- Renegade 4xe debuts Jeep’s plug-in hybrid 4x4 technology
- In the Trailhawk, the 1.3-litre turbo-petrol and electric motor make a combined 240hp
- Compass and Wrangler PHEVs to follow
Jeep has revealed its first electrified SUV – a plug-in hybrid version of the Renegade. The Jeep Renegade 4xe is the first of several electrified models promised by Jeep, including a plug-in hybrid Compass and Wrangler that will also wear the 4xe badge, as the American firm seeks to become the “greenest, most sustainable SUV company in the world”.
Jeep Renegade 4xe PHEV: Powertrain
Three trim levels are offered on the Renegade 4xe – Longitude, Limited and Trailhawk. The Trailhawk is more extreme off-road-oriented, while Limited and Longitude offer a setup more suited to urban driving.
Visually almost identical to other Renegade variants, the 4xe gains an electric motor mounted on a modified version of the 4WD Renegade’s rear subframe, plus a 1.3-litre four-cylinder turbo-petrol engine.
The powertrain offers two outputs – the Longitude and Limited models get a total of 190hp, while the Trailhawk receives 240hp. In all three, the petrol engine puts out 270Nm of torque, while the electric motor makes a maximum of 250Nm.
The battery – which is good for an electric-only range of 50km at speeds of up to 130kph in ideal conditions – has been mounted in the floorpan’s centre tunnel and takes up some space under the rear seat. The fuel tank – also under the rear seat – has been reduced to a capacity of 39 litres.
All three versions are claimed to accelerate from 0 to 100kph in around 7.5sec and reach a top speed of 200kph.
Jeep Renegade 4xe PHEV: Off-road gear
As expected, given Jeep’s off-roading pedigree, every 4xe variant has four-wheel drive, with the firm claiming the new Renegade offers the “best performance and driving dynamics of any Jeep SUV ever”.
Power is transmitted to all four wheels through a 6-speed automatic gearbox. Meanwhile, an updated Selec-Terrain rotary control with eAWD modes (4WD Lock, 4WD Low, Hill Descent Control) engages several different driving modes, including Auto, Snow, Mud and Sand, Rock and, new for the 4xe, Sport.
Jeep Renegade 4xe PHEV: Exterior
On the outside, the 4xe is distinguished from its conventional petrol and diesel siblings by blue highlights, blue badging and a charging port push cover.
In addition, there are up to 18 different exterior paint colours to choose from. Those opting for the Limited or Trailhawk trims gain extra orange shades, while a green one is exclusive to the Trailhawk.
Jeep Renegade 4xe PHEV: Interior
Inside, a 7.0-inch TFT colour MID, an 8.0-inch touchscreen with Uconnect Nav system, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, and a DAB radio come as standard.Black accents trace the air vents, speakers and centre console bezels on the Longitude and Limited models, while the Trailhawk is distinguished by ruby red accents.
Former Jeep CEO and now Fiat Chrysler Automobiles chief Mike Manley said in 2018 that there would be four EVs in Jeep’s portfolio by 2022. However, as the executive team has been extensively reshuffled since Manley’s statement, this plan may have since been altered.
While the Renegade – standard or plug-in hybrid – is not one of the models that will be brought to India, the American firm is working on a few new things. First to arrive will be the facelift for the Compass that’s currently on sale. It will be followed by a 7-seat version of the Compass and then a sub-four-metre Hyundai Venue and Kia Sonet rival. Both these all-new Jeep SUVs are only expected to arrive next year.