Electric Jeep Wrangler could become Jeep’s flagship vehicle [Update]

While the Jeep Wrangler EV is some time away, the plug-in hybrid version of the Jeep Wrangler is arriving shortly. FCA calls it the ‘Jeep Wrangler 4xe’ and has released a teaser in which it boasts about the quietness of the electrified powertrain. The launch of the 4xe marks the first instance of a properly electrified Wrangler (currently it comes with a mild-hybrid system) and sets the stage for a battery-electric version.

26 May 2020

Plans for a fully electric Jeep Wrangler are not definite, but the question is not if, but when. A second Jeep official is of the opinion the an electric Wrangler will only better the off-road credentials of the icon.

In a video interaction with CarAdvice.com.au, Jeep’s head of design, Mark Allen said a Jeep Wrangler Electric would actually be a better Wrangler, a more capable off-roader with the ability to do things that aren’t possible today.

Speaking about the plans to launch the car, Mr Allen says that though there isn’t one immediately, the Wrangler Electric is on the horizon. An electric powertrain will have several advantages over an IC engine as in an EV you can control the wheel’s speed and direction individually that improves maneuverability and traction off-road.

Wrangler electric could be the most capable Jeep ever made

Jeep’s plan to electrify its range includes introducing plug-in hybrid and fully electric models and potentially a Jeep Wrangler EV that can do 0 to 100 km/h in six seconds.

Talking to Autocar UK, Christian Meunier, Global President of Jeep has said that the fully-electric Wrangler Rubicon model would be the most capable Jeep ever and drivers will be able to experience acceleration impossible with an internal combustion engine. Mr Meunier believes that the electrification of its models will make Jeep the greenest and most sustainable SUV brand putting it ahead of the likes of Land Rover, Haval and Ssangyong. While Land Rover is working on delivering electric SUVs at the upper end of the market and Ssangyong will rely on the Mahindra MESMA high-voltage electric architecture for products like the Korando EV, EVW learns that Great Wall Motors’ Haval could benefit from BMW’s electric and engineering expertise through the Chinese joint venture company Spotlight.

Jeep is working on a lot of projects including hybrids and BEVs but the focus for the European market will be around three models – Renegade, Wrangler and Compass. Jeep already showcased the hybrid versions of the three SUVs at the 2020 CES in Las Vegas a couple of months ago. The hybrid models were displayed with 4xe badges that will be used for such cars from the brand. The three plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) will offer 50 km on electric power alone and are expected to be combined with a 1.3-litre petrol engine.

Jeep product map 4 electric vehicles confirmed
Expect the Jeep Wranger electric SUV variant to launch within a few years in Jeep’s biggest markets. In India, Jeep could consider either the pure electric version of the Renegade or electrify the entry SUV (sub-4m model) around 2022.

In 2018, Jeep revealed plans (above) to launch 10 PHEVs and 2 BEVs by 2022 and to make the complete range available with an electric option by 2021. There is no confirmation on whether these plans will continue after the change in top management and considering the weak economic situation post the COVID-19 outbreak.

Video Courtesy: Carscoops Youtube channel

Jeep’s electrified models will be focusing on big markets like Europe, China and the USA for the majority of their sales. USA being the biggest market for the brand, Jeep is confident that it will able to convince people to adapt EV products much faster. Given Jeep’s appeal to off-road enthusiasts, the EV models with their high voltage batteries will further benefit them as they double-up as power sources for their lights, camping equipment and gears.

Jeep Wrangler electric SUV for India?

FCA India is looking to bring out electrified variants and the current plan for India includes EVs, as confirmed by President and Managing Director, FCA India Mr Partha Datta. Jeep is working on a sub-4-meter SUV that will be manufactured in India to go up against the Maruti Vitara Brezza and Hyundai Venue by the end of 2022. If not the second generation Renegade, this sub-compact SUV could have a fully electric powertrain which we can expect with performance figures similar to the Mahindra eXUV300 and the Tata Nexon EV for a price of Rs. 10 lakh to 15 lakh.

In a recent conversation with Autocar India, Mr Datta has spoken about the electric Jeep Wrangler and the recently unveiled Fiat 500 EV that hits the European market later this year. He said FCA India would be open to considering them if studies show there’s enough demand and there’s a charging infrastructure in place.

[Source – Autocar.co.uk & AutocarIndia.com]

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