FIT FOR PURPOSE
With a singular focus on creating a CAPABLE, DURABLE and RELIABLE 4X4 built to handle just about anything, AUTOMOTIVE DESIGNER TOBY ECUYER provides insights into his clean-sheet approach to designing the new INEOS GRENADIER.
Effective design doesn’t mean complicated design. It doesn’t lead with aesthetics at the expense of function. Instead, effective design is far more focused on its goal. It’s about defining a need, understanding the user, prototyping solutions, gathering feedback and, based on that, creating the final product.
And that’s exactly the process followed by the INEOS team in conceptualising, creating, testing and finalising the new Grenadier. From the outset, the vehicle was designed with one purpose in mind – to meet the need for a rugged, capable and comfortable go-anywhere working vehicle.
“The brief was simple,” says head of design Toby Ecuyer. “We set out to design a modern, functional and highly capable 4x4 vehicle with utility at its core; to create a design that’s ‘easy-to-read’, with no ambiguity about the Grenadier’s role in your life. It’s there to do everything you need, and nothing you don’t. Nothing is for show. Modern engineering and production techniques ensure the Grenadier is highly capable, but we have been
able to stay true to the essence of creating a utilitarian vehicle that will stand the test of time.”
Built from the ground up on an all-new platform, and put through 1.8-million test kilometres, the INEOS Grenadier’s design was engineering-led from the outset and dictated by the function the car needed to fulfil: to meet the demands of its adventure-focused
owners. The big wheel arches, for example, are all about maximum ground clearance, the squared-off body about maximum use of space, and the clever 70:30 split rear door about ease of access. Practical functionality is everywhere, from the integrated roof bars and pre-wiring for auxiliary lamps and accessories, to a front bumper that you can sit on. That said, Toby points out, “Just because it’s been engineering-led doesn’t mean it has to be ugly. We still have to make it look good and interesting, and consider every millimetre of its design.”
As with the exterior design, the focus inside is on practicality and utility, with the technology and comfort today’s users expect. Its intuitive and functional layout features physical switches, widely spaced for easy use on the move; a central infotainment screen; and an overhead console for off-road and auxiliary controls. Hose-out rubber flooring, hard-wearing Recaro seats and numerous stowage options mean the Grenadier is ready for anything that work and life can throw at it.
“The Grenadier project started by identifying a gap in the market, abandoned by a number of manufacturers, for a utilitarian off-road vehicle,” explains INEOS chairman Sir Jim Ratcliffe. “This gave us an engineering blueprint for a capable, durable and reliable 4x4, built to handle the world’s harshest environments. But it had to look the part as well – and Toby and his team have done a great job in delivering a design that’s both distinctive and purposeful.” ineosgrenadier.com