Land Rover is set to reveal a new Defender later this year.
Land Rover is set to reveal a new Defender later this year.

Surprising rebirth of Land Rover Defender

BMW engines will power a brand-new but old-school off-roader. Land Rover stopped building the boxy Defender three years ago. Now a Brit-based start-up plans to produce a successor to the boxy workhorse.

It'll be called the Grenadier, after the London pub where the idea was born. But this isn't some beer-fuelled fantasy. The Land Rover-reviving start-up is a spin-off of one of the world's biggest chemical companies, Ineos.

The Defender was built for 67 years with only minor updates.
The Defender was built for 67 years with only minor updates.

Company founder, chairman and majority shareholder, Jim Ratcliffe, was one of the group of pint-sippers lamenting the loss of the Defender. So he set up Ineos Automotive in 2016 specifically to fill the gap.

His aim is to preserve the Defender's hose-out practicality and rugged personality, but to lift build quality and reliability to LandCruiser levels. Ineos Automotive plans to unveil a prototype of the Grenadier in 2020.

With BMW confirming placement of an order for tens of thousands of petrol and diesel engines, Ineos Automotive has taken a big step towards achieving its objective.

And BMW sees more deals like the Ineos Automotive contract in its future. "This is a business area with real growth potential," said BMW boss Pieter Nota.

Land Rover Defender is known for its off-road ability.
Land Rover Defender is known for its off-road ability.

Land Rover's next-generation Defender - due to be revealed at the end of this year - is set to beat a different path compared to its 67-year-old predecessor.

While still capable of heading off-road the new Defender will be more capable on road and will skew luxury. Earlier this year the car's interior was leaked online showing a myriad of digital screens and premium materials and hi-tech gear.



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