The new Wrangler 4xe joins hybrid versions of the Renegade and Compass SUVs, revealed earlier this year and set for a UK launch in the coming months, as Jeep gears up to electrify its entire model line-up in the coming years.
The electrified Wrangler is described as the most “technically advanced and eco-friendly” iteration of the iconic 4x4 yet produced and is said to offer enhanced usability, both on and off road, over the standard car.
The new model’s electrified powertrain combines a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine with a 400V, 17kWh battery pack that recuperates energy from a belt-integrated starter/generator under deceleration and can power a pair of electric motors, one mounted in front of the engine and the other just forward of the gearbox. The battery can also be replenished via a conventional charging port located on the front left wing.
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 Wrangler 4xe’s combined 370bhp output represents a 102bhp increase over the most potent model currently available in the UK and its 470lb ft torque output is a 59% increase.
The battery pack is mounted underneath the rear seat for optimal protection from the elements, while preserving the standard car’s interior dimensions, and is cooled using the Wrangler’s air conditioning refrigerant. With comprehensive weatherproofing around all new electrical components, the Wrangler 4xe can match the non-electrified car’s 30in wading depth.
Three drive modes are available: Hybrid, which uses the combustion and electric motors in conjunction; Electric, which shuts out the combustion motor until the battery’s charge is depleted; and eSave, which uses the petrol engine exclusively. 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.
Three trim levels are available. Entry-level 4xe and mid-range Sahara trims are equipped with full-time four-wheel drive, a two-speed transfer case and heavy-duty Dana 44 axles. The top-range Rubicon model brings an upgraded Rock-Track 4x4 system, axle lockers, improved articulation and a front sway bar disconnect for improved suspension travel.
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.”