Matt Robinson profile picture Matt Robinson a year ago 11

The BMW-Powered Ineos 'Defender Successor' Has Been Spied

A prototype for the 'Land Rover Defender successor' devised by chemical giant Ineos has been spotted testing

Remind me later
The BMW-Powered Ineos 'Defender Successor' Has Been Spied - News

The new Land Rover Defender isn’t really a direct replacement for the old one. It’s incredibly capable off-road, of course, but the SUV is no longer intended to be a hardy, simplistic workhorse. With a big increase in luxury and refinement, its remit is now much broader.

But what if you’re not interested in the fripperies and want something with more focus? A chemical company, of all things, is claiming it has the answer.

The BMW-Powered Ineos 'Defender Successor' Has Been Spied - News

Ineos announced an automotive offshoot and its first product - codenamed ‘Projekt Grenadier’ - back in 2017 amid ambitious claims and a colourful story about chairman Jim Ratcliffe coming up with the idea in a London pub (from which the endeavour took its name). Fast forward to today, though, the project looks to be progressing well.

These new shots - taken by a spy photographer so dedicated they were happy to hide in foliage, it seems - gives us our first look at a Grenadier prototype. They were taken in Graz, Austria in the vicinity of Magna Steyr, the company which will do the bulk of the development work.

The BMW-Powered Ineos 'Defender Successor' Has Been Spied - News

Magna is an ideal company to be involved with for something like this - the firm has been responsible for the production of the first and second-generation Mercedes G-Glass, and developed Merc’s all-wheel drive system.

Power will come from a BMW-sourced ‘B58’ turbocharged inline-six, giving the Grenadier a curious (if tenuous) link to the original Defender. Back when Land Rover was under Munich’s control, the Defender was offered in South Africa with an M52 straight-six.

The BMW-Powered Ineos 'Defender Successor' Has Been Spied - News

Production of the Grenadier will be taken care of by a new facility currently being built in Bridgend, Wales. Sales should begin early next year.