‘Ineos’s clean-sheet approach looks eerily familiar’

The styling of the new Ineos Grenadier is familiar, but editor-in-chief Steve Fowler has been impressed by Ineos Automotive’s original thinking

Starting a car company from scratch is a rare opportunity – something few in the automotive industry ever get the chance to do in their careers.

So it was no surprise that the guys behind Ineos Automotive were as excited to show me the new Grenadier as I was to see. For the record, I think it’s a great piece of industrial design. Pretty? No. Familiar? Very.

I’ve done extremely well to make it to just the third paragraph here without mentioning the original Land Rover Defender, because that’s the car that has clearly inspired the Grenadier more than any other. And it’s the car that its design will be most compared to.

Is that a bad thing? Well, Land Rover tried and failed to trademark the Defender shape, and it’s clear that there’s still a huge passion for the old Defender among enthusiasts. Whether those enthusiasts turn into Grenadier customers remains to be seen, though.

What struck me having spent time with the team behind the Grenadier, however, is the clarity of purpose. They referenced the Willys Jeep and how that car was designed by numbers; the US military decided what they wanted the car to do, and engineers did just that.

The same approach has been taken with the Grenadier. They decided what they wanted the car to be able to achieve, and built a car around that. “There’s nothing fluffy or extraneous,” designer Toby Ecuyer told me.

And if you’re going to design a car to do a specific thing, then maybe the original way is still the best way. As Ecuyer explained: “If you’re designing a hammer, it has to perform a certain function. And, pretty much, hammers all end up looking very alike.” Fair enough.

I’m impressed by much of the original thinking from Ineos so far – even if the styling is far from original. More than anything, I’m impressed by how the firm has listened to potential owners – giving it a much better chance of success.

Do you think the new Ineos Grenadier will be a success? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section...

Recommended

New 2022 Ineos Grenadier: prices, specs and launch date
Ineos Grenadier

New 2022 Ineos Grenadier: prices, specs and launch date

Ineos Automotive’s spiritual successor to the old Land Rover Defender will go on sale soon, with a starting price of around £50,000
6 Aug 2020
Best family cars to buy 2020/2021
Best cars & vans

Best family cars to buy 2020/2021

What are the best family cars on sale? Whether you're after an SUV or an affordable hatchback, out top 10 list reveals all...
25 Nov 2020
Used SEAT Tarraco review
SEAT Tarraco SUV

Used SEAT Tarraco review

Intrigued by the SEAT Tarraco SUV? Read our full used buyer’s guide to the Tarraco Mk1 (2018-present)
24 Nov 2020

Most Popular

New Audi A6 50 TFSI e 2020 review
Audi A6

New Audi A6 50 TFSI e 2020 review

The new Audi A6 50 TFSI e brings plug-in hybrid power to the A6 range for the first time
10 Nov 2020
New 2021 Mercedes-Maybach S-Class luxury limo unveiled
Mercedes S-Class

New 2021 Mercedes-Maybach S-Class luxury limo unveiled

The new Mercedes-Maybach S-Class has made its official debut, with lashings of technology and even more imposing styling
19 Nov 2020
How to transfer a number plate from one car to another
MINI number plate change
Tips & advice

How to transfer a number plate from one car to another

Need to know how to transfer a number plate between vehicles? Our step-by-step guide breaks it down
22 Nov 2020