Jeep's North American lineup currently includes one hybrid model, the 4xe version of the Wrangler. It runs on a 2.0L turbocharged 4-cylinder engine that delivers 375 hp and 470 lb-ft of torque thanks to the additional work of two electric motors. That means it offers higher output than the V8-equipped Wrangler Rubicon.
As a bonus, the Wrangler 4xe offers about 40 miles of all-electric driving.
As you’d imagine, the company didn't develop its technology to be used on just one single vehicle. The logical next step is to migrate it to the Gladiator pickup. In fact, Jeep has already hinted that this is what it has in mind. Still, the automaker had yet to confirm this to be so, or when it might happen. Now, a subtle new teaser spotted by the eagle-eyed folks at the Jeep Gladiator online forum says the presentation of the Gladiator 4xe may happen soon.
Jeep recently changed its cover photo on Facebook, and now displays what looks at first glance like the interior of the Wrangle 4xe. But the forum’s experts saw something else. For example, the driver's side roll bar is at a 90-degree angle, a feature of the Gladiator. Someone else spotted a button for lighting the bed - a feature not found in the Wrangler.
If Jeep released this image, it means something is coming. A quick look at the upcoming automotive calendar shows the Chicago Auto Show happening next month. This event is often the stage for new truck and SUV introductions. And, if Jeep does go ahead with a Gladiator equipped with the hybrid powertrain, it wouldn't be surprising to see a 392 version with this model as well.
We'll certainly learn more in the coming weeks and we'll keep you posted.