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Chicago & Denver 2B Prototype walkthrough

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I have an appointment in Denver for next week. I have a reservation and am super excited to lay hands on the vehicle.
 

grenadierguy

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I haven't booked yet. Trying to find a sitter so I can bring the wife and get her on board!
 
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Well the appointments were filling up fast, I would not wait too long. 
 
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I’m glad I booked immediately. They filled up fast.  Saw it in Denver.  Better in person. 
 
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Beowulf said:
I’m glad I booked immediately. They filled up fast.  Saw it in Denver.  Better in person. 

I had a reservation for Denver but had to cancel. It was going to be a 6-hour drive round-trip (which was a known variable), but then work ramped up unexpectedly (unknown variable).

Anything in particular you want to mention that leads you to say "better in person"? Thanks in advance!
 

grenadierguy

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stickshifter said:
I had a reservation for Denver but had to cancel. It was going to be a 6-hour drive round-trip (which was a known variable), but then work ramped up unexpectedly (unknown variable).

Anything in particular you want to mention that leads you to say "better in person"? Thanks in advance!
Thats too bad, but ultimately the thing that may pay for it has to come first. Greg said the longest anyone had driven so far for the US events was 6 hours one way. Back to the matter at hand... I can't speak for @Beowulf (what time were you there?) however for me it was the presence and of course the seats. It looks great in 2d pictures, it feels better to stand next to or use. Grab handles for example. That said the hype on the seats is good. They are firm and hug you. They are doing ride alongs in the fall, I hope you can attend. 
 
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It is hard to put into words.  In person it is both bigger and smaller than expected.  When I first saw it, it seemed very wide.  That is just a factor of very straight sides.  My GX460 is only a inch-ish narrower.  Then at the same time, it had this overall appearance of being small....as in it would have no problem fitting down most trails in Colorado and the tight Utah mining shelf roads.

Even though I was not able to drive it, while sitting in the seat, it felt like I had more of connection with the vehicle and the surrounding studio.  Very much how I feel in a Wrangler......unlike in my GX460 that very much isolates me from everything.

The seats are indeed incredible.  I'd have no problems sitting in the all day for long trips.  

The interior layout was nice.  Buttons where perfect for me.  The distance to the passenger was also perfect.  Not too close as to bump elbows on the arm rest, but not too far away to make it seem like you had to shout to talk to them.

I was disappointed in the rear seat and rear platform layout......for my purpose.  Now, if you need the rear seat for extra people, it was fantastic.  Comfortable.  Good visibility.  Lots of leg room.  I have a 34" inseam.  However, I don't plan on having the back seat as I want to build this out like a Troopy with a full flat floor and living area.  In talking to the the Reps, the believe it would be easy to remove the seats but keep the steel boxing around the batteries as a support for a flat floor.

Now, what really impressed me was the undercarriage.  They asked me not to take pics as it was not 100% production.  BUT, everything was incredibly well thought out and very robust.  Everything was much beefier than what is under the LC200.  The thickness of metal....the boxing of areas, the tucking of items.....all of it impressed me.  If you are less worried about cargo capacity and want articulation, a sway bar disconnect would be easy.  Plenty of room for remote reservoir shocks.....etc.

This may be heresy,  but to me it was a Jeep Wrangler suspension beefed up to sacrifice travel for increasing Cargo Capacity from the factory.  Think a Wrangler 2500 or 3500 suspension, steering, frame....etc.

I love this, as I can also do what is needed to increase travel.....it is live axles, but having the high cargo capacity from the factory, or upgrading that is not so easy.
 
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Hi Glenn and Beowulf,

Thank you for your replies - both were helpful!

The seats really sound great! Of course, everyone has a different butt and back, but so far, I haven't heard anything but high praise for the seats.

Beowulf: my plan sounds similar to yours - remove the second row of seats and create a flat space behind the two front seats. The perfect vehicle for my needs would be the long wheel base Grenadier station wagon, but they are not committing to building that yet, though they have teased the idea. I like your description of the Grenadier's suspension being like a 2500 Wrangler - this is exactly what I think most of us have been hoping for. When I ran 35s on my JKU I replaced the front end components with beefier aftermarket parts. Jeeps have always come from the factory a bit lightly built - which has some advantages (light weight, and rather nimble if not modded in the wrong way) and some disadvantages (low payload, not the most durable). Sacrificing some articulation for increased payload and durability is the trade-off one has to make when prioritizing overlanding over rock-crawling. Despite all I've heard, I was still surprised to hear you say that it looks beefier than a 200-Series Landcruiser!

Did you get a sense for an axle comparison? I don't know Carraro axles at all - do they look like a Dana 60?

Thanks again to both for sharing your experience!
 
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Luckily my brother has a 200 so we were able to really compare the two.  
As for axles, I’d lean towards the D60 level. They are a different design so it’s hard to make a direct comparison from looks. 
in the front they were not a standard ujoint style knuckle from what I could see. I don’t know if it is a Birfield style or some strange CV thing.  They wouldn’t confirm and I could not tell visually.  
 
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Thanks Beowulf! I’m curious now about the axles - I’ll let you know if I learn anything valuable. 
 
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I saw the Grenadier in Chicago last Tuesday, as part of the 2B Prototype Tour. Our group had about an hour and a half to view the vehicle ask questions. Greg Clark and his team were very open with information, although some details of the Grenadier could not yet be revealed. Here are my initial impressions:
  • The Grenadier looks much better in person than it does in pictures. It is not a beautiful vehicle, nor is it meant to be. It has a purposeful look, and the design hangs together well. From a distance, it certainly reminds one of a Defender but up close it has its own unique attributes. I  like it very much.
  • Size-wise, it is larger than you would expect. Somewhere between a Toyota Forerunner and a Toyota Land Cruiser (100/200). Interior volume is close to the Land Cruiser, but it is narrower and taller.
  • The vehicle height may be an issue for some, if you plan to keep it in your garage. It is 80 inches tall. The typical American garage door is nominally 7 feet tall, but usually has an opening, after installation, of around 81 to 83 inches. If you plan to lift the Grenadier, or install larger tires, it may not fit in your garage.
  • It appears to be a reassuringly robust design. The body, chassis and interior all seems to be built with durability in mind. I believe that the vehicle will have a long useful life, even under difficult conditions.
  • Not everything was perfect, although in fairness, this was a prototype. For instance, I am not a big guy but I found that the door panels severely encroached on the side and shoulder room., particularly in the rear seat. Greg Clark stated that this is under review and production models will most likely have reconfigured panels and increased elbow/shoulder room. 
  • I also noticed that there is not that much room in the driver and passenger footwells. The combination of a long engine(I-6), long transmission (8-speed) and transmission bell housing encroaches into cabin space. I like the power train combination, so I can live with a slight loss of space. 
  • The chassis is very beefy. More than I expected, even after reading everything I could find about the Grenadier online. Think of it as a Ram Powerwagon chassis with a small SUV (UV) body. I like it. The Ineos team did not share details of the axles, but, visually, they appear to be more comparable to Dana 60’s rather than Dana 44’s.
  • I think the split rear door will function well. I still prefer the split tailgate on a Land Cruiser (now discontinued for the LC300), but if you have to carry a spare tire on the rear, this seems to be a good solution. Vastly superior to the Jeep Wrangler or Ford Bronco tailgates.
  • Speaking of the spare tire, there appears to be enough room to hold a 33 inch tire without interfering with the small door. I don’t know if the mount can be shifted, or not. The mount looks robust and appeared to be cast iron, rather than stamped steel. The Ineos team did not disclose the weight capacity of the rear door hinges. 
  • I asked the Ineos guys if they have run the Grenadier through an automatic car wash - the kind with the large spinning brushes. They did not know, or didn’t want to say. My concern is that the brushes will hang up on the optional exterior utility rails and either rip the rails off or rip out brush fibers. I have seen these  rip door moldings off, but those are typically mounted with plastic clips. It may be ok, but  I will not be the first to run a new Grenadier through a car wash. Besides, Grenadiers seem to look better with mud on them.
  • Features that I do not like: (1) The rear-view mirror. To me, this is the worst feature on the vehicle. It is too small and positioned too far away to be of any use at all. There is very little visibility out the back anyway, due to the split door and spare tire. The rear view mirror limits that visibility even further. In contrast, the side mirrors are great; (2) The small screen in front of the driver does not display speed, only warning lights. Stupid. Greg Clark said that speed (displayed on the central screen) is still in your field of view when driving. I am skeptical; (3) The steering wheel can be adjusted  for tilt as well as fore and aft. However, the steering wheel does not tilt very much. It goes from a very high tilt, to a less-high tilt. This means that the steering wheel has a rather flat ( more horizontal) attitude - like a Mack Truck. Having driven Mack Trucks, that is what came to mind when I sat in the driver’s seat. Maybe that is by design, but it is unusual for an SUV (UV).  Overall, my only real complaints about the vehicle (which are in fact minor complaints, rather than major complaints) are related to ergonomics. The Ineos Team indicated that they are reviewing all aspects of the interior prior to full production, so these issues may have already been resolved.
  • Favorite features: (1) Visibility. The visibility forward and laterally from the driver’s seat is fantastic. Visibility from the rear seats is also excellent.; (2) The Safari Windows in the front are great. To me, this is a required option. The windshield is rather short and far forward. The Safari Windows open up the space and make it feel much more bright. Without the Safari Windows, I would imagine that the front seats might feel  somewhat dark and claustrophobic - Like a Toyota FJ Cruiser.; (3) The overall design. It is a great size, and is built with a robustness that I have not seen in a vehicle of this type for many, many years. In addition, it provides modern levels of occupant safety that the older vehicles never could, and; (4) The overhead switch panel. I don’t know if it would provide any greater level of utility, but it just looks cool. I would enjoy looking at that every time I get into the vehicle.
Overall, even with a few small nits, I was impressed with the Grenadier.  I plan to purchase one if a test drive goes well. However, I think I speak for everyone when I say, “We want to hear what the “Toot” button sounds like!”
 

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RoadBuilder said:
  • Not everything was perfect, although in fairness, this was a prototype. For instance, I am not a big guy but I found that the door panels severely encroached on the side and shoulder room., particularly in the rear seat. Greg Clark stated that this is under review and production models will most likely have reconfigured panels and increased elbow/shoulder room. 
  • I also noticed that there is not that much room in the driver and passenger footwells. The combination of a long engine(I-6), long transmission (8-speed) and transmission bell housing encroaches into cabin space. I like the power train combination, so I can live with a slight loss of space. 
  • Features that I do not like: (1) The rear-view mirror. To me, this is the worst feature on the vehicle. It is too small and positioned too far away to be of any use at all. There is very little visibility out the back anyway, due to the split door and spare tire. The rear view mirror limits that visibility even further. In contrast, the side mirrors are great;
  • Favorite features: (1) Visibility. The visibility forward and laterally from the driver’s seat is fantastic. Visibility from the rear seats is also excellent.; (2) The Safari Windows in the front are great. To me, this is a required option. The windshield is rather short and far forward. The Safari Windows open up the space and make it feel much more bright. Without the Safari Windows, I would imagine that the front seats might feel  somewhat dark and claustrophobic - Like a Toyota FJ Cruiser.;

@RoadBuilder Thank you. Very astute observations. You articulated the interior space better than I could. I too felt it was a bit tight because of the size of the interior panels..which I attributed to the need for airbags and safety accommodations. If INEOS are looking into packing this better thats awesome. Well fitting but not expansive is the term that comes to mind. The LC200 IMHO feels very very spacious by comparison..especially up front.

As for the rear view mirror, well any vehicle with a rear mounted spare has this problem. The new Defender, the G-Wagon, The 4Runners with the modified CBI rear bumpers. A rear mirror dash cam solves this problem nicely with added functionality. I did it in my car and don't see ever having a vehicle without it.

While the visibility up front is good, I am also surprised that the height of the windshield is so short. Its somewhere between a Jeep and a prev gen G-Wagon. Where it exacerbated for me was the fact that, at 6', my eye line was just below the window top line. So, I'd have to just slouch a bit to see outside. So the safari windows on the roof are a must have. Granted, I didnt get a chance to move the Recaros further lower down to see if that would alleviate the problem
 

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Back in the day I had a 87 Toyota MR2.  When I sat in Grenadier, I couldn't put my finger on it but your description reminded me of the leg space in MR2.  I always felt I was sitting in a f16 the way the MR2 interior was designed.  Now I'll be driving a osprey.  
 

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Hmmm.  Big guy here.  Love the room in my Tundra.  Will be very curious to see how I fit in the Grenadier.
 
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Paachi said:
@RoadBuilder Thank you. Very astute observations. You articulated the interior space better than I could. I too felt it was a bit tight because of the size of the interior panels..which I attributed to the need for airbags and safety accommodations. If INEOS are looking into packing this better thats awesome. Well fitting but not expansive is the term that comes to mind. The LC200 IMHO feels very very spacious by comparison..especially up front.

As for the rear view mirror, well any vehicle with a rear mounted spare has this problem. The new Defender, the G-Wagon, The 4Runners with the modified CBI rear bumpers. A rear mirror dash cam solves this problem nicely with added functionality. I did it in my car and don't see ever having a vehicle without it.

While the visibility up front is good, I am also surprised that the height of the windshield is so short. Its somewhere between a Jeep and a prev gen G-Wagon. Where it exacerbated for me was the fact that, at 6', my eye line was just below the window top line. So, I'd have to just slouch a bit to see outside. So the safari windows on the roof are a must have. Granted, I didnt get a chance to move the Recaros further lower down to see if that would alleviate the problem
 
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Paachi,

I was able to adjust the Recaro seats up and down. It works with a ratcheting mechanism. Ratchet the height up with one end of the lever. Ratchet the height down with the other side of the lever. It worked well, and had a good range of motion.  I think you will be able to find a seat height that gives you a good line of sight under the windshield top line.
 
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RoadBuilder said:
I saw the Grenadier in Chicago last Tuesday, as part of the 2B Prototype Tour. Our group had about an hour and a half to view the vehicle ask questions. Greg Clark and his team were very open with information, although some details of the Grenadier could not yet be revealed. Here are my initial impressions:
  • The Grenadier looks much better in person than it does in pictures. It is not a beautiful vehicle, nor is it meant to be. It has a purposeful look, and the design hangs together well. From a distance, it certainly reminds one of a Defender but up close it has its own unique attributes. I  like it very much.
  • Size-wise, it is larger than you would expect. Somewhere between a Toyota Forerunner and a Toyota Land Cruiser (100/200). Interior volume is close to the Land Cruiser, but it is narrower and taller.
  • The vehicle height may be an issue for some, if you plan to keep it in your garage. It is 80 inches tall. The typical American garage door is nominally 7 feet tall, but usually has an opening, after installation, of around 81 to 83 inches. If you plan to lift the Grenadier, or install larger tires, it may not fit in your garage.
  • It appears to be a reassuringly robust design. The body, chassis and interior all seems to be built with durability in mind. I believe that the vehicle will have a long useful life, even under difficult conditions.
  • Not everything was perfect, although in fairness, this was a prototype. For instance, I am not a big guy but I found that the door panels severely encroached on the side and shoulder room., particularly in the rear seat. Greg Clark stated that this is under review and production models will most likely have reconfigured panels and increased elbow/shoulder room. 
  • I also noticed that there is not that much room in the driver and passenger footwells. The combination of a long engine(I-6), long transmission (8-speed) and transmission bell housing encroaches into cabin space. I like the power train combination, so I can live with a slight loss of space. 
  • The chassis is very beefy. More than I expected, even after reading everything I could find about the Grenadier online. Think of it as a Ram Powerwagon chassis with a small SUV (UV) body. I like it. The Ineos team did not share details of the axles, but, visually, they appear to be more comparable to Dana 60’s rather than Dana 44’s.
  • I think the split rear door will function well. I still prefer the split tailgate on a Land Cruiser (now discontinued for the LC300), but if you have to carry a spare tire on the rear, this seems to be a good solution. Vastly superior to the Jeep Wrangler or Ford Bronco tailgates.
  • Speaking of the spare tire, there appears to be enough room to hold a 33 inch tire without interfering with the small door. I don’t know if the mount can be shifted, or not. The mount looks robust and appeared to be cast iron, rather than stamped steel. The Ineos team did not disclose the weight capacity of the rear door hinges. 
  • I asked the Ineos guys if they have run the Grenadier through an automatic car wash - the kind with the large spinning brushes. They did not know, or didn’t want to say. My concern is that the brushes will hang up on the optional exterior utility rails and either rip the rails off or rip out brush fibers. I have seen these  rip door moldings off, but those are typically mounted with plastic clips. It may be ok, but  I will not be the first to run a new Grenadier through a car wash. Besides, Grenadiers seem to look better with mud on them.
  • Features that I do not like: (1) The rear-view mirror. To me, this is the worst feature on the vehicle. It is too small and positioned too far away to be of any use at all. There is very little visibility out the back anyway, due to the split door and spare tire. The rear view mirror limits that visibility even further. In contrast, the side mirrors are great; (2) The small screen in front of the driver does not display speed, only warning lights. Stupid. Greg Clark said that speed (displayed on the central screen) is still in your field of view when driving. I am skeptical; (3) The steering wheel can be adjusted  for tilt as well as fore and aft. However, the steering wheel does not tilt very much. It goes from a very high tilt, to a less-high tilt. This means that the steering wheel has a rather flat ( more horizontal) attitude - like a Mack Truck. Having driven Mack Trucks, that is what came to mind when I sat in the driver’s seat. Maybe that is by design, but it is unusual for an SUV (UV).  Overall, my only real complaints about the vehicle (which are in fact minor complaints, rather than major complaints) are related to ergonomics. The Ineos Team indicated that they are reviewing all aspects of the interior prior to full production, so these issues may have already been resolved.
  • Favorite features: (1) Visibility. The visibility forward and laterally from the driver’s seat is fantastic. Visibility from the rear seats is also excellent.; (2) The Safari Windows in the front are great. To me, this is a required option. The windshield is rather short and far forward. The Safari Windows open up the space and make it feel much more bright. Without the Safari Windows, I would imagine that the front seats might feel  somewhat dark and claustrophobic - Like a Toyota FJ Cruiser.; (3) The overall design. It is a great size, and is built with a robustness that I have not seen in a vehicle of this type for many, many years. In addition, it provides modern levels of occupant safety that the older vehicles never could, and; (4) The overhead switch panel. I don’t know if it would provide any greater level of utility, but it just looks cool. I would enjoy looking at that every time I get into the vehicle.
Overall, even with a few small nits, I was impressed with the Grenadier.  I plan to purchase one if a test drive goes well. However, I think I speak for everyone when I say, “We want to hear what the “Toot” button sounds like!”

Great post RoadBuilder - thank you!
 

grenadierguy

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Beowulf said:
Definitely want to hear the “toot”.
Yeah, Greg wouldn't give a toot about it or when they were releasing. I guess it's one of the last things they have after the full configurable goes live in April. 
 
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