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New Ineos Fusilier electric 4x4 charges in: the Grenadier’s greener sibling

Third model from Ineos Automotive set to deliver “world-class off-road capabilities”, with option of range-extender petrol engine

Behold, the new Ineos Fusilier: the eagerly awaited all-electric off-roader from the makers of the Grenadier 4x4 and upcoming Quartermaster pick-up truck.

The new Fusilier is very nearly the same size as a Grenadier, just not quite as long or as tall. The family resemblance is unmistakable however, thanks to the circularLED headlights, heavily flared wheelarches and slab-sided shape. It also appears to feature a similar split tailgate arrangement as its bigger brother.

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That said, while the design of the Grenadier emulates the original Land Rover Defender, it looks like the Fusilier’s styling was inspired more by the Mercedes G-Class, especially when it comes to the front end. 

Coincidently, the Ineos Fusilier has been developed in conjunction with and will be manufactured by Austrian firm Magna, who also builds the G-Class, among other vehicles like the new Fisker Ocean electric SUV.

The Fusilier will even undergo testing on the Schöckl Mountain in Austria, where every generation of G-Wagon has had to prove its toughness and off-road capability.

Offered as an electric car (as well as a plug-in hybrid – more on that below), Ineos had to find new ways to direct airflow and minimise the drag of the Fusilier, without taking away from the functional design. As opposed to fitting a fully blanked-off front end like some electric SUVs, the Fusilier gets active grille shutters that open or close depending on whether cooling or range-efficiency needs prioritising. 

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Elsewhere, the edges and corners have been rounded compared with the Grenadier, the door hinges are recessed, and the Fusilier makes use of ‘flushed glazing’, with no plastic or rubber edges visible on the windscreen.

Technical details are few and far between at this stage. We do know that the Fusilier will sit on a new bespoke skateboard platform, which Ineos plans to use as the basis for other models in the future. The Fusilier will have a steel underbody and panelling, but aluminium doors and closures.

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Ineos founder Sir Jim Ratcliffe told Auto Express in 2023 that the company’s first all-electric SUV will offer a range of 400 kilometres (249 miles), but an official WLTP figure for the car has yet to be confirmed. Also under wraps for now is the size of the Fusilier’s battery, its maximum charging speed or the number of electric motors onboard.

But we know that the Fusilier will be available with a range-extender (PHEV) option consisting of a small petrol engine that will act solely as a generator to maintain the amount of charge in the battery, rather than directly driving the wheels. Ineos claims this would come in handy when you’re out in the sticks, with no way to charge the car’s battery.

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Ratcliffe explained the decision to add the range-extender option when revealing Fusilier, saying: “We’re excited to bring our electric 4x4 to market, but we are beginning to understand the clear limitations of battery electric in certain situations. We believe the addition of a range-extender electric to our line-up will offer our customers a very low-emission drive without the range anxiety drivers of electric vehicles experience today.”

He added, “BEVs are perfect for certain uses: shorter trips and urban deliveries, but industry and governments need to have realistic expectations around other technologies that can help accelerate the necessary pace of change. That is the reason we are offering an additional powertrain for the Fusilier, one that dramatically reduces emissions but has the range and refuelling capabilities needed.”

Another benefit of the range-extender setup is it’s likely to be the cheaper of the two powertrain options, because it’ll feature a smaller battery than the EV. According to Lynn Calder, CEO of Ineos Automotive, the pure-electric Fusilier’s battery alone costs three times more than the BMW-sourced petrol and diesel engines the company uses in the Grenadier. 

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Because of its belief in the range-extender systems, the company is also going to begin lobbying for them to be exempt from the UK Government’s ban on sales of new petrol and diesel cars currently scheduled to come into effect in 2035.

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More details about the powertrains and the introduction of the Ineos Fusilier are due to be revealed by the autumn, though Calder informed us that the car is unlikely to launch until 2027.

Q&A with Lynn Calder, CEO, Ineos Automotive

Q: Fusilier is another new car, with another new platform. Is this not a really expensive way to go about making cars?

A: It sounds crazy, I know, and I totally understand that question. Of course, we’re not blind to the fact that we can’t keep building new cars on completely new architectures. That’s not the plan. But what we had was the Grenadier on the ladder-frame chassis and that didn’t suit at all becoming an electric vehicle. And the Fusilier was conceived as an electric vehicle. So we knew we needed a different concept. You won’t see us doing that again. We’ve now got a great combustion-engined platform, and a great skateboard EV platform.

Q; Does that mean you will spin other models off the Fusilier’s underpinnings, then?

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A: Yes, certainly.

Q: Where will this model be positioned compared with Grenadier? Will it be slightly softer, less focused on off-roading, maybe better on road and around town?

A: For off-roading, probably yes, because of the frame and the rolling chassis. But it’s still got to get up the Schöckl [the mountain near the Graz factory where the car will be built] or we’re not bringing it to market. Around town then yes, I know people have talked about the Grenadier’s steering and the Fusilier will have a rack-and-pinion set-up. But then, I’ve seen so many Grenadiers around town anyway.

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Q: The decision to go for a range-extender has been described by Sir Jim Ratcliffe as “happening in the past few months”. Was it really as recent as that?

A: Yeah, pretty much. We only spoke to [battery supplier] Samsung about it just before Christmas. That’s why the project is probably early-to-mid-2027 now, instead of 2026.

Q: Is it really that big a change?

A: Well, we have to source the combustion engine that will be at the heart of the range extender and we’re very deep into that right now. I’d say we’re only weeks away from making a decision on that. But yes, we have to work with our suppliers like Samsung because, for example, there might be differences in the chemistry required because of how the pack is being constantly charged by the engine, instead of just being plugged in.

Q: What about pricing? Where will this car sit compared with Grenadier?

A: It’s really a bit early to say; we have a figure in mind but we’re not ready to communicate it yet. But as a guide to how much of a challenge EVs are to the industry in general, we were out in-market costing up. And just for the battery – not the electric motors – we’re looking at three times the cost of the Grenadier’s BMW petrol and diesel engines.

Q: Does that mean that while it’s technically more complex to have a combustion engine powering a smaller battery as a range extender, that version could well be more affordable?

A: Yes, absolutely. In fact this is one of the reasons we’re looking at the range extender. Because if we’re not careful in places like the UK, and make sure we offer customers products that they want to buy, we’re just going to price them out of the market.

Click here for more information on the Ineos Quartermaster pick-up...

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News reporter

As our news reporter, Ellis is responsible for covering everything new and exciting in the motoring world, from quirky quadricycles to luxury MPVs. He was previously the content editor for DrivingElectric and won the Newspress Automotive Journalist Rising Star award in 2022.

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