The new Ineos Grenadier four-wheel drive hasn’t properly touched down in Australia yet, but it’s already in demand with more than 1000 orders held.
Anyone who orders a Grenadier now won’t have their car built until July 2023, which means it’s unlikely to arrive Down Under until October 2023.
Customer deliveries kick off in Australia late in 2022, although the bulk of orders will start rolling out from early in 2023. Order books opened in May this year.
Ineos has previously said Australia and New Zealand are among the biggest markets for the Grenadier worldwide based on reservations.
He didn’t confirm exactly how many of those reservations (a refundable $800 commitment) have turned into formal orders ($5000 deposit), but Ineos APAC region boss Justin Hocevar told CarExpert the company is “deeply satisfied by that conversion rate”.
“We lose a few people along the way, but the drop-off rate is tiny,” Mr Hocevar said.
“These are people who still haven’t driven a finished product, but they’re big believers in it. Now it’s incumbent upon us to deliver on a product that delivers on their expectations,” he said.
Mr Hocevar has previously said he’d be happy with 1000 sales in the Grenadier’s first year on sale, but confirmed the current order bank goes beyond that figure.
He’s forecasting the order bank will jump again when demonstrators are rolled out and reservation holders are able to drive the car. Around 80 per cent of orders have been for the BMW-supplied 3.0-litre turbo-diesel engine, rather than the inline-six petrol.
“We’ve got a lot of other reservation holders that are sitting and waiting to test drive the vehicle as well, quite understandably. They’ve backed it enough with a reservation fee, but before they go to a full order they want to experience it for themselves,” he said.
There’s also been “early engagement” with fleets, some of which see the Grenadier as a purpose-built four-wheel drive that “is going to suit their use cases” in market with limited choice.
The Grenadier is the brainchild of Sir Jim Ratcliffe, the British billionaire engineer and chairman of multinational petrochemical giant Ineos. No expense has been spared on his passion project.
The official story says Ratcliffe was hanging out in London’s Grenadier pub in 2017, bemoaning Land Rover’s decision to kill the old Defender and replace it with the more modern and luxurious new SUV model.
Australia is considered internally to be a “core launch market” for the ladder-frame, rigid axle Grenadier alongside Europe, the US and South Africa, meaning locals get the sort of priority access to vehicles many brands would crave
Production Grenadiers are going to be built at a 210,000 square-metre ex-Mercedes-Benz plant in Hambach, France, that has since been purchased by Ineos. Since 2019 the plant has received a claimed $770 million in upgrades, funded by both Mercedes-Benz and Ineos.
The bespoke development vehicles were built by Magna in Austria, and underwent a widely covered torture-testing program.
Two body styles are being offered in Australia at launch. The Grenadier Utility Wagon is a two-seater with a full-height crash barrier and flat floor that can handle a standard 1200mm x 800mm Euro pallet. The Station Wagon is a five-seater.
Power comes from two 3.0-litre inline-six cylinder engines sourced from BMW. The petrol makes 210kW of power and 450Nm of torque, while the diesel makes 183kW and 550Nm.
Both engines come mated to a ZF eight-speed automatic transmission (codenamed 8HP51 for the petrol, 8HP76 for the diesel), with what Ineos calls a new “heavy duty” torque converter.
All Grenadiers come standard with permanent four-wheel drive (4WD), with low-range accessed through a 2.5:1 Tremec two-speed transfer case.
Matching the class-leaders, the Grenadier will also have a 3.5-tonne braked towing capacity.
Ground clearance is listed as 264mm, wading depth 800mm, approach angle 36.3 degrees, break over 28.2 degrees, and departure angle 36.1 degrees. Powder-coated skid plates and a fuel-tank plate are standard.
There’s no haggling, with Ineos using an ‘agency model’ with set pricing.
The company will control inventory and pricing, and pay dealer partners with a “straight-forward commission”, much in the style of Mercedes-Benz and Honda.
A deposit payment of $5000 (refundable until the vehicle contract is signed) secures a build slot.
Grenadier Utility Wagon (two-seat)
- 2023 Ineos Grenadier Base petrol and diesel: $84,500
- 2023 Ineos Grenadier Trailmaster petrol and diesel: $95,495
- 2023 Ineos Grenadier Fieldmaster petrol and diesel: $95,495
Grenadier Station Wagon (five-seat)
- 2023 Ineos Grenadier Base petrol and diesel: $85,500
- 2023 Ineos Grenadier Trailmaster petrol and diesel: $96,495
- 2023 Ineos Grenadier Fieldmaster petrol and diesel: $96,495
All prices exclude on-road costs.
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