Home » Ineos Grenadier Takes Over Search and Rescue Duty from Retiring Land Rover Defender

Ineos Grenadier Takes Over Search and Rescue Duty from Retiring Land Rover Defender

Ineous Ts
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A few years ago now, Land Rover decided it was tired of building the rugged, simplistic Defender that had become a mainstay of its range. It would instead put the Defender name on a more modern, comfortable vehicle, and in the process, alienate fans of the classic never-say-die off roader. The Ineos Grenadier was built specifically to fill the void that Land Rover left behind, and it’s already starting to do that in a very real way.

Nith Inshore Rescue mans one of the busiest lifeboat stations in Scotland. The rescue organization aims to protect people and property from maritime threats, taking on hunts for missing persons, assisting boats in trouble, and helping those that otherwise find themselves on the wrong end of the wrath of the sea. The group has relied on a Land Rover Defender for years as an emergency response vehicle. When its 2004 model started getting long in the tooth, it came time to find a replacement, and the Grenadier was a natural choice.

Vidframe Min Top
Vidframe Min Bottom

As we learned from David Tracy’s review of the Grenadier, it’s a nearly perfect off-roader. It rocks a classic drivetrain, with the engine feeding into a Tremec transfer case with a center diff and proper low-range gearing for handling the rough stuff. From there, drive is sent to solid axles, front and rear, as the dirt gods intended. These are the same elements that made farmers, miners, and adventurers fall in love with the Land Rover Defender and the Toyota 70 Series Land Cruiser alike. Ineos figured if it stuck to the same golden formula, it would succeed with the same fanbase. What it loses in street manners, it gains in the ability to handle rough-and-tumble situations with ease.

This deployment marks the first time a Grenadier has served in a so-called “blue light” emergency role in the UK. The vehicle has been customized to suit the role, with the Grenadier’s “plug and play” wiring setup easing the job of adding extra lights and accessories. Rescue equipment provider Emergency One fitted out the vehicle for its new job, including the fitment of an extendable roof-mount camera that has been nicknamed Johnny Five in a reference to Short Circuit (1986). 

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“We deal with life-and-death situations, very harsh weather, and challenging terrain,” said Peter Bryden, secretary of Nith Inshore Rescue. “When it came to evaluating the options for a new support vehicle, there were few options and the Grenadier stood out, ticking all the boxes.” According to Bryden, the group foresees a long career for the new off-roader. “Together with our revitalized lifeboat, we expect it to serve our team for the next 40 years.” The new rig received its first callout from HM Coastguard on November 12, entering into service almost immediately after its official handover ceremony.

The group’s beloved existing Defender was put up for auction once its service life was concluded. The 2004 model featured the TD5 2.5-liter inline-five diesel, good for 122 horsepower and 221 pound-feet of torque. In comparison, the Grenadier’s 3.0-liter turbodiesel inline six is a powerhouse, putting out 245 horsepower and 406 pound-feet of torque. The Defender racked up 16,826 miles in the line of duty, eventually selling for £22,000, or roughly $27,500 US dollars. Despite its working life by the water, it managed to stay rust-free in all that time with only minor wear and tear on the body and interior.

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The rescue group’s former steed was sold via auction once its duty was concluded. Credit: Collecting Cars

With the modern Defender more built for the fancy, moneyed set, expect the Grenadier to take on more roles more traditionally performed by Land Rovers in years past. As a simple boxy off-roader, it has few competitors, though it bears noting that Toyota isn’t going anywhere with the 70 Series Land Cruiser, either. While the mass market may demand plusher interiors and more mod cons as the years roll by, the rugged jobs will still be done best by the barebones basic off-roaders. It was ever thus.

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Image credits: Nith Inshore Rescue, Collecting Cars

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Mike B
Mike B
4 months ago

Do they not sell the 70-series Landcruiser in the UK? That would have been the way to go. I wouldn’t want to put my faith in anything BMW powered as a rescue vehicle, unless they have a few of them.

MadMatt (an Aussie 4wd driver/expert/educator) recently did a great video tearing the Ineos apart.

Bizness Comma Nunya
Bizness Comma Nunya
4 months ago

If there’s any vehicle I’d trust less than an old Land Rover for search and rescue…

…It’s gotta be a knockoff Land Rover that is completely unproven with a BMW heart

Thebloody_shitposter
Thebloody_shitposter
4 months ago

“alienate fans of the classic never-say-die off roader”

Which was a pretty damn good business decision on JLR’s part, none of those people actually bought the fucking thing new lol.

JLR were selling less than 20k a year world wide and were getting spanked in every segment by Toyota, Ford, Izuzu ECT… When they ended production. Hell, the last 2015 built Defender sat on a lot for 2 years and was sold in 2017…

I loved my Series, but it was an around town vehicle. Any sort of distance and/or drive time, the new 110 gets the nod.

Tell me you’ve never owned or driven an old Defender without telling me…

Racer Esq.
Racer Esq.
4 months ago

A Ford Ranger turbo diesel with a cap would have almost certainly been more cost effective, serviceable, and reliable, but good for Ineos on this sale.
Based on how this is constructed, and how it looks if I squint, this is like a Jeep Gladiator with a cap. And Jeep is having to put big cash on the hood to move those.

MrLM002
MrLM002
4 months ago
Reply to  Racer Esq.

Honestly Ford needs to make the Ranger with an Aluminum body already like the F-150.

Considering how big of a killer rust is over there I’d say that the Grenadier is the better option currently, provided they solved LR’s intergranular corrosion issue and are keeping dissimilar metal corrosion at bay.

I drive a boring SUV
I drive a boring SUV
4 months ago
Reply to  Racer Esq.

Ford Ranger, Toyota Hilux, Mitsubishi L200, Isuzu D-Max… Those are the REAL replacement for rugged, utility, simple offroaders, and those are what farmers and utility companies are buying. At well over 60,000GBP and with a BMW engine, this is not.

Nlpnt
Nlpnt
4 months ago

And for recreational users, Jim Ratcliffe should’ve just bought himself a Suzuki Jimny like the rest of them.

Nathan Finch
Nathan Finch
4 months ago

A couple weeks ago there were a bunch of these in the port and it was the first I had heard of them. They look cool and the functional door racks are an interesting choice.

https://twitter.com/nf1nk/status/1722415110973735356

James Wallace
James Wallace
4 months ago

Lots of people liked how the Defender/Series vehicles looked. They were quite good off road. I have had 8. The latest Defender is #9, but only resembles the others in spelling. Now most of the time I had one, with the exception of University, it was not my only car. It was a car you really could only drive for 45 minutes (in the North American version) before your legs started to cramp up. They had no legroom, as the design spec was unfortunately switched with some other tiny person specced vehicle. The seats only went back and forth about 1.5″ due to a big cross vehicle bulkhead behind them. Then of course you needed earplugs, they were noisy. In fact, in a genius move, if it was not noisy enough, there were little flaps under the windshield to let in more noise! In a move towards further inclusion, the sealing left a bit to be desired, and let in nearly all the rain falling outside the vehicle. Then there was the clever heating system. It heated one leg at a time, not both, but one. The other may as well been hanging out in the wind, since the sealing that let in the rain had the effect of channeling cold winter air onto your legs. All this at fairly low speed.

So why drive them at all? They had a narrow track and even if they were broken they tended to be still drivable. What is the big deal with narrow track. Well most stream washes are narrow by natural design and old mining roads were made for wagons. In a totally stupid move most “off-roaders” make their vehicles wider and wider, fat warty tires. spacers to make the wheels stick out more. Don’t even get me started about factory trucks like the Raptor and the like, so wide they have to have fat truck lights on them! My New Defender X is comfy and quiet. The heat works, it does not leak and is awesome off road. I am a geologist, I was in the field yesterday and last week. In fact, nobody pays me if I am not in the field. I was very happy when somebody flew out, paid a suitcase full of cash for my 97 Defender ST. Nobody was happier than my wife though. She absolutely could not understand why anybody would pay that for one of them. One of her favorite movies is “The Gods Must Be Crazy.” There was a Land Rover in my car’s color and portrayed its personality perfectly. At least from my wife’s point of view.

Last edited 4 months ago by James Wallace
MrLM002
MrLM002
4 months ago
Reply to  James Wallace

I’ve always joked that Defenders are built for robots. Having a lot of seat time in single cab Defender Pickups the fit is rigid, as a 6ft tall,170lb guy your knees and shins are rubbing against the (optional) AC setup, the clutch is at an angle it feels more like a foot jack than a clutch, etc. That being said we’ve never had the issues you describe with the flaps letting rain in (at least when they were closed).

Honestly The Defenders and previous iterations of the Land Rover still surprise me to this day with how such simple automobiles can be so damn unreliable.

Thebloody_shitposter
Thebloody_shitposter
4 months ago
Reply to  James Wallace

It’s very clear that everyone lamenting the old Defender in here have never infact spent any sort of serious seat time in the old Defender let alone actually spent money on one (pretty much why Land Rover stopped making them). My new 110 is better in pretty much every way that matters than my 109 (or my dad’s old 110). Yes the old one looks cool but fuck me I don’t miss smashing my elbows on the door when I turn the steering wheel or having my knees around my ear holes.

Last edited 4 months ago by Thebloody_shitposter
Phuzz
Phuzz
4 months ago

I’m in a fortunate position in that I don’t own a Defender, my brother does. So I get to go for the occasional drive off road, and enjoy how much fun they can be, without having to deal with, well, everything else.
Plus I get to enjoy the schadenfreude of my brother having to deal with it 🙂

Great vehicles for other people to own, 10/10.

Thebloody_shitposter
Thebloody_shitposter
4 months ago
Reply to  Phuzz

They’re really great trucks, if you’re a 5′ Englishman…

Mr. Fusion
Mr. Fusion
4 months ago
Reply to  James Wallace

You neglected to mention that the LR in The Gods Must Be Crazy was nicknamed “The Antichrist”. Just putting a fine point on what every Defender owner has thought at one time or another…

Rock Burner
Rock Burner
4 months ago
Reply to  James Wallace

The Gods Must Be Crazy”
my my my…. someone else has seen that film, I thought I was the only one!

Do You Have a Moment To Talk About Renaults?
Do You Have a Moment To Talk About Renaults?
4 months ago

I’m super bummed that they didn’t take some side-by-side pictures of the Defender and the Grenadier. I actually went on google because I couldn’t believe they’d missed such an opportunity… and it appears they did.

Thomas Metcalf
Thomas Metcalf
4 months ago

I hope the folks at Land Rover take note of this. It is huge that a British S&R outfit went with another brand because LR has gone too soft.

Adrian Clarke
Adrian Clarke
4 months ago
Reply to  Thomas Metcalf

It’s one vehicle with a volunteer search and rescue service. I think JLR have got bigger things to worry about.

Mr. Fusion
Mr. Fusion
4 months ago
Reply to  Adrian Clarke

They have promised to improve reliability across their entire range, and you know they really mean it because they promise it every year!

Thomas Metcalf
Thomas Metcalf
4 months ago
Reply to  Adrian Clarke

Haha. Fair enough

David Frisby
David Frisby
4 months ago
Reply to  Thomas Metcalf

His Majesty’s Coastguard haven’t used Land Rovers for years, most of the recent ones being Mitsubushi L200/Triton trucks. Also the RNLI (Royal National Lifeboat Institution – for our global readers) Lifeguards use Ford Rangers.
Probably all due to cost.
Ineos would do well to make a lighter less electrically equipped ‘Utility’ version of the Grenadier as it is so heavy it has very little usable payload in its current form. And maybe use BMW’s 2L twin turbo diesel 4cylinder instead.

SNL-LOL Jr
SNL-LOL Jr
4 months ago

If the vehicle to be rescued has a Man City decal, would the truck just shove it off the cliff instead?
(The joke may be lost to many here.)

Do You Have a Moment To Talk About Renaults?
Do You Have a Moment To Talk About Renaults?
4 months ago
Reply to  SNL-LOL Jr

It’s a scottish rescue team. Any car with any english football club decal will get thrown off a cliff.

Phuzz
Phuzz
4 months ago

But if they’re a Man U fan, they’re more than likely not English? Certainly not Mancunian anyway.

Thebloody_shitposter
Thebloody_shitposter
4 months ago
Reply to  SNL-LOL Jr

If it was a Man Unt. decal, it would have just driven off the cliff in the first place…

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