The test team for the Ineos Grenadier four-wheel-drive came to Australia over summer for heat, dust, and corrugated roads. Instead they got storms, mud, and floods. They plan to come back to complete their global development drive.
Australian testing of the upcoming 2022 Ineos Grenadier four-wheel drive – a Land Rover Defender look-a-like – has hit a roadblock, encountering severe wet-weather conditions in outback South Australia.
The test team was planning to encounter extreme heat, corrugated roads, and plenty of dust along the well-known Googs Track in South Australia, which covers 170 km of desert dunes, rocky outcrops, and salt pans.
Now it will be forced to come back at a later date to complete its global development drive.
Googs track is normally closed to travellers at this time of year because of the hot conditions, but Ineos Australia got special permission to visit the area for testing purposes.
A freak storm – referred to as a ‘one-in-a-hundred year event’ – forced the vehicle development team to stay longer at Barton Gold Mine Tarcoola, while waiting for conditions to improve.
Dwindling supplies forced the engineers to move on, where they found themselves forced to wait longer at Pimba roadhouse.
Only with permission of local police was the team able to cross flooded roads and continue their journey.
Because the majority of testing along Googs track was scuppered by extreme weather events, Ineos Automotive is looking to revisit the region at a later date.
Representatives from Ineos Australia told Drive the team got a small taste of hot and challenging conditions with the prototype Grenadier (the same vehicle Drive completed a ride-along in last year) however the validation work was not as exhaustive as planned.
Australian testing is part of the global program which covers some 1.8 million kilometres in a fleet of uncamouflaged ‘2B’ prototypes.
This is in addition to the separate expedition across the notorious Canning Stock Route recently announced by Ineos Automotive CEO Dirk Heilmann as a potential future test environment.
The Ineos Grenadier is scheduled to arrive in Australian showrooms by the end of this year, with a starting price of $84,500 before on-road costs for a two-seater or $85,500 for a five-seater.
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