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More than 80 prototypes will be built as part of a global testing and validation program.

The 2021 Ineos Grenadier, hailed by many as the spiritual successor to the old-school Land Rover Defender, is one step closer to becoming a reality.

After securing the old ‘Smartville’ production facility in France for building the rough-and-tumble four-wheel drive, the team at Ineos behind engineering the Grenadier are now busy turning around a group of so-called ‘2b’ prototypes.

This is the next step in the journey towards showroom floors around the world, with over eighty prototypes being built on a small-scale production line in Austria, in both left- and right-hand-drive.

The road to production has been documented by Ineos in a series of online videos, hosted by engineering journalist Mark Evans. You can watch the video at the bottom of this story.

Ineos Grenadier

This next stage follows a small group of hand-built ‘2a’ prototypes – which have been testing for over twelve months – and will allow the Grenadier to be tested in various laboratories and climates around the world, including Australia.

Once that stage is complete, Ineos will look to build more prototypes on the Hambach production line, as it aims to refine the process.

While the Grenadier has been slated to arrive in showrooms by the end of 2021, the coronavirus pandemic has placed doubt on this date.

Ineos Grenadier

Australians will likely be waiting until 2022 to see this brand-new (yet old-school) four-wheel-drive in showrooms.

Conceived by England’s richest man, Sir Jim Ratcliffe, over a couple of pints in a British country pub, the Grenadier is shaping up to be a global engineering effort.

With production slated for a site in France close to the German border – which is staffed by ex-Mercedes employees – the engineering team behind the Grenadier comes from Magna, based in Austria.

Engines and transmissions will be sourced from Bavaria-based, German brand BMW, while live axles will be acquired from Italian company Carraro. Tyre options for the Grenadier will also cross continents, with either Japanese-developed Bridgestone or US-designed BF Goodrich rubber slated as the factory options.