Not content with letting their cross-town rival have garner so much attention from off-roaders, Jeep has just released two brand new SUV models. Whereas the new Jeep Grand Wagoneer marks the return of a former luxury icon of the brand, the 2021 Jeep Wrangler 4xe highlights the future of FCA and Jeep’s endeavours towards becoming the greenest SUV brand on the market. Here’s everything you should know about Jeep’s new fuel-saving 4×4.
The 2021 Wrangler 4xe is the first plug-in hybrid model from Jeep to hit American shores, joining the European market Renegade 4xe and Compass 4xe models in the company’s expanding portfolio. Under the hood of the SUV sits a turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder engine, which is mated to two electric motors and a 400-volt, 17 kWh battery pack. The TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic is the only transmission option. Jeep says that the estimated total output for the new powertrain will be in the neighborhood of 350 horsepower and 470 lb-ft of torque. That’s enough power to make the Wrangler 4xe the most potent variant of the long-time fan-favorite SUV currently on offer. And the quickest, with a 0-60 time of just 6 seconds.
The 17 kWh battery pack, which is mounted below the rear seats, provides enough juice for the SUV to deliver up to 25 miles of pure electric driving range, while also providing more than 50 MPGe. These figures are in line with other plug-in hybrid models, and should allow owners to make quick trips without the need for burning dinosaur liquid.
FCA plans to offer three different hybrid Wrangler models: 4xe, Sahara 4xe, and Rubicon 4xe. Don’t think that these are just going to be fuel-sipping versions of the Wrangler that can’t hang with their petrol-powered counterparts however. The standard 4xe and Sahara 4xe come from the factory with a host of off-roading hardware, including a full-time 4×4 system, front and rear Dana 44 axles, a Selec-Trac two-speed transfer case, and a 2.72:1 low-range gear ratio. The more hardcore Rubicon 4xe model will come with a Rock-Trac 4×4 system with a 4:1 gear ratio, Tru-Lok electric axle lockers front and rear, and a crawl ratio of 77.2:1. All three of the Jeep Wrangler 4xe models will also come as standard with Jeep’s Selec-Speed Control with Hill-ascent and descent control, for an easier time tackling the trials.
The Jeep Wrangler 4xe is most easily identified by its black hood with 4xe graphics, and its unique electric blue accents. The two hooks are blue, as are the outlines for the Jeep, Trail Rated, and Rubicon badges that smatter the vehicle’s flanks. Even the interior stitching is finished in electric blue, which is a nice touch. Buyers will be able to choose from 10 exterior colors and two trim colors for the interior. The higher trim models will also receive 17-inch off-road wheels and 33-inch tires, whereas buyers opting for the lesser trim levels will receive larger 20-inch wheels.
While the Jeep Wrangler 4xe is the first Jeep model here in the States to get battery assistance, it certainly won’t be the last. As the push for electrification continues to gain traction, expect more hybrid’s from FCA in the near future. FCA hasn’t provided us with any pricing information for their latest plug-in hybrid at this time, though expect that information as sale gets underway sometime early next year.