Official interior pictures of the Ineos Grenadier, Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s rugged new body-on-frame 4x4, have been issued at last — showing an impressively novel design, clearly built for ruggedness and timelessness, but guided at all times by the highest levels of practical logic.
Grenadier has a genuine hose-it-out cabin, crafted in ultra-durable, stain-resistant materials, and it even features drain holes in the floor to stress its ability to cope in the most arduous conditions. However, designer Toby Ecuyer says one key mission has been to show that extreme durability need not carry any penalty in comfort and refinement.
The Grenadier’s fascia is dominated by a flat, high quality, centrally-mounted switch and dial panel of switches and dials, its design clearly influenced by aircraft and ship layouts. There is an impressive-looking matching panel in the roof.
Switches are a combination of push and toggle designs, both extremely durable and sufficiently widely spaced to allow operation by gloved hands. They are more clearly labelled than in other cars, and the roof panel includes customisable auxiliary switches, pre-wired so an owner can easily bring them into action.
Ecuyer and the Ineos team have also been at pains to show that rugged vehicles need not lack capability: the Grenadier has a 12.3-inch central touch-screen to handle infotainment functions (backed up by an iDrive-style rotary button mounted between the seats). Even so, they have taken all opportunities to simplify the car: in pursuit of reliability Grenadier contains around two-thirds fewer microprocessors than rival 4x4s.
Navigation, for example, is handled by Apple or Android smartphone functions so software is always up to date, though there is a built-in pathfinder function that allows drivers on expeditions to find their way back to where they started.
Toby Ecyuer’s mantra is, like the vehicle, simple and straightforward. “We want Grenadier to have everything you need and nothing you don’t. It just works.”
First drive: Ineos Grenadier review