A year after the exterior, we get to see inside…
By PH Staff / Wednesday, July 7, 2021 / Loading comments
They say good things take time. Maturing wine. Brownies cooling when you get them out the oven so you don’t burn your mouth. Perfectly brewed coffee. But this trend seems to be making its way into the car-production sphere, with the world’s slowest car reveals continue to promise great things. The new Land Rover Defender, for example, seemed to belong in modern folklore for years until JLR officially unveiled it in 2019. Even the Lego model was announced before most people saw the car in the metal.
The Ineos Grenadier, though, seems to be embracing that ethos to the limit, first unveiling the exterior in summer 2020 and now, a whole year later, we get to see inside. Luckily, for a change, the interior pictures released by the manufacturer actually provide us with something decent to look at – you’re not peering inside another German SUV, that’s for sure.
Let’s start with the obvious: it doesn’t look much like a new Defender on the inside. In fact, it doesn’t look like any new car currently on the market. Predictably the firm has opted to hark back to the rugged and “built on purpose” (whatever that means) idea of 4x4s of old. And the Ineos sailing boat, apparently. The centre panel looks as though it might have been extracted from the Apollo 13 mission.
The first thing you’ll notice from the pics are a good array of toggle switches, handy for operating with muddy gloves. Tick to the Grenadier. A bank of switches on the roof seem, whether hugely practical or necessary, pretty cool – although there are so many we’re not sure how easy it would be to engage your auxiliary winch in the middle of the night, when it’s raining, and you’re covered in mud. Apparently the idea is that the passenger will be able to ‘co-pilot’ the car by having easy access to those buttons too, but any passenger of ours tends to be asleep five minutes into the M25, so who knows how much help they will be.
Of greater concern is the 12.3-inch touchscreen. Ineos insists it can be fully operated with the rotary dial, but why give us a delicate little screen – or tiny steering wheel buttons or no analogue dials – in the first place? Surely the whole point of the Grenadier was to provide an interior that could accommodate a deer carcass or a cement mixer or a salvaged outboard motor – and all the dust and oil and guts that come with them. Ineos has apparently delivered on the stain-resistant, rugged plastic to permit that – but the Grenadier would have been bolder and better without any screens to negotiate.
There’s also a big red button on the steering wheel that has a picture of a bicycle and the word ‘toot’. Your guess is as good as ours, but we’re hoping they’ve gone for the Musk approach and added fart noises on demand. And we’re not quite sure how well ‘Toot’ is going to translate for the Germans. We’ll gloss over the plastic gearshifter nabbed from the BMW parts bin, too.
Counter intuitive or not though, you do get other well thought out, off-road perks like a footwell with plugs so you can “hose out” the interior and water-resistant seats. A dry storage box under the rear seat, lockable centre console box and secure side-mounted boxes in the back help with the adventurer prospect. Nevertheless, going on appearances alone, we’re not so sure the humble Suzuki Jimny LCV doesn’t earn itself bragging rights on the zero-frills utility front.
- Ineos Grenadier officially unveiled
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