The sky is blue, the sea is wet, and people will never stop making Land Rover Defender restomods and copies. It has so firmly planted in the automotive world that it will never be gone. This is so universally true that even Hyundai is getting into the pseudo-Defender game. British car builder Ineos announced that it will be building the not-so-subtly-named Grenadier in conjunction with Hyundai.
What in the British military is the Grenadier
The Grenadier is essentially an old Land Rover Defender that has been modernized. Many of these are around these days, but the founder and Chairman of Ineos, Sir Jim Ratcliffe, says he started the company to “fill a gap in the market.” I’m not sure which gap he’s referring to, but he is a billionaire who wanted an old Land Rover Defender but didn’t want it to be old, so he made it new. I don’t mean to put such a fine point on it, but that’s essentially what’s going on here.
The Grenadier used to be powered by BMW six-cylinder engines. Both gas and diesel engines were available, but now Hyundai is getting involved, all that is about to change.
Hyundai is using hydrogen in the new/old Land Rover Defenders
Now that the two companies are partnering together, the game is about to change. Gear Patrol notes that Ineos started as and is still primarily a chemical company. The pairing starts to add up a little more when you understand Ineos can manufacture hydrogen, and Hyundai can make engines that can run on the stuff like the Hyundai Nexo crossover. A major part of Hyundai’s interest in the partnership is Ineos testing Hyundai’s hydrogen fuel cells in the makeshift Land Rover Defender.
Could this make Ineos Land Rover Defender copy stand out among the many others?
Hydrogen is an interesting step forward in the race to the next generation fuel source. There are bucket loads of companies making “reimagined” Defenders. I love the Defender as much as the next guy, but the neverending stream of companies making copies is getting tired. The Ineos might just be one of a shortlist that is actually interesting.
Hyundai sees that writing on the wall as the threat of killing new fossil fuel vehicles edges ever nearer. This partnership is making a play for the long game. I would wager that Hyundai doesn’t have some deep passion for Land Rover Defender knock offs, but partnering with a chemical company seems like a strong move.
The infrastructure for widespread hybrid use is a big hurdle
Hydrogen has plenty of potential as a fuel, but the infrastructure isn’t there yet. Hydrogen not only needs to be extracted but also must be safely transported and stored safely and efficiently. Hyundai is taking the next steps to invest further into this potential renewable energy source and hopefully stay a step ahead of the competition by investing now.
Gear Patrol notes that although hydrogen may not be the way forward in personal, everyday vehicles, it has a lot of potential to be the driving force behind trucking, flying, and shipping. If fossil fuels are replaced in those sectors alone, we could see quite a significant drop in harmful fossil fuel emissions.
Although hydrogen is currently out there in the world, it will still take time, money, and plenty of effort to get hydrogen to a place that starts to have a real impact on the fossil fuel economy.