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Electric

Here’s your first look at the new Ineos Fusilier, an electric off-roader

After the Grenadier and Quartermaster comes this: Ineos’s new, slightly smaller e-4x4

Published: 23 Feb 2024

Though we can’t quite be sure, one suspects Ineos – chemical giant, now automotive company – harbours great affection for a good military rank. Following the reveal of the Grenadier (named after Ineos big boss Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s favourite pub, also a soldier who handles big grenades), came the Quartermaster (soldier who looks after supplies).

And now, there’s a third: the new Ineos Fusilier. It is exciting for two reasons. Firstly, it’s Ineos’s slightly smaller, fully-electric off-roader, taking the genes of the Grenadier and transposing them into a car fit for the zero- and low-emission future.

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Second, and perhaps more importantly, it opens up a world of names for new models that’ll fill Ineos’s catalogue quicker than you can say ‘ah-ten-shun’. Anyone else feeling the Ineos Kettle Drummer?

We’ve no background info on the name, but the new Fusilier does fulfil a promise Sir Jim made back in 2022 to build a zero-emission 4x4. As such, we’re told the Fusilier will come in two variants: a battery-electric version, and one with a range-extender. The latter is currently in development, and at this early stage we know only that it’ll be a ‘small’ petrol engine acting as a generator to maintain the battery’s charge level. Sounds sensible.

Both versions will be spun off a new bespoke ‘skateboard’ platform – so not the Grenadier or Quartermaster’s bones – with a steel underbody, and aluminium doors and closures. Oh, and it’ll also get a steel ‘top hat’, which sadly, isn’t what TopGear.com wishes it was.

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Despite the absence of a real top hat, the new Fusilier sports a clean, polished design, clearly taking the Grenadier’s upright, boxy proportions and smoothing off the edges, almost shrink-wrapping it around a shorter, lower silhouette. That’s been done deliberately for better airflow, we’re told, further concessions to which include active grille shutters and things like flushed glazing.

Though a little generic, it’s clearly part of the Ineos family, sporting the company’s now established 7in circular headlights. Squint, and one could imagine an even smaller version, say, the Ineos Trumpeter? But we’re getting ahead of ourselves.

“As we developed this vehicle, we quickly concluded that in order to move towards decarbonisation but continue making cars that consumers want to drive, we need a mix of powertrain technologies,” said Sir Jim.

“BEVs are perfect for certain uses: shorter trips and urban deliveries, but industry and governments need to have realistic expectations around other technologies that can help accelerate the necessary pace of change.

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“That is the reason we are offering an additional powertrain for the Fusilier, one that dramatically reduces emissions but has the range and refuelling capabilities needed.”

Like we said, a sensible approach. We’ll know more about the Fusilier RX later this year. Both variants will be built by Magna – which, you’ll remember, also builds the G-Class – in Austria, and the Fusilier will in time be subject to “a rigorous testing programme on Austria’s Schöckl mountain”.

Ineos Automotive’s CEO Lynn Calder added: “Announcing our third model line is another significant milestone, cementing our intent as an automotive manufacturer. Like our full vehicle line-up, we are here for the long haul.”

And if they’re here for the long haul, they’ll need more names. Personally, TopGear.com cannot wait for the Ineos Wagon Master General.

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