People whose lives were plunged into despair following the discontinuation of the Land Rover Defender pick up rejoice: the first series production Grenadier Quartermaster double cab pick-ups have started rolling off Ineos Automotive's production line in Hambach, France.
The pick up version of the Grenadier has always been part of Ineos Automotive's plans, being revealed alongside the SUV (or Station Wagon, as Ineos calls it) in July 2020.
The five-seat double cab Quartermaster was developed in tandem with the Grenadier Station Wagon - that we drove earlier this year - and built on the same production line, Ineos says the Quartermaster is "engineered to deliver the same uncompromising off-road capability and dependability as the Station Wagon but with greater load-carrying versatility."
The Quartermaster shares the Station Wagon's full box-section ladder frame chassis, heavy-duty solid beam axles, two-speed transfer case, and up to three locking differentials. Power comes from the same two BMW 3.0-litre turbo-charged inline six-cylinder engines - petrol or diesel - as the wagon version as well, driving all four wheels through a ZF eight-speed automatic transmission.
The Quartermaster's 3227mm wheelbase has been stretched by 305mm over the wagon to accommodate the tray, which has a payload of up to 782kg for diesel and 857kg for the petrol variant, slightly down on the current crop of conventional one tonne utes that dominate the NZ sales charts.
Ineos says a cab-chassis model, using the same frame as the Quartermaster pick-up will enter production next year, and will be specifically aimed at conversion specialists and commercial body builders.
"The start of production for our second model line is another extremely exciting and important milestone for INEOS Automotive." says Lynn Calder, CEO, Ineos Automotive.
"As part of the final sign-off process I drove a late prototype in both Spain and the African bush and it's unbeatable off-road, combining the rugged capability and refined performance of the Station Wagon with the enormous load bay that can carry a huge amount of kit and cargo. It's a great addition to our model line-up."
Ineos says that customer deliveries of the Quartermaster are due to start in December 2023 in Europe, with shipments to Asia Pacific, Sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East following soon after.
While the Quartermaster has been confirmed for sale in New Zealand with the base model starting at $120,000, while the up-spec Trialmaster and Fieldmaster models start at $134,500.