The spirit of the Land Rover Defender is safe and sound with the company – who is diligently working on a new generation – but there are those who would very much like to experience the legacy right now.
For them – although even for the Projekt Grenadier they will have to await some time before it materializes – Jim Ratcliffe, the tycoon behind Britain’s Ineos chemical company, has envisioned a project that will deliver the legacy, complete with all the off-road prowess that Land Rover’s out of production Defender represented. According to the company’s plan, the actual first examples of Projekt Grenadier aren’t going to arrive until 2020, which is actually a year after Land Rover’s own new Defender comes to life. Reportedly, Ratcliffe actually tried to acquire the rights to the Defender name – but of course Land Rover isn’t giving up such an important model.
Instead, Ratcliffe and his company wants to deliver a similar vehicle with the same off-road credentials but higher build quality and reliability. “There have been no great fallings out, just sensible conversation,” previously commented Ineos director Tom Crotty about the discussions with JLR. “We’re not out to produce a copy, we’re out to produce a new vehicle that is filling a space that the Defender used to fill.” Technical details haven’t been released yet, with reports about a traditional body-on-frame chassis and diesel power – as well as quite sensible pricing, kicking off at around 25,000 pounds.