Ineos Fusilier - an electric 4x4 for real off-roading

Max McDee, 23 February 2024

Ineos, known for its unapologetic revival of traditional off-roading with the Grenadier, is taking a gamble with the Fusilier. The company’s first electric SUV aims to bring the rugged spirit into the electrified age. But will hardened off-road enthusiasts embrace the switch from diesel to batteries? Ineos believes it can overcome the inherent challenges of taking EVs into the wilderness.

Ineos Fusilier - an electric 4x4 for real off-roading

The Fusilier comes in two distinct versions to cater to different needs. The pure electric model boasts a targeted range of 249 miles – a number that will undoubtedly decrease under the demands of off-road terrain. For those plagued by range anxiety, there's the EREV model, offering a smaller battery (around 168 miles electric-only) and a petrol-fueled generator to provide on-the-go recharging. Ineos sees this as the ultimate solution for remote adventures.

Built on a dedicated EV platform developed by Magna (responsible for the Jaguar I-Pace, Fisker Ocean, and even the new all-electric Mercedes-Benz G-Class), the Fusilier aims for true off-road prowess. Power comes from an electric motor at each axle for genuine four-wheel drive, unfortunately, Ineos hasn’t shared any powertrain details yet. The only detail shared was that the batteries will be manufactured by Samsung at its factory in Hungary.

Visually, the Fusilier walks the line between the Grenadier's boxy charm and the demands of efficiency. Softened edges, flush windows, and active grille shutters seek to maximize range. Thankfully, Ineos hasn't sacrificed function entirely, promising a button-heavy interior that prioritizes usability over futuristic touchscreens.

On-road manners should be an improvement over the Grenadier, thanks to swapping the recirculating-ball steering for a more responsive rack-and-pinion setup. CEO Lynn Calder promises the Fusilier will still conquer the trails but hints at a less ponderous experience on the pavement.

Ineos Fusilier - an electric 4x4 for real off-roading

Ineos claims the Fusilier will live up to the grueling trials of the Schöckl Pass, the ultimate test for all iterations of the Mercedes G-Class. Electric 4x4s like the Rivian R1S and GMC Hummer EV have shown potential, but they haven't yet erased the doubts held by off-road purists. Reliability in harsh conditions – extremes of temperature, deep water crossings, and relentless vibrations – is the true test for any off-roader, and it's an area where EVs still have much to prove.

Pricing remains a question. Ineos suggests the Fusilier won't be drastically cheaper than the Grenadier, which could be a tough sell for those hoping for a more accessible entry into the brand. The REV version, while potentially less expensive due to a smaller battery, adds a layer of mechanical complexity that could negate any cost savings in the long run.

Ineos Fusilier - an electric 4x4 for real off-roading

Before you get too excited and start planning your next off-road adventure, there’s a catch. The Ineos Fusilier is coming in 2027 - if everything works out as planned. 3 years is an awful amount of time in the automotive industry, let alone in the EV world.

When it eventually arrives, Fusilier has the potential to either carve out a unique niche or become a cautionary tale of the limitations faced by electric off-roaders. Success or failure hinges on whether it can deliver the adventurous spirit of Ineos in a package that conquers trails as reliably as it calms range anxiety, and if no other automaker beats it to the finish line. Did someone say electric Suzuki Jimny?

Ineos Fusilier - an electric 4x4 for real off-roading


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Reader comments

but why not design something their own instead of copying G-wagon.



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