Despite it being well over a year since the venerable Land Rover Defender finally went out of production, we’re still not entirely sure what’s going on with its replacement. There has been talk of a successor, but with nothing currently certain, the gap left in the market could end up being filled via an unlikely source: a multi-billion dollar chemical company.
The multinational company in question is Ineos, which laid the groundwork by founding Ineos Automotive in 2016. The idea is to build a “world-class off-roader” codenamed Projekt Grenadier, going into production around 2020. And yes, it’s very much intended to replace the Defender.
Ineos Automotive is doing everything in a very open way that’s atypical of the car industry. The company announced the launching of its web and social media presence today, pledging to “provide a window on the project for the general public, sharing regular updates throughout the vehicle’s development.” No closed doors and cloak and dagger secrecy here, then.
The ‘Projekt Grenadier’ name - taken from the London pub in which the idea was first conceived by Ineos chairman Jim Ratcliffe - won’t be sticking around. It sounds like Ineos may even hold a competition to choose the vehicle’s actual designation (have they learned nothing from Boaty McBoatface?).
The whole project sounds wildly ambitious, but wholly intriguing. We can’t wait to see what they can come up with…