I wanted to hate the Ineos Grenadier. Really, I did. Its design is derivative, its borrowed powertrain and its engineering outsourced. Not to mention that Ineos is a courageous startup that is neither courageous nor start-up. the new car manufacturer is the subsidiary of a large petrochemical company. The set is a kind of pet project of the rich so until now I had been dismissive. But the pomegranate pushes on me because it gives the car key the dignity it deserves.
The Grenadier has no push-button ignition. There are honest tumblers inside a cylinder, and you’ll need to grab the key and turn your wrist to turn it on. Also, it has a “toot” button on the steering wheel for politely honking.
The interior is a jumble of buttons and switch panels; it’s good. There’s still a touchscreen, but the company prioritizes physical input, so there’s a button, or rotary controller, that drivers can use to navigate the on-screen menus. This should come in handy when you’re wearing gloves or your fingers are wet and the touchscreen won’t work.
The rest of the SUV’s features require drivers to interact with something other than a screen in order to work. And the layout looks well thought out too. The off-road controls are on a panel above the dashboard, giving the SUV’s cabin the appearance of an airplane.
I thought that maybe some of the physical inputs of Grenadier would not make it to the production model but, like Periodism Del Motor reports, all of these buttons went into production. Except push-to-start. Spanish media confirmed there is no push button ignition in the Grenadier.
If you squint, you can see a “Start-Stop” button in the center console, but it’s Apparently the button to activate / deactivate the automatic engine cut-off, which turns off the engine instead of idling. It might be confusing, but I’m going to take a bit of a learning curve on a bare, lifeless dashboard any day.
Car cabs gradually lose dimension and the feeling of immersion. They are starting to look like cabins; all flat surfaces and screens. It would be nice to go back to the cockpits and start using real keys again to bring these machines to life.