At a recent Cars & Coffee event in Great Falls,Virginia—yes, it’s another C&C story, but bear with me here—I was surprised to walk by a Land Rover Defender and see “Powered By BMW” embossed on the hood. It was actually more than just a feeling of surprise; I was confused, befuddled, and intrigued. And that’s when I took a step back and realized, it wasn’t a Land Rover Defender at all—it was an Ineos Grenadier. (I know this because it said so on the opposite side of the hood.)

Thankfully, the vehicle’s owner was about to head out, so I was able to accost him with a myriad of questions. He was more than happy to chat.

The Grenadier comes from Ineos Automotive, which is part of a London-based British multinational chemicals company named the Ineos Group. It’s manufactured in a factory in France that used to produce Smart cars. They are in fact powered by BMW, with two turbocharged 3.0-liter sixes available—B58 (gas) and B57 (diesel) engines. Only the gas-powered BMW B58 six is available for the North America market. The transmission may also ring a bell—it’s a ZF 8HP eight-speed automatic.

I suppose this makes sense now.

The owner popped the hood and there it was, a brand-new 3.0-liter inline-six (B58) that produces 282 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque. The plastic engine cover also gave credit where credit was due, with the text “Powered By BMW” clearly visible.

It actually is a B58, backed up with a ZF 8HP!

The rest of the Grenadier is distinctly not BMW. If a Land Rover Defender and a Mercedes G Wagon had a baby, it would be the Ineos Grenadier. It’s certainly off-road capable with body-on-frame construction and solid front and rear axles. Thanks to a five-link coil-over suspension—also both front and rear—the ride isn’t harsh. It’s a different beast than any of BMW’s current SUV offerings.

Somewhat fitting to be parked between a BMW with a 3.0-liter six and a new Land Rover Defender.

This isn’t the first time that another manufacturer has dropped a BMW drivetrain into one of their models. Some of the more well-known examples include the McLaren F1 and the current-generation Toyota Supra, but there are lesser-known models like the Ascari KZ1, Wiesmann GT, and De Tomaso Guarà. And of course there are brands that fall under the BMW umbrella like MINI and Rolls-Royce.

It wasn’t the only one at Cars and Coffee as there was also a white one.

The 2024 Grenadier models with Trialmaster and Fieldmaster packages start at $71,500—which slides in between the Land Rover Defender and Mercedes G550. So, if you want to add a kind-of-sort-of BMW to your stable that’s more affordable and off-road capable than a McLaren F1 and comes with a warranty, the Ineos Grenadier is a compelling option for pennies on the dollar. —Mike Bevels



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