In a nutshell: Jeep Wrangler 4xe
- First ever electrified Jeep Wrangler is the plug-in hybrid Wrangler 4xe.
- Boasts power of 375 hp and a claimed 50 miles to the gallon.
- Jeep lauds the 4xe as ‘economical’ and ‘environmentally friendly’.
- Capable of travelling 25 miles in pure electric operation for ‘daily commutes’.
- Yet it still boasts Jeep’s trademark off-road prowess.
- Jeep Wrangler 4xe arrives in Europe in early 2021.
ONE of America’s most rugged and macho motors has accelerated into the modern era - as the rough ‘n’ tough Jeep Wrangler now comes as an economical hybrid.
The Wrangler has always been a vehicle to whet the appetite of petrolheads.
Angular good looks, chunky oversized tyres and capable off-road skills mean the Wrangler is somehow California cool but also appealing to the hardest outdoorsman.
There has, however, been a bit of a problem with the Wrangler - and that’s thirsty engines resulting in fuel economy not always suited to the UK’s petrol-buying public.
That, however, all changes with the Wrangler 4xe - the first ever electrified Wrangler, arriving in Europe early next year.
Christian Meunier, Global President of Jeep Brand, reveals: “Our Jeep 4xe vehicles will be the most efficient, responsible and capable that the brand has ever created. We are committed to make Jeep the greenest SUV brand.
“The electrification of the Jeep lineup 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.”
At the heart of the all-wheel-drive, plug-in hybrid 4xe is a 2.0 litre turbocharged petrol engine, which is then married to two electric motors - one mounted on the engine, the other on the transmission.
Together that produces a not inconsiderable 375 hp and 470 lb.-ft. of torque.
But what’s unheard of for a Wrangler is that it will return a claimed 50 miles to the gallon - and be able to cruise for 25 miles in all electric mode.
The electricity itself is stored in a 400-volt, 17-kWh battery and while there’s no mention at this stage of charging times, you can expect it to charge in under three hours from a 7.4 kW charging point
And don’t be fooled into thinking that just because the Wrangler now relies on electricity it’s any less potent off-road.
The 4xe still has ‘Trail Rated’ running gear, including solid front and rear axles, full-time 4x4 two-speed transfer case, fully articulating suspension and 30 inches of water fording capability.
Jeep is also quick to point out that all high-voltage electronics, including the wiring between the battery pack and the electric motors, are sealed and waterproof, meaning the 4xe is capable of water fording up to 30 inches (76 cm).
As with most other plug-in hybrids, regenerative braking is a key part of the Wrangler 4xe’s eco-friendly equation.
As Jeep states: “With 4x4 engaged, all four wheels feed torque for regenerative braking, maximising the energy recovery. Electricity due to regenerative braking is fed to the battery pack to maintain or increase the state of charge.”
Meanwhile there are subtle styling cues to mark the 4xe out as a new breed of Jeep - including ‘Electric Blue’ paintwork on the exterior and similarly coloured stitching on the seats and trim in the interior.
The 2021 Jeep Wrangler 4xe is available in 10 exterior colors: Black, Bright White, Firecracker Red, Granite Crystal Metallic, Hella Yella, Hydro Blue (late availability), Sting-Gray, Snazzberry, Sarge and Billet Silver Metallic.
Two Wrangler interior options are available in the 4xe version: Black with Heritage Tan cloth and Black with Dark Saddle leather.
Prices for the Wrangler are yet to be confirmed, but you’d expect it to be north of £50,000, with the naturally-aspirated and range-topping Wrangler Rubicon starting at £50,815 in the UK.