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

Update: FCA (Stellantis after the merger with Groupe PSA) filed a trademark application for the name “Magneto” on the 5th of this month. Marvel has been using Magneto as its villain in the X-Men series, and so, it has been recognized for decades now. The recent trademark application is for “motor vehicles, namely, concept motor vehicles.” It is unlikely to be seen in dispute with Marvel’s trademark, and secondly, it could be used for the upcoming Jeep Wrangler BEV concept.

Jeep Magneto Wrangler EV trademark application
Magneto is a possible name for the Jeep Wrangler BEV concept. Image Source: USPTO

The Jeep Wrangler EV will be previewed as a concept before being unveiled in the road-ready avatar. Jeep’s American website has put up a teaser of the electric Jeep Wrangler that shows a closed-off, illuminated seven-slot grille unique to the Jeep Wrangler BEV concept and reveals that it will also have a removable roof. The electric Wrangler concept will be unveiled at the Easter Jeep Safari in Moab, Utah that is scheduled to run from 28 March 2021 to 3 April 2021 and that’s when we’ll get to hear more.

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. Last year, talking to Autocar UK, Christian Meunier, Global President of Jeep had 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.

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 and regional players such as Haval and Mahindra. 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 E100, 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 projects including hybrids and BEVs but the focus for the European market will be around three models – Renegade, Wrangler and Compass. Jeep unveiled the hybrid versions of the three SUVs at the 2020 CES in Las Vegas. The three plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) offer 50 km on electric power alone and are sold with the ‘4xe’ suffix.

Jeep product map 4 electric vehicles confirmed
Expect the Electric Jeep Wranger to launch within a few years in the brand’s biggest markets. In India, Jeep could consider 100% electrification of its entry SUV (sub-4m model) around 2023.

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. Following the merger with PSA, and considering the disruption of the COVID-19 outbreak, plans have changed. However there is a deep desire in Jeep to electrify its lineup in a staggered fashion.

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 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.

Electric Jeep Wrangler 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 conversation with Autocar India last year, Mr Datta had spoken about the electric Jeep Wrangler and the Fiat 500 EV. He had said FCA India would be open to considering them if studies show there’s enough demand and there’s a charging infrastructure in place.

Featured Image Source: Jeep