The plug-in-hybrid (PHEV) Jeep Wrangler 4xe has been revealed ahead of it going on sale in the international markets early next year. Described as the most “technically advanced and eco-friendly” iteration of the iconic 4x4 yet, the Wrangler 4xe claims to offer enhanced usability, both on and off road, over the standard car.
Plug-in hybrid powertrain pairs a four-cylinder petrol engine with two electric motors
Retains wading depth of the standard Wrangler despite additional electricals
Blue highlights and 4xe badging only cosmetic differentiators from the standard Wrangler
The new Wrangler 4xe joins hybrid versions of the Renegade and Compass SUVs, revealed earlier this year, as Jeep gears up to electrify its entire model line-up in the coming years.
What is under the hood?
The Wrangler 4xe’s electrified powertrain uses a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine paired with a pair of electric motors – one mounted in front of the engine and the second just forward of the gearbox. The system in its totality puts out 375hp and 637Nm of torque.
Like the non-electrified Wrangler, four-wheel drive features, with power sent from the combustion motor to both axles through an eight-speed automatic gearbox.
The electric motors draw power from a 400V, 17kWh battery pack located below the rear bench. The battery pack recuperates energy from a belt-integrated starter/generator under deceleration or via a conventional charging port located on the front left wing. Jeep says the 4xe has an all-electric range of about 40km.
The positioning of the battery pack means that there is no change to the dimensions of the Wrangler’s cabin while also offering optimal protection from the elements. The battery pack is cooled using the refrigerant from the SUV’s air-conditioning system. Additionally, the Wrangler 4xe features comprehensive weatherproofing around all new electrical components, with Jeep saying that it can match the non-electrified car’s 30-inch wading depth.
The PHEV comes with three drive modes – Hybrid, Electric and eSave. In Hybrid mode the SUV uses both conventional and electric power, while in Electric mode, only the electric motors are in use. When set to eSave mode, only the petrol engine provides power to the SUV. A new ‘Eco Coaching’ display allows drivers to monitor power flow and optimise use of regenerative braking, schedule charge times and view driving history.
A ‘Max Regen’ function can be used to optimise electrical energy generation, using ‘more assertive’ regenerative braking.
Jeep claims that the “seamless integration of electric power into the 4x4 drivetrain elevates the Wrangler 4xe to new levels of off-road performance”. Instant torque in electric mode allows for a “more precise and controlled driving experience for climbing and crawling”, while conserving fuel and minimising noise.
What variants will the Wrangler 4xe come in?
The 4xe will come in three variants – the entry-level 4xe, mid-spec Sahara and the fully-loaded Rubicon. The entry-level and mid-range trims are equipped with full-time four-wheel drive, a two-speed transfer case and heavy-duty Dana 44 axles. While the Rubicon brings an upgraded Rock-Track 4x4 system, axle lockers, improved articulation and a front sway bar disconnect for improved suspension travel.
How do you tell the Wrangler 4xe apart from the standard model?
Styling across the Wrangler 4xe line-up is nearly identical to that of the standard car, but blue tow hooks, badging and interior elements mark it out as the hybrid car.
Jeep boss Christian Meunier said: “We are committed to make Jeep the greenest SUV brand. The electrification of the Jeep line-up will allow commuters to travel solely on electric power, delivering an efficient and fun on-road experience and offering an ability to enjoy even more Jeep capability off road in nearly complete silence.”
Will it come to India?
Jeep has number of launches planned for the next couple of years including the Compass facelift and the Compass-based seven-seat D-SUV next year. Also, on the cards for 2021 are two iconic models from the manufacturer with one likely to be the next-gen Grand Cherokee. A compact SUV is expected to join the range in 2022
However, only time will tell, if Jeep will bring the plug-in-hybrid Wrangler to India, although it is not likely to arrive before 2021.
Jeep Grand Wagoneer concept previews flagship SUV
Jeep Compass available with benefits of up to Rs 2 lakh
Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392 V8 concept revealed
Compass facelift to lead Jeep's India line-up expansion