A SMALLER fully-electric four-wheel-drive vehicle will be developed by INEOS Group to follow on from its planned Grenadier "pick-up" version of the Grenadier wagon.
British entrepreneur and INEOS Group chief executive officer and chairman Sir Jim Ratcliffe has confirmed the car company is investigating an electric second model to supplement the Grenadier wagon range - due for release in Australia in October - and a "pick-up", based on a long-wheelbase version of the wagon, which is already in the design pipeline.
Sir Jim, who famously came up with the idea of building a modern 'traditional' 4x4 vehicle where function and capability take precedence over style, while having a few drinks with colleagues in The Grenadier pub in London, also said the company was looking at hydrogen to eventually power future Grenadier models.
Speaking about INEOS's future car plans for the first time, in the latest in a series of promotional videos documenting design, testing and build up to production of the Grenadier, Sir Jim confirmed a lengthened dual-cab tub ute "pick-up" version, which Australian and New Zealand INEOS staff had told Farm Weekly about at a recent ride day in a wagon prototype around Logue Brook Dam.
He also confirmed the company is investigating hydrogen fuel cells as the "clean powertrain solution" for future versions of the Grenadier, which can currently be ordered in five-seat 'station wagon' and similar bodied two-seat 'utility wagon' versions with 'Fieldmaster' and 'Trailmaster' editions of each bundling different optional extras into their standard-equipment lists.
"I think the Grenadier is perfect for a hydrogen engine in time," Sir Jim said.
A fuel cell technology demonstrator is due to begin on and off-road testing by the end of this year, the company later confirmed.
Sir Jim also said he believed INEOS had to acknowledge where car design was heading with a fully electric model.
"We are looking very carefully at a new model which will be a smaller version - electric," he said.
"We need to embrace the future, which clearly in an urban environment is electric.
"Even as farmers in rural areas, people are likely to be driving electric vehicles across the fields (in the future)."
As previously reported in Farm Weekly, INEOS has appointed Magic Enterprises group, which operates Perth Mahindra in Burswood and the multi-franchise Midwest Auto Group in Geraldton, as its official Western Australian distribution and servicing partner - INEOS outlets will not operate like other car brand dealerships which have to 'buy' new vehicles from the manufacturer to sell to customers or as demonstrator units.
Recommended retail pricing is $84,500 before onroad costs for the 'utility wagon', $85,500 for the 'station wagon', $95,495 for 'Trailmaster' and 'Fieldmaster' editions of the 'utility wagon' and $96,495 for 'Trailmaster' and 'Fieldmaster' editions of the 'station wagon' Grenadier.
Buyers have a same-cost choice of BMW three-litre, six-cylinder, 24-valve double-overhead-camshaft engines - a twin-turbo diesel producing up to 183 kilowatts and 550 Newton metres of torque or a single-turbo petrol producing up to 210kW and 450Nm -coupled to eight-speed ZF automatic transmissions with two-speed Tremec transfer case bolted directly on the back.
Grenadiers have coil-sprung live axles with Brembo disc brakes front and rear and a locking central differential is standard, while locking front and rear differentials are optional extras.
An extensive range of options can be ordered from the factory and INEOS is already working with Australian 4x4 after-market accessories suppliers on a range of off-roading equipment.
The wagons are rated to tow a braked 3.5 tonne trailer and have an approved gross combination mass (maximum loaded car and trailer weight) of seven tonnes.
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