New Jeep Renegade PHEV and Compass PHEV Models Get 240 HP, Ditch Traditional All-Wheel Drive Systems

Both models get 31 miles of all-electric range, according to Jeep

The rear wheels in these Jeeps are powered by electric motors.

Jeep has taken another step toward electrification with the new Jeep Renegade and Compass ‘E-volution’ models. Both crossovers will get a plug-in hybrid powertrain, gaining quite a bit of power over their internal combustion engine (ICE) counterparts.

Jeep Renegade PHEV
Jeep Renegade PHEV

Let’s start with the Renegade. The new Renegade PHEV still uses its 1.3-liter turbocharged gas engine to drive the front wheels. However, an electric motor will drive the rear wheels, combining to make in the 190 – 240 horsepower range. That ought to help the 0-60 time, which Jeep says is around 7 seconds. Carbon dioxide emissions are lower than 50 grams per kilometer, all while gaining power and responsiveness.

The Jeep Compass PHEV also manages 240 horsepower, according to Jeep. The company does not specifically mention the size of the battery pack, but says both cars are capable of up to 31 mile of pure-electric range. The electric top speed for the Renegade PHEV and Compass PHEV is pegged at 81 mph.

What about off-road capability?

While the Renegade PHEV and Compass PHEV are on the lower end of the Jeep totem pole, they still have to have some off-road capability. Both models are shown here in their “Trailhawk” variants. On that basis, Jeep claims electrifying both cars helps on the trails.

To that end, the traditional all-wheel drive system is gone. Instead, you get the ICE driving the front wheels, and the electric motor driving the rear. The axles aren’t joined by a traditional prop shaft, meaning torque can be independently controlled at each axle. Jeep contends the higher torque offered by the electric motor offers more precision in both cars during low-speed takeoff on tough terrain.

Since Jeep is adding an electric motor to the mix, the Renegade PHEV and Compass PHEV each have their own dedicated instrument clusters and infotainment screens. While these are billed as “the evolution of the Jeep brand in Europe,” Fiat Chrysler Automobiles did not specifically mention a U.S. debut of the Renegade PHEV or Compass PHEV.

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Update 3/5/19: The release did not specifically mention a U.S. debut for these models. The article has been updated accordingly.