Jeep Wrangler 4xe Plug-In-Hybrid Revealed
The Jeep Wrangler 4xe plug-in-hybrid (PHEV) was revealed ahead of it going on sale in the international markets early next year. Described as the most “technically advanced and environmentally friendly” iteration of the iconic 4×4 yet, the Wrangler 4xe claims to offer enhanced on- and off-road usability over the standard car.
The new Jeep Wrangler 4xejoins hybrid versions of the Renegade and Compass SUVs, which were revealed earlier this year as Jeep gears up to electrify its entire model line-up in the coming years.
The electrified powertrain of the Jeep Wrangler 4xe uses a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine coupled with a pair of electric motors-one mounted in front of the engine and the other just in front of the gearbox. The machine puts out 375hp and 637Nm of torque in its entirety.
Like the non-electrified Wrangler, the four-wheel-drive features, with power transmitted from the combustion motor via an automatic eight-speed gearbox to both axles.
The electric motors draw power from a battery pack of 400V, 17kWh underneath the rear seat. The battery pack recovers energy under deceleration from a belt-integrated starter/generator or a traditional charging port on the left front side. Jeep says the 4xe has approximately 40 km of all-electric range.
The location of the battery pack ensures that the dimensions of the Wrangler’s cabin are not modified, thus providing optimum protection from the elements. The battery pack is cooled from the SUV’s air-conditioning system using refrigerant. The Wrangler 4xe also features extensive weatherproofing for its electrical parts, with Jeep claiming it can equal the 30-inch wading depth of the non-electrified vehicle.
The PHEV comes with three modes of a drive – mechanical, electrical, and eSave. The SUV uses both conventional and electric power in hybrid mode, although only the electric motors are in operation in Electric mode. When set to eSave mode, the SUV only receives power from the petrol engine. A new dashboard enables drivers to track power flow and maximize the use of regenerative braking, plan to charge times, and view driving history.
Using ‘more assertive’ regenerative braking, a ‘Max Regen’ feature can be used to maximize electrical energy generation.
Jeep argues that “the smooth incorporation of electrical power into the 4×4 drivetrain takes the Wrangler 4xe to new off-road output standards” Instant torque in electric mode allows a “more reliable and controlled driving experience for climbing and crawling,” thus fuel conservation and noise minimization.
The Jeep Wrangler 4xe will come in three versions-the 4xe entry-level, the Sahara mid-spec, and the Rubicon full-loaded. Equipped with full-time four-wheel drive, a two-speed transfer case and heavy-duty Dana 44 axles, the entry-level and mid-range trimmings. While the Rubicon includes an updated 4×4 Rock-Track system, axle lockers, better articulation, and a disconnecting front sway bar for better suspension movement.
Styling around the Jeep Wrangler 4xe line-up is almost similar to the regular model, but blue tow hooks, badges, and interior features mark it out like the hybrid vehicle.
Jeep boss Christian Meunier said: “We are committed to making Jeep the greenest brand in the SUV industry. Jeep line-up electrification would allow commuters to travel solely on electric power, providing an effective and enjoyable on-road experience and offering the opportunity to enjoy even more off-road Jeep mobility in almost complete silence.
Jeep has scheduled a range of launches for the next few years including next year’s Compass facelift and the Compass-based seven-seat D-SUV. Already, two iconic models from the company are on the cards for 2021 with one expected to be the next-gen Grand Cherokee. A compact SUV could enter the list by 2022
But only time will tell if Jeep will carry the Wrangler plug-in hybrid to India, although it is unlikely to arrive before 2021.