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Jeep’s Foray Into Electrified Off-Roading Begins

Jeep Wrangler 4xe
Photo via Jeep

Jeep has been a brand of extremes this year, dropping both a V8 and a plug-in hybrid system into the iconic Wrangler SUV. While the Wrangler 392 is still a ways out, the Wrangler 4xe has just entered production, marking a new chapter in the Jeep lineup. The SUV is being produced in FCA’s long time Toledo Assembly Complex, where Jeeps have been built since the CJ and Willys days. Despite the 4xe being the most technologically advanced Wrangler ever, it’s actually built on the exact same production line as other Wrangler variants. Now that production has begun, the Wrangler 4xe will hit dealerships in early 2021, which is only a few months away. Somehow.

Despite a 280 lb weight penalty from the 17 kilowatt-hour battery pack, the Jeep Wrangler 4xe is a compelling option. Its four cylinder turbo engine and two electric motors push out an impressive 375 horsepower, 470 lb ft of torque. Until the Wrangler 392 comes around with an even 470 hp and torque rating, that makes this JL Jeep Wrangler hybrid the most powerful and torquiest engine in the lineup. The Pentastar V6 comes closest in power, at 285 hp, while the EcoDiesel comes closest in torque at 442 lb ft.

Photo via Jeep

That powertrain motivates the Jeep Wrangler 4xe to hit 60 in six seconds flat, quick for an SUV with no sporting intentions other than off-road performance. The instant torque of the electric motors should make it feel surprisingly brisk given its heft. Speaking of off-road capability, Jeep claims the hybrid system has no drawbacks off-road compared to other engine offerings.

Unsurprisingly, the 4xe is also the most efficient JL Jeep Wrangler in the lineup, complimenting its performance ratings nicely. Jeep says it’ll go up to 25 miles on electric power alone, and has a total driving range of 400 miles. It will also achieve an estimated 50 MPGe. Jeep has allows drivers to customize the gas/electric split the Wrangler 4xe with 3 settings accessible by buttons to the left of the steering wheel. There’s an electric only function, an E-Save function that saves battery power for later, and Hybrid that gives a combination of both motors.

When the Jeep Wrangler 4xe arrives next year, it’ll be offered in base 4xe, Sahara and Rubicon trim levels.

2021 Jeep Wrangler 4xe Hybrid

Written by Sam Krahn

Sam graduated with a communications Degree from Wayne State University, where he was also a member of the swim team. He's interested to see how new technology will affect the American performance vehicle landscape.

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