Auto123 looks at the new 2021 Jeep Wrangler 4xe plug-in hybrid variant.
With the recent presentation of the Ford Bronco, it was obvious that Jeep was going to strike back with news about its Wrangler. It has now done so not just once but twice. The FCA (Fiat Chrysler Automobiles) Group’s most profitable banner has no intention of being outpaced by its rival.
So, after the Wrangler 392 concept (with V8 engine), the automaker has now presented the first plug-in hybrid version in the history of the model, the Wrangler 4xe. Better yet, the electric range of the latter will be reasonable at 40 km.
The arrival of this variant comes as no surprise; we already knew the company was working on a greener version of its model. The 4xe PHEV is expected in dealerships early next year. Fiat Chrysler CEO Mike Manley recently said this Wrangler will be the cornerstone of Jeep's electrification strategy in North America. The model will also be available in Europe and China by the turn of 2021.
In terms of hardware, the Wrangler 4xe will be powered by a 2.0L, 4-cylinder turbocharged engine, which will deliver 375 hp from two electric motors. The Wrangler 4xe will also offer 470 lb-ft of torque. With a full charge, the combined electric/gas range will be close to 600 km. An 8-speed automatic transmission will be responsible for managing the distribution of power to the wheels.
The electrified Wrangler will be powered by a 17-kWh (400-volt) lithium-ion battery consisting of 96 cells. The configuration makes use of the following elements: graphite, nickel, manganese and cobalt. All of it is located under the second row of seats, where the components are protected from the outside elements.
In fact, Jeep has redesigned the second row seating so it can be tilted forward to provide access to the battery. Jeep said the battery is encased in aluminum and “is fitted with a dedicated heating and cooling circuit to keep the battery at its optimum temperature for best performance”.
The company promises average fuel consumption of 4.7L/100 km, but of course it’s best to take figures advanced for plug-in hybrid models with at least a small grain of salt. If an owner is assiduous about recharging the battery system, their average can come in under 2.0L/100 km, or even better. Much depends on how, and how often, the vehicle is used.
No matter how you slice it, however, this is the most frugal Jeep Wrangler in history. And the company also promises that when it comes to off-road driving, the vehicle's legendary capabilities won't be affected.