The current Jeep Wrangler JL offers a range of three engines. From the tried-and-true 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6, you can also choose a new 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder and a 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V-6. Now, FCA is leaning into the notion of an electric Jeep Wrangler by way of a new plug-in hybrid variant. To that end, the company just showcased Wrangler Plug-in Hybrid, alongside electrified versions of the Renegade and Compass, at CES 2020.
This electric Jeep Wrangler is part of FCA’s plan to offer electrifications across its entire range by 2022.
As with their conventional counterparts, there will likely be some serious differences between the Renegade/Compass Plug-in Hybrid and the electric Jeep Wrangler Plug-in Hybrid. Both the crossovers ditched conventional all-wheel drive systems when FCA revealed them last year. The Renegade and Compass use their gasoline motors to power the front wheels, while the complementary electric motor drives the rear wheels. On that basis, they’re similar to the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid, Lincoln Aviator Grand Touring and other plug-in hybrid models.
How will an electric Jeep Wrangler look?
Getting to the electric Jeep Wrangler, dubbed the “4xe” model, FCA may take a different approach. After all, the Wrangler is on a different platform, with different construction to your average crossover. It’s a body-on-frame SUV with solid front and rear axles, as well as selectable four-wheel drive systems.
The Wrangler’s layout and its purpose present unique challenges for an electrified application. Spy photos we’ve seen basically just show a standard JL with a charging port. Even if FCA ditches the standard four-wheel drive system for an electric motor on the rear axle while the engine drives the front wheels, it will be interesting to see how they fit the extra hardware without compromising ground clearance and the approach/breakover/departure angles. How will weight and weight distribution affect off-road capability in an electric Jeep Wrangler?
FCA hasn’t announced official specs for the electric Jeep Wrangler 4xe yet. However, we’ll know more about these plug-in hybrid models around the Geneva, New York and Beijing auto shows. Stay tuned to TFLcar.com for more updates!