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INEOS are launching the Quartermaster Cab Chassis

INEOS just emailed to say the Quartermaster Cab Chassis is being launched. They say it has a “class-leading combination of off-road capability and load-carry versatility, coupled with comfort, safety, refinement, and features of today’s driver standards.” The Quartermaster is essentially the Grenadier as a ute, sharing, far as I can see, the same engine and powertrain.

The release also quotes George Ratcliffe, Commercial Director, INEOS Automotive, as saying: “In the first year since the Grenadier launched we have already seen a number of specialist conversions, particularly with emergency services such as fire, police and inshore rescue, so launching the Quartermaster Chassis Cab is a natural step that takes our off-road expertise into many commercial areas that need a class-leading 4X4.”

Okay, so what do you think, particularly commercial operators? I bet the first question you’ll have is “what can it carry” and the answer is I don’t know as that information wasn’t supplied, so of course I’ve asked for all the specs we need to make an early call if this vehicle will do a commercial job. I suspect the answer is the same as the Quartermaster tub ute, but it’s possible the cab-chassis has upgrades.

The price for the cab-chassis starts at $102,000 AUD which is a lot compared to the equivalent Ranger, Hilux or D-Max. So, at this early stage, why would you buy the Quartermaster ? It wouldn’t be 5-star safety as mandated by many corporations, as the Grenadier doesn’t have it. I doubt it’d be payload either; what is omitted from a press release is often telling, and we know the tub version of the Quartermaster has a payload well below 1000kg – see video below for a deep dive into payload figures.

I think the Quartermaster value proposition will be offroad capability and longevity. I do think it’ll be better in the rough than say Hilux..but, will that extra capability matter? There comes a point, especially for commercial operators, where there’s enough capability and no point compromising to get more. The longevity and robustness could be an interesting argument; if you take a total-cost-of-ownership perspective a Quartermaster than lasts five years could be a better deal than a Ranger that lasts three. And then there’s INEOS’s extensive range of decent accessories too, a one-stop-shop. I’m interested to hear the views of commercial operators.

One thing I don’t like in the Quartermaster is the spare tyre not being underslung. That just destroys loadspace. Punctures are rare these days, and I offroad happily with an underslung spare, as do many others, so I don’t buy the “easy access when stuck” argument.

For private buyers I think the Quartermaster can follow the same value prop as the Grenadier; owners typically hard to impress, experienced sorts yet are very, very happy with their cars (if not the company), willing to pay a premium for the ownership experience. Realistically, there’s nothing a Grenadier can do that say an LC300 or Everest can’t, but you could also say why drink coffee when there’s water, and why drive a BMW when a Camry would get you from A to B. Time will tell whether the market sees enough value in the INEOS range to pay the price.

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