Ineos Grenadier first look, Hanging Rock Victoria, Australia.

Ineos Grenadier as configured on their website. I’ve added 17” alloys, Safari Roof, contrasting roof colour, leather seats, rubber floor, Napa leather drivers trim and a picnic table.

Hanging Rock Winery, Victoria – Ineos Grenadier Prototype VS-2B 004, up close photos, Tuesday 9th November, 2021.

Ineos has kicked off it’s prototype tour around Australia, with a huge amount of expectation and anticipation from the local 4WD community. I managed to get in ahead of the journalists and the general public, because I live down the road in Woodend and a good mate knows the winery owners/staff who were hosting the previews.

Wasn’t able to get a drive, as its in test status, nor a peak under the bonnet, but was exceptionally pleased to get inside, climb onboard, get a feel for it. Had a good chat to various of the Ineos & event staff, including Tom Smith who gave us a terrific overview of the vehicle.

First impressions:

  • Fit for purpose. It’s a prototype, so rough around the edges, but the underlying design intent is clear and evident to see. I loved it!
  • Against my 2019 Toyota Prado was that its slightly smaller physical size exterior wise, less boofy looking. It’s got a really nice in person presence and design aesthetic.
  • Amazingly quiet engine wise. It cruised up the hill, just purring, doing a reconnaissance of the Hanging Rock mud tracks for the journalists today, with no fuss or commotion. That’s what seriously impressed me.
  • Interior is really, really roomy, huge head clearance, even with the Safari roof. I’m 178cm tall and there was a good 25cm above my head (easily) when seated. Back seat space is palatial for 3 adults to sit comfortably, with loads of leg room.
  • Visibility all around from the drivers position is absolutely outstanding.
  • Recaro’s were worn in, used and as snug and fitting as my Mini Cooper daily driver. Can’t wait to spec leather.
  • Finish is utilitarian, however you can see where they are headed.
  • Interior switch gear scaling, clarity and common sense layout is a blessed relief to the austere layouts you see in modern cars.
  • Check the side shots of the doors, anchor points, aviation fitting brackets. I’ve taken some weird angled shots of things like wiper blade wells, anchor fixings etc. The car is weathered, and been tested and used.

Can’t wait for the production models to land.

Comments on photos.

Well sorted press oriented displays, speaking to the history and progress of Ineos to date, since inception at the Grenadier Pub in 2018.
I liked the idea of this board, seeking customer/journalist sentiment and feedback. The day I was there, there was only really 4 of us, plus the winery staff & Ineos staff, so feedback was a bit more direct and personal.
This photo doesn’t do justice to the solid feel and general all around “put together well” nature of the 2 rear doors, the ladder and the hinges, bumper etc. Everything felt production level sorted, when opening/closing. Was great to experience.
There’s a lot going on here with the bash plates, undercarriage clearances and suspension setup. The dual tail pipes was a surprise. Alot of space devoted underneath to exhaust pipes, catalytic converters and mufflers/baffles etc. Nice touch with the mud flaps embossed already.
Rear tail light LED cluster was precise in fitment, clarity and visibility.
You get a real sense just how close to the corner the rear wheel is to minimise the entry/exit angles and maximise approach/exit clearance.
Bonnet seal had a solid rubber gasket, that was fitted neatly. Would have been a treat to look under, but alas, was not to be the case. Plastic formwork on the wheel fairing and over the steel bumper bar rail was very good quality, solid. Steel Wheels look great in person.

Note snorkel snaking up drivers door side. I had a lapse and didn’t get a good angle of it. Too excited.
Front light setup, with the driving head lamps flanked by the spots was really nice and modular in its setup. The panel fit and finish, whilst not Lexus gap quality, was bloody good for a Prototype. It was explained to us that the bumper bar shown here is a plastic faring covering a full steel bumper, which can be removed and ready for aftermarket parts/kit out. There’s hoop variant being designed to be released as factory option. The inclusion of the steel bumper will be a good spring board for the aftermarket guys to leverage off.
Undercarriage has seen some action, meaning they’re pushing it. Design of the air dam and bash plates will be redone to help shed mud and not act as a big scoop.
Driving lights and centre grill mounted spot lights.
Rear overhang is minimal.
This photos is deceptive in how much room there actually is to climb in and and out of the vehicle and how sorted the design actually is. No banging of the knees, visibility all around is superb and the driving position is spot on. As someone noted before, the clearance under the seat is large. The mounting blocks may reduce in size in production, meaning space to store/mount stuff underneath is a potential. With this being a prototype, I was under the impression the mounting blocks for the seats had multiple anchor points in them to allow for fine tuning placement of the seats pre production. Recaro’s were super comfortable (as you’d expect). Steering wheel size was really nice balance of width, heft and scale. Horn is LOUD in a German/BMW kind of way. Secondary horn wasn’t functional.

Note snorkel. Was too excited and lapsed in not getting a photo of it properly. My bad.
What struck me sitting here touching the switch gear is how user friendly it was, purely because of size and clarity. Everything was just a bit larger and built a bit more with purpose.
The steering wheel was a standout, better than my Mini Cooper, which is my daily driver. Comfortable and switchgear was excellent. The lack of an instrument binacle in front of you, really contributes to the airy feel of the visibility.
Seat heating. My posterior is happy to see this option for cold Woodend winters.
This grab handle just wanted to be grasped. It was milled aluminium that had a lovely solidity to it, mounted in the dashboard. There’s a lot of plastic, but I was under the impression it is prototype oriented, to be removed quickly for access into the dashboard to work on electrics and the like. It was apparent there were clips all along and that it had been removed and replaced countless times as testing progressed.
Safari Roof’s can be removed so you can stand up and do some spot lighting. Head clearance was outstanding. I’m 178 cm tall and I had a good 25cm above my head.
I felt like the Last Starfighter looking up at this array. Formwork of roof lining materials and interfaces to the consoles was all good quality and well sorted.
The BMW issue tiller for the transmission was a bit incongruous next to the milled aluminium billet for the low range transfer. I gotta say I prefer the aluminium!
This touch screen reminded me of an iPad that was half swallowed by the dashboard. I think it rises up when the car is in motion, which is as bit disappointing for me in one sense – more electrical gadgets to potentially break. I appreciate that safety systems (ABS, Airbags, pre collision sensors etc), emissions control, and sensors for things like monitoring and telemetry all require a certain amount of electrics, however I’m personally a less is more kind of driver.
Absolutely Massive door pockets, that could easily fit a handbag, first aid kits, 1.25L softdrink bottle. Door sill was really comfortable to rest your arm on with the doors closed. And nice and wide.
Nice width doors, and a proper sill to rest your arm on. The door pockets are enormous.
Loads of leg room in the rear. Unlike the Defender, the back row isn’t staged at a significantly higher level than the front row, so there isn’t a loss of head clearance there.
Rear roof anchor points, using aviation style anchors. Nicely placed with roof for work clean and finished off. Note the vents on the D pillar porting through to the outside.
Roof anchor point, above rear passenger. Simple and functional.
Paintwork highlighting the Safari Roof was really cool. Panel Fit/Finish seal was good. Windows easy to remove.
Wiper well reservoir and access is nice and wide to get into the cavity where the motor and air intakes to the inside would be located.
This trim detail above the front windscreen intrigued me for a number of reasons. Finish/delamination potential and the way that is placed makes me wonder if this is actually intended, so that windscreens can be easily swapped out. The rippling of the sleeve – is it hiding a designed ledge that stops water entering, because it’s inherently designed to allow water to follow gravity? Is there a more elegant way to bridge such an interface?
Roof rails were strong and easy to grab onto to climb up (back wheel) to get access to the roof. In built roof rails. No comment yet as to the load rating of the roof itself yet.
Embossed bonnet detailing is a nice change to a badge bolted/glued on.
Aviation standard bracket/mounting points for after market accessories like tables, camera mounts, caravan extension mirrors.
Wheel cover has a split in it that houses a lockable storage area for tools, ropes etc. Tyre wheel combo on this vehicle is the 17” Steel with 265/70 R17 profile tyres.
Easily accessible and capacious cargo area. Both doors swing wide, 90 degrees, so access is easy. The right door with the wheel on it seemed quite a bit lighter than the barn door of my Prado. The floor height was telling. There’s no spare tyre under it, so it would suggest the fuel tank size will be significant. Here’s to hoping it’s in the 150 litre range. Other posts have noted that the fuel tank has been split into two. This makes sense from a packaging perspective with the exhaust and suspension, but also to enable better handling dynamics by reducing the liquid load from one big tank to two smaller tanks to help with the handling issues of 150 litres (kilograms) of fluid sloshing around on the corners.

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