Ineos Grenadier hydrogen prototype first drive

The rest of the drivetrain is of Ineos’s own design and includes a drive battery in the boot and three electric motors: two for the rear axle providing independent drive to each rear wheel and one on the front axle. A single mechanical diff lock remains at the front but otherwise it’s all down to the electrical software and hardware to control drive and propulsion. 

We do a couple of loops of the off-road course at Utac Millbrook – minus the big water hazard, as the prototype is not yet configured for wading (it would be for production) – which is pretty tame compared with the Schöckl mountain pass in Austria that Ineos uses to develop its models, but it still gives a good flavour of the character. 

Driving this very special Grenadier feels like playing a video game on the easy setting in the way it tackles an off-road course. It is so smooth to drive over all the hazards and different terrains, making progress easy. Just point and shoot.

In the words of chief engineer Pamela Amann, who sits next to us for our drive, it’s a “beginner off-roader”, yet it is no less impressive for it. The silence from the drivetrain actually gives you more feel over hazards as you recognise how the wheels are reacting to allow you to adjust inputs accordingly. 

A back-to-back drive in a petrol-powered Grenadier reveals the two are equals off road in their capacity to traverse different terrains and hazards, but in the hydrogen model you can be that bit more precise in your control inputs. 

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