Watch Lewis Hamilton Go Off-Road With Ineos Grenadier

What is Lewis Hamilton, a Mercedes-AMG Formula 1 race car driver, behind the wheel of a BMW-powered SUV? Well, Ineos Automotive is a subsidiary of the chemical company Ineos Group, one of the main sponsors of the F1 team. The seven-time world champion stars in a new video featuring the Grenadier and he’s joined by Ineos founder Jim Ratcliffe. Needless to say, the 37-year-old driver with the most wins in F1 is a big fan of box SUVs.

Lewis Hamilton is known for his collection of low-slung supercars, but he seems to be enjoying himself behind the wheel of the high-riding Grenadier while off-track. The SUV feels like James Bond and he will order one with dark lights, an additional set of LEDs on the roof, and the largest all-terrain tires available. The capable off-roader has slightly more body roll than the type of car the LH is used to, but he’s still impressed with the amount of grip available.

In production at Daimler’s former factory in Hambach, France where the Smart cars used to be made, the Ineos Grenadier is offered with two BMW 3.0-liter, inline-six engines. There’s the B57 diesel with 245 hp and 406 lb-ft (550 Nm) and the B58 petrol plant with 281 hp and 332 lb-ft (450 Nm).

In ladder-frame SUVs, both work with an eight-speed ZF automatic transmission in SUVs equipped with three differential locks like the Mercedes G-Class. The Grenadier isn’t the only new SUV to sport a BMW engine as the Range Rover and Range Rover Sport get a larger V8 N63 from Munich.

You’ve probably heard an interesting story about how the Grenadiers came to be. Jim Ratcliffe originally wanted to buy the rights to the old Defender to continue production, but Land Rover said no. He decided to take matters into his own hands and engineered his way to anywhere from the ground up. A legal dispute ensued when automaker Tata Motors said the Grenadier was too similar to the Defender, but Ineos ended up winning because the original Defender design was never trademarked.

Customer deliveries are scheduled to begin in December and Ineos Automotive has confirmed that the Grenadier will be coming to the United States next year with a petrol engine.

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