Ineos has been promising to make a dual-cab pickup version of the Grenadier 4×4 wagon since launch, and these spy shots show the development is nearing its end.
These images, posted on the Ineos Grenadier Owners Group forum, were taken in Austria near Ineos’s development partner Magna.
Its tub is distinctive with circular tail lights, branded stamping in the sculpted tailgate, and extensive bar work. A spare all-terrain tyre sits in the tub but we’d imagine the production model’s will be mounted beneath the vehicle.
Launch timing is not confirmed, but this test prototype looks pretty close to ready. Australia, as a major launch market for Ineos and a place in love with utes, will almost certainly be an early recipient.
Engine plans aren’t known, but you’d expect them to carry over from the wagon: meaning BMW-supplied 3.0-litre twin-turbo diesel and petrol inline-sixes.
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 Grenadier SUVS 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 SUV has a 3.5-tonne braked towing capacity which should apply to the ute.
In said SUV there are heavy-duty Carraro beam axles at each end, paired to five-link coil suspension supplied by Eibach. It’s unknown if Ineos will switch to leaf springs at the rear for the ute or keep the coils, perhaps with two-stages on compression.
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.
Ineos Automotive Australia is a factory-backed operation rather than an independent licensed distributor. The company is headed here by Justin Hocevar, who previously ran Mini Australia and Renault Australia, and was a senior executive at Jaguar Land Rover and BMW Motorrad.
Production Grenadiers are going to be built at an old 210,000 square-metre Mercedes-Benz (Smart) plant in Hambach, France, since purchased by Ineos. Since 2019 the plant has received a claimed $770 million AUD in upgrades, funded by both Mercedes-Benz and Ineos.
As we reported last November, Grenadier wagon prices controversially jumped by up to 14.8 per cent or $13,000, with the company saying it had to pass on spiking energy, materials and transport costs.
The price of entry for a Grenadier SUV is now $97,000 before on-road costs for the two-seat Utility Wagon, with the five-seat Station Wagon starting at $98,000. The pickup’s price point is thereby likely to sit in the same ballpark.