Mercedes has been in the lucrative off-road segment for decades with the iconic G-Class and we can say the same thing about Land Rover with its reputable Defender. BMW has refrained from tackling this class of SUVs, but there is a go-anywhere vehicle now in production with engines supplied by the Bavarian brand. INEOS Automotive is now assembling the Grenadier, fitted with both gasoline and diesel inline-six engines per an agreement with the Munich-based company.
Series production of the 2023 Grenadier has commenced in Hambach, France at the factory where Mercedes used to make Smart cars before selling the facility in 2020 to the automotive branch of the INEOS chemicals company. First customer deliveries are scheduled to take place in December, but the rollout isn’t going as the newly founded automaker would’ve wanted due to issues with the global supply chain.
Shortages are slowing down output, but INEOS Automotive will have more and more vehicles to display at its dealership network with 200 sites across the world. The Grenadier will be launched in the United States sometime next year with the 3.0-liter B58 BMW engine producing 281 horsepower and 332 pound-feet (450 Newton-meters) of torque. In other parts of the world, the off-roader is also offered with the B57 diesel rated at 245 horsepower and 406 pound-feet (550 Newton-meters) of torque.
The engines work with an eight-speed automatic transmission supplied by ZF and send power to both axles. The gasoline-fueled Grenadier will do 0 to 62 mph (100 km/h) in 8.6 seconds whereas the oil-burner will take 9.9 seconds to get the job done. INEOS Automotive will electronically cap the top speed of its ladder-frame SUV to 100 mph (161 km/h).
It is believed the very first production unit will be delivered to Ineos chairman Sir Jim Ratcliffe. It was his idea to revive the spirit of the original Defender after Land Rover refused to sell him the license to restart production. There was even a legal battle between the two as Land Rover – which is owned by Tata Motors – sued INEOS Automotive, claiming the Grenadier looks too much like the Defender. However, the British brand ultimately lost as Land Rover, surprisingly, never actually trademarked the Defender’s shape.
As a final note, Land Rover is also using BMW engines nowadays for the 2023 Range Rover and Range Rover Sport offered with the twin-turbo 4.4-liter V8 N63.
Source: INEOS Automotive