This British Box Is What the 2021 Land Rover Defender Wishes It Was

Bringing back a classic in a modern context is always a tough trick. The 2021 Land Rover Defender is getting nice reviews, and people seem to like it plenty, but it still feels a little too modern and fancy while wearing the Defender name. This is nothing more than a matter of opinion, of course, but I feel many Defender fans want a touch more ruggedness from the new joint. If you find yourself feeling that, check out the Ineos Grenadier.

The Ineos Grenadier is the tough Defender we really wanted

As Gear Patrol points out, the trend of making 4x4s increasingly luxurious to appeal to people who want to play at off-roading has grown to the point where the most stripped and tractor-esque 4×4, the Land Rover Defender, has fallen victory to the leather this and heated and cooled that. Well, as the scientists say, “for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. 

Ineos Grenadier rear 3/4 | Ineos
Ineos Grenadier | Ineos

Thankfully, we are seeing a reemergence of purpose-built tough off-roaders from the small builders. Ineos is a company that has plenty of competition in the “Re-imagined” Land Rover Defender thing. Folks like Himalaya and Bowler have built their names on making super high-end Land Rover Defenders. Although these reimaginings are expensive, they tend to be pretty serious and in someway close to what people loved about the originals. 

Let’s take a closer look at the Grenadier 

Sir Jim Ratcliffe, the chairman of Ineos, says he noticed a gap in the market. While I’m glad Ratcliffe went for it, I’m not sure what gap there is exactly in making a “modern-day” Land Rover Defender, but when you are a billionaire, you don’t have to have a reason to build cool stuff. Ratcliffe has the right idea, though.

Ineos Grenadier Land Rover Defender partners with Hyundai
Ineos Grenadier | Ineos

He says, “The Grenadier project started by identifying a gap in the market, abandoned by several manufacturers, for a utilitarian off-road vehicle,” he said in a statement. “This gave us our engineering blueprint for a capable, durable, and reliable 4×4 built to handle the world’s harshest environments. But it had to look the part as well.” 

The thing with many modern 4x4s is that they tend to be super capable and very efficient due to modern technology. The problem with some great, modern off-roaders is they may have the chops, but they don’t command quite the same square-jawed attitude of their predecessors. For this reason, the Ineos Grenadier has nailed the “reimaging”; it really isn’t re-anything, it’s a big rectangle, just an old one, and I love it. 

The Grenadier looks perfectly mixed between the old Defender and the new one

The Billionaire chemical engineer created the company when Jaguar/Land Rover refused to sell him the designs of the old Defender after Jag/ LR stopped making it. He planned to continue building the old-style Land Rover Defender exactly as they were just under a different name. He basically went ahead with a fresh take on the Defender. 

The Grenadier is slightly different than the old Land Rover Defender 

BMW provides the six-cylinder gas and diesel options, and ZF is banging out the gearboxes and axels for the no-nonsense off-roaders. The off-road buzz words are all here; the axels are solid, and the differentials are locking. It will have a low range 4×4, of course, but will also sport an AWD system that keeps power moving to all-four wheels all the time. Like the 2021 Land Rover Defender, the Grenadier will have a fully integrated roof rail system and, for the smaller two-door version, a ladder, so you won’t have to worry about installing those features later. But, you can always use the fenders to climb up because they are designed to hold a person’s weight. 

Ineos Grenadier Land Rover Defender partners with Hyundai
Ineos Grenadier | Ineos

Bowler’s Bringing Back the OG Land Rover Defender With 567 Hp

When will we see the Ineos Grenadier? 

Ineos says that production will start in 2021, and it fully intends to have the Grenadier do battle with the 2021 Land Rover Defender here in America, not just in its native land of Jolly ol’ England. Ineos still hasn’t mentioned pricing, but knowing what we know of building a new production line from the ground up, it likely won’t be cheap – but neither is the 2021 Land Rover Defender, so…