The Land Rover Defender-inspired off-roader is hoping to avoid the scrutiny of the independent crash test program due to low sales volumes.
The 2022 Ineos Grenadier is not guaranteed of earning a five-star crash safety rating, the company has foreshadowed.
While the completely new off-roader – inspired by the original Land Rover Defender – will meet or exceed government safety standards, those regulations are a relatively low bar compared to analysis by independent authority NCAP which crash tests vehicles in Europe and Australia.
Drive understands Ineos is hoping to avoid scrutiny by the European and Australasian New Car Assessment Programs because the Grenadier is expected to sell in low volumes.
However, it is not up to Ineos to decide which vehicles are crash-tested by the NCAP organisations, who conduct their own tests as well as assessments funded by car companies.
While specific safety equipment for the Grenadier is yet to be confirmed, the sales and marketing boss for Ineos Australia, Justin Hocevar, told Drive the company will put “as much safety equipment into the vehicle as possible.”
Mr Hocevar said the Grenadier will have “a great array of airbags and other contemporary safety systems that you’d find in other vehicles.”
While the Ineos Grenadier will meet government standards, the lack of an ANCAP safety rating might put the vehicle off the list of contention for some government and industry fleets who need a four-wheel drive with generous payload and towing capacities – but also demand a five-star rating,
Despite this possible setback, representatives for Ineos Australia believe they can still sell the Grenadier as a commercial vehicle – even though a similar heavy-duty off-roader, the Toyota LandCruiser 70 Series, had to be upgraded to five stars to be allowed on mining sites.
Ineos is also targeting smaller business buyers (such as tradies and farmers), as well as keen recreational four-wheel drivers who value rugged capability and high payloads.
Four wheel drives with a focus on off-road capability have had a chequered history in terms of crash ratings, with the Jeep Wrangler, Gladiator, and Suzuki Jimny scoring below par in the most recent ANCAP tests.
The Ineos Grenadier is due in Australia by the end of 2022, with a starting price of $84,500 before on-roads for a two-seater base model.
Sam Purcell has been writing about cars, four-wheel driving and camping since 2013, and obsessed with anything that goes brum-brum longer than he can remember. Sam joined the team at CarAdvice/Drive as the off-road Editor in 2018, after cutting his teeth at Unsealed 4X4 and Pat Callinan’s 4X4 Adventures.