrong, I admire the effort and the end result but the body just feels like unfinished work/missed opertunity.

 

 

 

Edited by WesBrooks
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Do you not think part of their brief was in effect to modernise the Defender ?  I don’t think they would make it look like much else when that’s what Jim Radcliffe likes.

 

I like it - but there again I like the Defender! 

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On 7/2/2020 at 1:32 PM, elbekko said:

In this article: https://www.autocar.co.uk/car-news/new-cars/ineos-grenadier-2021

They mention £40k starting.

Hmm - a Hi Lux is £26k start I think - so I was kind of thinking they’d aim to get it into the 30’s so there wasn’t such a big gap between basic utility choices now. 🤷🏻‍♂️

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Article in the Times apparently talked about a £35k start price. I haven't seen it but a friend mentioned it. Don't forget, there will be the 20% discount for those who can fiddle a commercial vehicle through the books and then convert it to a normal car for normal uses.... (is the 26k for the pickup plus VAT?). 

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@Anderzander; copying another car is of little interest to me. What interested me about this this project was the presented persuit of excellence in building a no compromise utility offroader.

If the visuals were so clearly comprimised by a 'make me a defender' brief then I wonder how much of the rest of the car was fixed at the start, rather than clean sheet, make the best for this budget brief. I strongly suspect ladder chassis and live axle were part of the 'make a defender' brief.

You've read my previous message a little differently than I intended. I don't dislike the defender. I wouldn't be here if that was the case. But I was hoping this was going to be a little more than what it is. As far as I have seen so far there is nothing new, no innovation. This is acceptable and may stand it in good change of being capable, but it's facing very severe competition to be the best at anything without heavy comprise (relative to competition) in oposing areas.

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2 hours ago, WesBrooks said:

I'm not sold on the looks. For me it is at odds with the rest of the development effort. This is how obvious it must be for school teachers when one student copies another. It appears to be rooted in teddy being thrown out the pram when they were told they couldn't continue manufacturing the defender.

I love the results of inside out design work, where everything is designed around a set of key objectives and the form takes up a sort of abstract beauty. Case in question F1 cars. Designed to excel in aerodynamics protect the driver.

I'd be very surprised if they can honestly say they took the key requirements of serviceable, durable, drives well off and on road, wastes no more fuel than needed, and they realised the design solution set was so narrow in scope it was unavoidable to look like a defender. To me this feels like we'll get the best axle, chassis, running gear, but can't spare the resource to give the body the same effort.

Don't get me wrong, I admire the effort and the end result but the body just feels like unfinished work/missed opertunity.

I almost couldn't agree with you less!  Apart from " It appears to be rooted in teddy being thrown out the pram when they were told they (wouldn't) continue manufacturing the defender."  Well, duh, there's never been a secret that that is the motivation.

I'm sure they gave the body design a huge amount of thought.  You can either go for lots of curves, curved glass, high-speed aerodynamics etc. or you can choose, like they did (and Mitsubishi, Austin, Jeep, Toymota, Datsun/Nissan, Mercedes and a host of others when they built practical off-roaders) to have a shape which is more functional at lower speed in tough conditions.  That Grenadier body has clever folds to keep the flat-looking panels strong and light, big, flat glass for good visibility and a very practical box shape to get the maximum interior space for a given size (quite unlike the new Defender with its massively thick sides and roof).  Time will tell how well that Grenadier design really is but history suggests it will work.

Besides, isn't it more imaginative than the host of near-identical bulbous cars with tiny windows, which a heap of manufacturers put out as "suburban utility vehicles"??  Honestly, the designs are so unimaginative that you have to read the badge on most of them to see who made them!

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1 hour ago, reb78 said:

Article in the Times apparently talked about a £35k start price. I haven't seen it but a friend mentioned it. Don't forget, there will be the 20% discount for those who can fiddle a commercial vehicle through the books and then convert it to a normal car for normal uses.... (is the 26k for the pickup plus VAT?). 

Yes - you’re right : £26k exc VAT. So that’s £31,200

So at that price it would be spot on in the right place. 

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Wes, I think the old Defender did everything so well that they didn't really need to innovate, as deep has so eloquently explained.

What it didn't do so well was have a more appropriately powerful powerplant, keep the occupants warm and dry and resolve electrolytic corrosion issues.

Hopefully their innovation has been focused in these areas.

Mo

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I have not said the Grenadier as a vehicle is bad. Ironically it is essentially a high budget version of what my - and many other peoples - home build aspires to. I haven't even said I wanted to see more curves.

There are plenty of ways you can do a boxey version of a jacked up estate/ or pickup and not end up with a defender clone. Jeep, Jimny, Hummer, Gwagon, range rover classic, tesla... All of those have their own feel and flavour.

Yes it is the vehicle that would have far better satisfied the fan from this forum as a defender mk2. The design work was just too restrained make the best it could have, but that would have been a far more expensive exersize.

 

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@WesBrooks

along with apeing the Defender I also see old Landcruiser and Gwagen in the looks of the Grenadier , I definitely don’t see a purely Defender clone . 

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14 hours ago, WesBrooks said:

I have not said the Grenadier as a vehicle is bad. Ironically it is essentially a high budget version of what my - and many other peoples - home build aspires to. I haven't even said I wanted to see more curves.

There are plenty of ways you can do a boxey version of a jacked up estate/ or pickup and not end up with a defender clone. Jeep, Jimny, Hummer, Gwagon, range rover classic, tesla... All of those have their own feel and flavour.

Yes it is the vehicle that would have far better satisfied the fan from this forum as a defender mk2. The design work was just too restrained make the best it could have, but that would have been a far more expensive exersize.

 

What do you think they should have done differently?  I am curious, especially as you have pursued your assertion that the design was too restrained.  Also a bit confused, as the Jimny, GWagon and Range Rover classic you refer to are right in the same mould as the Grenadier, in terms of styling.

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It's just my gut reaction to it. I mean no offence by it.

What they should done differently is a near impossible question to answer, as I would be directly contradicting myself. I like an overall project that has been designed inside out without unnecessary aesthetic constraints. That way you get the most capable vehicle.

Fair enough there may well be hints from other vehicles but overall there are masses of visual cues from the defender.

Entering a new mark and model into the market is a risky endeavour and they have clearly appeased the stakeholders by targeting a captive, discarded market by giving them something that looks and feels familiar. Fair enough.

Ironically for a group such as us the comments that have developed the most heated discussion are based on aesthetics. Personally I liked the defender for what it was capable of, and it's serviceability, not what it looks like. My comments are merely flagging the over constraint in the design phase.

Items that show over constraint? How about windscreen rake? It's steep. A shallower angle and shorter bonnet would have resulted in lower fuel use, more resistant to stone chips, and less likely to smash with a bush or tree strike. Also what about driver position? We're not making a racer here, so why not move the drivers forward, heading more towards a cross between a forward controls and people carrier? Grants either more cabin space or loading space for the same wheelbase.

Anyhow, that is enough from me on that.

 

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Frankly you can't  please everyone  all the time. No matter what the final body design they came up with there would be those who it clicked with and those that it wouldn't.

The market will decide either way. 

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Wes, appreciate your point of view.

I too like the idea of a semi-FC style setup, however it always makes maintenance more difficult, so I guess goes against the grain with the ethos of the Grenadier. Having to remove a scuttle panel to do any work on an engine is a royal pain in the backside.

Personally, I'd like to see a more prominent feature of the bonnet, with lower front wings, actually more like a jeep, than a land rover, as it makes engine bay access far easier from a reach perspective, and the better visibility -there's no real need for the high corner wings on a defender, is there?

But, these things are slightly immaterial, as a package it is likely to work well.

 

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Fair point, a pitch forward cab with that still had the option of a passenger area and sealed well would have been a challenge worthy of the gifted! 🙂

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A shallower take to the screen would have made it more difficult to get the engine in and out if the back cylinder or two were under. I’d love to see a forward control too, but you’d have to lift the cab upwards considerably to get any space, which I think would have an impact on the CofG. 

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19 hours ago, Anderzander said:

This is quite a good read: 

https://www.coventrytelegraph.net/news/motoring/motoring-news/ineos-grenadier-what-experts-think-18538959.amp

Two ex Land Rover staff reaction to the Grenadier. A chief Engineer who loves it and a former PR executive who doesn’t (and reads a bit like a fan boy to me 🤷🏻‍♂️ ).

Dr Charles Tennant was the former chief engineer at Land Rover and has held a number of senior roles in industry and academia. 

Quote

“When I first heard about the Ineos Grenadier project I thought wow that’s brave – setting up a brand new car company was never going to be an easy task – being fraught with problems such as getting the product proposition wrong and underestimating the financial risks involved.

“Just ask the British inventor and vacuum cleaner tycoon Sir James Dyson, who recently shelved his plans for a premium electric car after spending £500 million of his own money, then failed to take it forward as a viable business proposition.

“But the billionaire petrochemical supremo Sir Jim Ratcliffe is a life-long Land Rover fan and when Land Rover stopped producing their iconic Defender in 2016 he immediately saw a gap in the market for a stripped back, no-nonsense, rugged utilitarian 4x4 vehicle.

"Especially as it was more than likely that Land Rover’s own replacement was to get what I call the Range Rover treatment – taking the Defender upmarket as a more expensive stylish urban road warrior loaded with expensive options and accessories.

“When Land Rover rejected his offer to buy up the old Defender tooling Sir Jim simply set up Project Grenadier (named after his favourite London pub) to create his own purpose designed ‘spiritual successor’ to the Defender investing over a billion euros of his own money.

“This rankled Land Rover as they immediately tried to trademark the design silhouette of the Defender shape, but this was rejected by the Intellectual Property Office who said the Defender was not sufficiently distinctive from other 4x4s.

“And now the Grenadier has been revealed I definitely had a feeling of déjà vu and can immediately see why Land Rover have long had the collywobbles over the prospect of Ineos parking tanks on their lawn. 

“Land Rover have designed their Defender with a modernised boxy silhouette, which admittedly makes their car somewhat recognisable as a Defender, but the Grenadier actually mirrors the old Defender to the extent that you could easily put a Land Rover badge on it.

“Furthermore whereas Land Rover have completely re-engineered their Defender concept to a monocoque body structure with independent front and rear suspension, the Grenadier has a more traditional old school body-on-frame structure with solid beam axles front and rear.

Target customers in mind

“These technical engineering decisions by both companies have been taken with their target customers in mind. With Land Rover going after young affluent fun-seeking individuals to couples and self-employed adventurers and families with an active lifestyle who hanker after more refined on road behaviour rather than pure rugged off-road capability.

“But the Grenadier is specifically aimed at farmers, utility companies, explorers, and off-road enthusiasts all over the world who require a no-nonsense uncompromising vehicle with minimum fuss and hose out interiors. You could say Land Rover's former customers whom they appear to have now happily ditched.

“With the Grenadier the result is a simple, well-proportioned and familiar-looking off-roader with straight sides, a clamshell bonnet rising above flat-topped front wings, a steep, fairly flat windscreen and a flat roof with rain gutters running all the way around.

“Being similar in size to the Mercedes-Benz G Wagon at a length of 4,700mm, width of 1,800mm, height of 1,900mm height, weight of 2.6 tonnes and a very useful towing capacity of 3.5 tonnes.

“Furthermore Ineos have taken a pragmatic approach to their rigorous engineering programme hiring over 200 of the world’s best expert engineers who were assembled in Stuttgart, Germany to carry out the detailed design, and with every engineering decision based solely on utility – function over form – it has developed into a purposeful vehicle without any fussy electronic features, often seen on more recent premium luxury vehicles.

“Also they are sensibly utilising the expert services of Austrian engineering services company Magna Steyr to complete the series development phase - including an impressive 1.8m km of reliability testing.

“Regarding the major systems they’re using proven state-of-the-art 3 litre 6 cylinder BMW engines (petrol and diesel) and 8 speed auto transmissions with three locking differentials from ZF.

“The Grenadier is aimed at a price point of £30,000 to £45,000 so it will undercut Land Rover’s own Defender by quite a margin, and initial production volumes of 25,000 to 30,000 are planned (from late 2021) from a brand new factory at Bridgend in Wales, making it British built unlike the Defender which is being built at Nitra in Slovakia.

“I am convinced that the Grenadier will achieve its stated utility and off-road objectives, as it is using a well proven concept that kept Land Rover ahead of the pack for decades.

“However, I would not expect the on-road driving experience to be as refined as the new Land Rover Defender, but then the Grenadier is not aiming for that anyway.

“But with its modern engineering and development methodology it should be very acceptable on-road for the utility orientated customer.

“And if the Grenadier can deliver class leading quality and reliability, it may steal an edge over Land Rover’s Achilles heel.

“It is understood that Land Rover have only 11,000 committed orders so far for its Defender, so it will be interesting to see whether the British-built Grenadier can be a serious competitor to the Defender when it is launched.

“And Ineos already has its eye on the future with a hi-tech fuel cell that uses hydrogen in a chemical reaction – rather than batteries - to generate electric power, no doubt supplying hydrogen gas created as a bi-product from their own petrochemical business to fuel them.”

 

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