A fully electric Jeep Wrangler could soon be added to an assortment that is already being expanded to include V6, V8, turbo gasoline and diesel four-cylinder and plug-in hybrid drives.
The electrification of the Jeep Wrangler does not end with the plug-in hybrid 4xe.
Jeep teased a battery-electric Wrangler concept vehicle prior to its unveiling at the Easter Jeep Safari in Moab, Utah, March 27 through April 4.
The teaser posted on the Jeep website may be shady, but it shows a Wrangler EV that looks very similar to any other Wrangler.
Expect detail changes to the historic exterior of the all-wheel drive, including a partially or fully enclosed version of the Jeep grille with seven slots and a unique badge and fairing.
Jeep also plans to install solar-powered charging stations in branded locations such as Moab, Utah and California’s Rubicon Trail.
The brand’s chief designer, Mark Allen, told CarExpert last year that Jeep was investigating a Jeep Wrangler EV.
“Especially when we talk about core vehicles like the Wrangler, we really don’t care where the power comes from, just that it goes on all four wheels,” he said.
“I really think I can do better [electric] Jeep, not just a compliant jeep. I could do something that really is a better off-road machine. Why wouldn’t we be drawn to doing something like this? “
“It could actually be a super duper, a better jeep … that’s really exciting just to have that option.”
Electric four-wheel drive systems offer numerous possibilities for manufacturers of off-road vehicles such as Jeeps.
The ability to attach a motor to each individual wheel and control exactly how much torque is applied to the ground could open the door to a new generation of off-roaders, which will also include an electric version of the Mercedes-Benz G-Class .
Since 100 percent of their torque is available from a standstill, electric motors also make gearboxes with a short range superfluous.
If a gasoline or diesel powered four-wheel drive fails, there is no backup power source. But one of the engines of an electric car with two or four engines is damaged. There is always a way to get back to safety.
Before a Wrangler EV reaches production, there will be the Wrangler 4xe.
The 4xe combines the Wrangler’s turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with two electric motors and a 17 kWh lithium-ion battery, which is mounted under the seat in the second row.
Jeep claims an output of 280 kW and 637 Nm of torque.
The 4xe uses an eight-speed automatic transmission and uses regenerative braking for all four wheels. Jeep claims an all-electric range of 40 km.
Jeep believes the trail-rated Wrangler 4xe will be popular with off-road enthusiasts because of the instant torque provided by the electric motor because you don’t have to build up an engine speed.
It will be available in the basic Wrangler and Wrangler Sahara variants with their full-time all-wheel drive systems Selec-Trac, the two-speed transfer case and the reduction ratio of 2.72: 1. A rear limited slip differential is optional.
Jeep is also introducing a 4xe variant of the toughest Wrangler Rubicon, which includes the regular Rock-Trac all-wheel drive system from Rubicon, the electric front and rear axle locks from Tru-Lok and an electronic separator bar at the front.
All 4xe models have a water depth of 760 mm.