British Chemical Company Proceeding With 'Defender-inspired' Ride

Corey Lewis
by Corey Lewis

Last year, we reported on how British chemical company Ineos had approached Land Rover, asking for permission to build a copy of its now-deceased Defender. Land Rover responded unequivocally, stating, “There is no way this is happening.”

Hold on, not so fast there.

Seemingly unfazed by Land Rover’s rejection, Ineos founder Jim Ratcliffe was very positive when speaking to Autocar in 2016:

“I am a great admirer of the Land Rover Defender and I think it can be upgraded to be the world’s best and most rugged off-roader.”

In a recent Autocar report, however, Ineos has seemingly changed tack. The company has now relayed a vision for a Defender-inspired vehicle, featuring a diesel, hybrid, or possibly all-electric powertrain. The current production date target is 2020, with volume projected at 15,000 units per year.

According to Ineos director Tom Crotty, the inspired new SUV will have a traditional chassis and be fairly low-tech. Crotty also explained, “[The model] will be extremely high quality and extremely reliable.” (Perhaps Ineos didn’t go quite so Defender-inspired, after all.)

Between now and the 2020 production date, Ineos needs to develop and finalize a design, as well as build a brand-new factory.

As the Jeep Wrangler proves year after year, there’s certainly a market for a rugged, simplistic off-road vehicle. Ineos plans to market the new SUV to the United States, Europe, and sub-Saharan Africa. An estimated price starting at £25,000 (just over $31,000 U.S. dollars as of writing) would seem within reach for many consumers seeking a simple vehicle for serious off road use.

Watch this space for further developments from Ineos, as it seem to have quite an uphill climb between now and 2020.

[Image: Wikimedia Commons ( CC BY-SA 3.0)]

Corey Lewis
Corey Lewis

Interested in lots of cars and their various historical contexts. Started writing articles for TTAC in late 2016, when my first posts were QOTDs. From there I started a few new series like Rare Rides, Buy/Drive/Burn, Abandoned History, and most recently Rare Rides Icons. Operating from a home base in Cincinnati, Ohio, a relative auto journalist dead zone. Many of my articles are prompted by something I'll see on social media that sparks my interest and causes me to research. Finding articles and information from the early days of the internet and beyond that covers the little details lost to time: trim packages, color and wheel choices, interior fabrics. Beyond those, I'm fascinated by automotive industry experiments, both failures and successes. Lately I've taken an interest in AI, and generating "what if" type images for car models long dead. Reincarnating a modern Toyota Paseo, Lincoln Mark IX, or Isuzu Trooper through a text prompt is fun. Fun to post them on Twitter too, and watch people overreact. To that end, the social media I use most is Twitter, @CoreyLewis86. I also contribute pieces for Forbes Wheels and Forbes Home.

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2 of 28 comments
  • Feds Feds on Feb 16, 2017

    They should call Sergio and get the tooling for the Iveco Massif.

  • SuperCarEnthusiast SuperCarEnthusiast on Feb 26, 2017

    Land Rover planning on releasing a redesign Defender in 2019! Suppose to at the high end expensive! Same price as the Range Rover is!

  • Charles The UAW makes me the opposite of patriotic
  • El scotto Wranglers are like good work boots, you can't make them any better. Rugged four wheel drive vehicles which ironically make great urban vehicles. Wagoneers were like handbags desired by affluent women. They've gone out of vogue. I can a Belgian company selling Jeep and Ram Trucks to a Chinese company.
  • El scotto So now would be a good time to buy an EV as a commuter car?
  • ToolGuy $1 billion / 333.3 million = $3 per U.S. person ¶ And what do I get for my 3 bucks -- cleaner air and lower fuel prices? I might be ok with this 🙂🙂
  • VoGhost Matt, I'm curious why you write that inventory levels are low at 74 days. Typically, 60 days is the benchmark for normal inventory.