The Remarkably Familiar Looking INEOS Grenadier
If a Chinese automotive manufacturer decided to re-make the old school Land Rover Defender, many in the media would be guffawing, writhing around, laughing and finger-pointing. They would also accuse this Chinese manufacture of lacking ideas and lacking original thought. We can see that with Chinese made Landwind X7, a blatant copy/paste of the Range Rover Evoque. Made with the intention of undercutting Land Rover sales in China. So why is it OK to laud INEOS Automotive and guffaw at a Chinese manufacturer such as Landwind.
Landwind deserves a metaphorical kicking for sure. But why does INEOS deserve such praise? The INEOS Grenadier blatantly copy/pastes the Land Rover Defender design language and utilitarian heritage. I don’t care about Sir Peter Radcliffe’s emotional obsession with the last generation Defender. What’s wrong with the new one? That is the future, however short the future is for Land Rover.
I would like to take this moment to declare we are in no way jumping to Land Rover’s defense. We are currently at a state of war with the deluded and dysfunctional Land Rover UK PR team. Nothing would make us happier than to see Land Rover declare bankruptcy. Although we could declare bankruptcy before they do. I hope I have made myself clear.
Nevertheless, from what I have read, The INEOS Grenadier has been accepted by the British automotive media, without hesitation, deviation or resistance. Nothing. Not a mummer. Although one highly authoritative publication diplomatically declared the INEOS Grenadier “could easily pass for a modernised version of the 1948 original”. That particular writer is a classy, diplomatic gentleman of the highest order. A credit to his profession.
I say the INEOS Grenadier is very remarkably fucking similar looking. OK, so it is brand spanking new from the ground up, new chassis, new body, the suspension will be mostly off-the-shelf components. The engine will be sourced from BMW. But the INEOS Grenadier is so identical to the original Defender my eyes start to bleed when I try to point out the differences between the two… because I cannot. I am surprised Land Rover didn’t issue INEOS Automotive with a cease and desist order, they just let the whole project happen. We know they did reject selling the old Defender’s tooling assets to INEOS, which led Ratcliffe to simply build his own.
So now we’re back to the beginning. Why is the INEOS Grenadier copy of a Land Rover Defender more palatable than a Chinese copy of the same vehicle? It’s most often down to prejudice and racism. The Chinese are often mocked for copying western technology and lacking original thought and creativity. It’s the usual racist bile.
But look at it another way, if the Chinese had not invented gunpowder and subsequently fireworks, it’s more than possible the Nasa Apollo Missions would have happened at a much later point in time. But you don’t hear the Chinese saying that Western nations lack original thought. No, they are much too busy building a new 21st Century Chinese Empire.
Nevertheless, the INEOS Grenadier is remarkably very similar looking to the old Land Rover Defender. So very remarkably similar-looking it sucks, it is as original as a bag of Werther’s Originals. A blind-folded hostage can even see it’s very remarkably similar looking to the Defender. And that is why you INEOS Grenadier, YOU! Are the worst car of the week.