Lincolnshire farmers get first look at new 4×4
20th December 2021
The Ineos Grenadier is completely new, but borrows many aspects of its appearance from the traditional and popular Land Rover Defender. Designed as a true on- and off-road multi-purpose vehicle, it is attracting a lot of interest from farmers. David Williams attended a preview.
The Grenadier has permanent 4wd, front, centre and rear locking differentials, a two-speed mechanical transfer box, and power from BMW engines driving through a ZF eight-speed automatic transmission to Carraro axles, so much of the technology is from brands already well respected by farmers.
The shape and size are similar to previous generation long-wheelbase Land Rover Defenders, but every component is new. The 4mm box-section chassis is treated inside and out to prevent corrosion, and the body is galvanised steel with aluminium doors.
The interior is designed for comfort and practicality and the seats were designed specially by Recaro, and are available in leather, stain and water-resistant fabric, or vinyl. The flooring is carpet or rubber, with drain valves allowing the interior to
be cleaned using a hose.
Controls are arranged logically in groups on the centre console, dashboard and in the roof panel, and are wide-spaced for operation by wet or gloved hands. A wide range of accessories will be available and the Grenadier comes with everything pre-wired so that the main looms and switches remain sealed, for long-term reliability and convenience.
The engines are BMW 6-cyl, 3.0-litre petrol or diesel. The diesel option is 230hp with a massive 550Nm of torque and the petrol version delivers 265hp and 450Nm of torque.
A gross vehicle weight of 7.0t includes 2.5t unladen weight, a 1.0t payload and 3.5t towing capacity.
The rear load area is accessed through vertical hinged doors which open wide making it easy to load and unload. There is space for a pallet on the floor. The doors are unequal size with a 30/70 split, and the small door opens first making it easy to load smaller items where there is restricted room behind the vehicle.
The Grenadier will come in standard and commercial formats, and it is likely that a pick-up version with a double cab will be added later.
Potential customers can register interest and achieve priority delivery by placing a fully refundable deposit now, with formal orders being taken from spring this year, and deliveries due from early autumn.
One of the first UK agents is Chandlers (Farm Equipment) Ltd, which holds the Fendt, Massey Ferguson and Valtra franchises for an area from Lincolnshire across the Midlands to Wiltshire. Chandlers already holds the Ssangyong pick-up franchise.
“We see it as a completely different product to our Ssangyong vehicles, and the two will complement each other well,” explained Chandlers managing director Gavin Pell. “The Grenadier is ideally suited to the needs of many of our customers and we believe the five-seat commercial model will be most popular, as it is practical and offers significant tax advantages.
“It’s a true off-road vehicle with the advantage over a pick-up that loads in the rear are completely protected. We believe it will appeal to both arable and livestock farmers, contractors, machinery dealers, engineers, gamekeepers, foresters and estate owners. It’s very stylish and comfortable, and the range of accessories means it can be equipped for any situation.”
Gavin said he has been excited about the Grenadier since hearing about the design project more than two years ago. “We are delighted to have been appointed as the agent for Lincolnshire at our Belton and Horncastle depots, and we will be running demonstration vehicles and providing service, parts and warranty support for customers while Ineos sells the vehicles direct,” he added. “We are already planning an off-road event for April – and the number of customers who have expressed an interest confirms our belief that demand will be high.
“The prototype was displayed on our stand at the Midland Machinery Show and there were queues of people keen to inspect it. Our November open days were also very well attended.”
Features suit application
Ineos product specialist Aktar Matin said the Grenadier was designed without compromise. “We didn’t want complex systems such as air suspension, but we also didn’t want the slow reaction of leaf springs, so coil springs are used all around instead,” he stressed. “The controls are all splashproof for practicality and we use mechanical knobs and switches for the main systems rather than touch-screens as they are easier to operate. For those needing a dependable and capable off-road and towing vehicle which can also carry passengers in comfort we believe we will offer the best solution.”
Prices start at £48,000.
Nottinghamshire-based contractor David Whyley, trading as DJ Whyley, attended the Belton depot Grenadier event. David’s main contracting activities are hedge cutting for farmers and local authorities and he also specialises in grassland and paddock maintenance, operating from a base at Langar. “I was keen to see the Grenadier as it sounded good, but having had the opportunity to inspect it in the flesh, it‘s even better than I had hoped,” he said. “I enrolled in the Ineos research programme early on in the development, and features I consider essential such as high and low transmission ranges and 3.5t towing capacity are standard.
“I need a vehicle which can tow a large machinery trailer, and there is currently limited choice apart from pick-up trucks. The Grenadier seems rugged, it’s built on a proper chassis, it has a decent transmission and is made for off-road use, and it’s the sort of vehicle that can be pulled out by a tractor if it does become stuck, without having to worry that it will bend.”