It’s no secret that Jeep is working on an updated edition of its Renegade; the subcompact crossover has been on the market for three years now. Camouflaged prototypes have been spotted in testing, and the disguises have not hidden the fact they are likely to get design tweaks front and back, as well as inside.
However, some other tidbits of information floating around are pointing to the likelihood that the changes being worked on may not only be cosmetic. One of the spied test models, a Trailhawk, featured a warning note on one of its windows about the risk of electrical shock – the kind of message found on a hybrid vehicle.
This makes it pretty likely that Jeep is concocting an electric variant of the next-generation Renegade. Then, the question is whether we’re talking about a conventional hybrid model, or one with a system similar to the one in the new 4-cylinder-engine Wrangler. This system features a 48-volt starter-alternator that supplies electrical assistance. This type of technology is gaining favour in the industry, since it allows for operating more of a vehicle’s electricity-hungry gadgets and doohickeys without impacting on fuel consumption.
We kept our Sherlock Holmes hats on and came to the conclusion that Jeep may be developing a hybrid version of the Renegade, the main evidence for this being a symbol spotted on the test prototype that is not found on the new Wrangler.
We will probably not need to wait that much longer to get the answer to this puzzle. As the overall modifications being brought to the Renegade are not major, Jeep should be in a position to unveil more detailed information fairly quickly. Our guesstimate on this is a presentation by this coming fall, followed by a go-to-market date somewhere early in 2019.