The development team for the Ineos Grenadier have taken the vehicle to some of the most punishing and formidable off-road testing grounds globally. In its final phase of dynamic testing, prototypes of the Grenadier were driven up the trails of the Schöckl mountain near the Austrian headquarters of Magna Steyr, which is Ineos’s engineering partner, as part of an engineering gate assessment. Magna Steyr has used the Austrian mountains to test ultimate off-road performance and durability for special-purpose vehicles for decades as the hard-rock terrain there is unforgiving and destructive.
Ineos chairman, Sir Jim Ratcliffe, who signed off the prototypes following the examinations, said of the 4×4’s capabilities: “We’ve made great strides since the very early versions of the Grenadier I drove a year ago. The Schöckl is a proper challenge for any 4X4. Today was a real test for our prototypes, and they came through very well. There is still work to do, but I am confident that the Grenadier will do the job we have developed it for.”
With unforeseen and unavoidable delays due to covid last year, the team at Ineos has had to intensify the Grenadier’s testing program. This will see 130 second-phase prototypes driven to accumulate a total of 1.8 million kilometers in extreme environments around the world. To achieve its stringent testing targets, Ineos has revised its project timings and pushed back the start of Grenadier production.
Dirk Heilmann, CEO of Ineos Automotive, commented, “Reaching this important development milestone is a great step forward for the project. We only have one opportunity to get this right and our quality and performance targets for the Grenadier remain paramount. We won’t cut corners. After today’s very positive results we are on track to reach our targets and to allow the start of production in July next year at the latest.”
Earlier in 2021, engineers successfully completed extensive cold weather engine calibration in northern Sweden. The next phase of development and validation will involve the Grenadier being subjected to extreme hot weather testing in some of the world’s harshest environments, including Death Valley in the USA and the dunes of the Middle East.