Navigating off-road is something a Formula 1 driver tends to avoid. Of course, it’s a slightly different scenario when you’re seven-time world champion Sir Lewis Hamilton, who was recently invited to test drive the INEO Grenadier by the British automaker’s billionaire founder Sir Jim Ratcliffe.
“I’m genuinely enjoying driving this car,” said Lewis Hamilton; which is rather high praise considering he recently admitted to harbouring something of a dislike for driving beyond the grid (“I’d rather hand my keys to my friends or something… I don’t like traffic, it’s more stressful for me.”).
“It’s very comfortable considering some of the huge dips we were driving down… I was pretty much flat-out around the course. I’m massively surprised at how much grip there is.”
Sir Jim said: “The Grenadier was designed to be good off-road, but we didn’t know it was going to be as good as it is on the road. I can definitely say I don’t think anyone has ever driven it like Lewis drove it.”
Around this time last year, during his final season with Mercedes AMG Petronas F1, Hamilton’s former teammate and current Alfa Romeo driver, Valtteri Bottas, also gave the INEOS 4×4 a test drive while waxing poetic about the beauty of off-roading.
For reference, INEO is both a principal sponsor and one of the Mercedes F1 outfit’s three major shareholders, hence why they have access to talent of this calibre for marketing promotions such as this. One big happy family, as it were.
The INEOS Grenadier houses twin BMW-sourced 3.0-litre twin-turbo engines, mated to a ZF eight-speed automatic transmission. Available in either a gasoline or diesel option, it’s capable of generating 281 horsepower / 332 lb-ft of torque and 245 horsepower / 406 lb-ft of torque, respectively.
Check out Sir Lewis Hamilton and Sir Jim Ratcliffe test-driving the INEO Grenadier above – and hit the link below to find out how you can get one of these beastly 4x4s for yourself.