The all-electric Jeep Wrangler could soon join a lineup that is already expanding to include V6 and V8 engines, turbocharged petrol, four-cylinder diesel and hybrid powertrains.
The electrification of the Jeep Wrangler does not end with the extra Hybrid 4xe.
Jeep acquired a battery-powered Wrangler concept car before unveiling it at the Easter Jeep Safari in Moab, Utah, which will take place from March 27 to April 4.
The teaser posted on the Jeep website may be ambiguous but nonetheless reveals a Wrangler EV much like any other Wrangler.
Expect detailed changes to the traditional four-wheel-drive exterior design, including a partially or fully enclosed version of the grille pocket with seven unique hatches, badges and trims.
Jeep also plans to install solar powered charging stations at associated locations such as Moab, Utah and Rubicon Trail in California.
The brand’s chief designer, Mark Allen, told CarExpert last year that Jeep was investigating a Jeep Wrangler EV.
“Especially when we talk about basic vehicles like the Wrangler, we never care where the power comes from, just because it goes to all four wheels,” he said.
“I really think I can do better [electric] Jeep, is not just a compatible Jeep. I could make something that would really be the best off-road machine. Why aren’t we tempted to do something like this? “
“Actually, a better jeep can be prankster … that’s really exciting, just to have that choice.”
Electric four-wheel drive systems provide many opportunities for off-road manufacturers such as Jeep.
The ability to tailor an engine to each wheel individually and precisely control the amount of torque applied to the ground could open the door to a new breed of off-road vehicle, which will also include an electric version of the Mercedes-Benz G-Class.
With 100 percent of torque available at standstill, the electric motors also eliminate the need for the low-range transmission.
If a gasoline or diesel all-wheel drive engine fails, there is no backup power supply. But one of the motors of a twin or four-wheel electric car has been damaged, and there is still a way to return to safety.
Before the Wrangler EV goes into production, there will be a Wrangler 4xe.
The 4xe meets the Wrangler 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine with two electric motors and a 17 kWh lithium-ion battery pack, mounted under the second-row seat.
Jeep claims to produce 280 kW of power and 637 Nm of torque.
The 4xe uses an eight-speed automatic transmission and uses regenerative braking to all four wheels. Jeep claims it has an electric range of only 40 km.
Jeep believes the road-rated Wrangler 4xe will love its off-road enthusiasts due to the instantaneous electric motor torque, as you don’t need to increase the engine’s rpm.
It will be available in the base Wrangler and Wrangler Sahara variants with full-time Selec-Trac all-wheel drive systems, a two-speed transfer case and a 2.72: low gear ratio. The optional limited-slip rear differential.
Jeep also introduces a 4xe version of the toughest Wrangler Rubicon, which features Rubicon’s regular Rock-Trac all-wheel drive system, Tru-Lok electric locks for the front and rear axle and an electronic front swing bar.
All 4xe models have a water drain depth of 760mm.