Jeep has revealed its first battery-electric vehicle, the Avenger, a small, front-wheel drive crossover designed for European and Asian markets.
Measuring 4.08m long, it slots in underneath the 16cm-longer Renegade and offers an electric powertrain or, in markets like Italy and Spain, a turbocharged petrol engine that has yet to be detailed.
Following the reveal of the production Avenger, Jeep previewed a 4×4 Concept that it says presages an upcoming member of the Jeep 4xe family – suggesting it’ll offer a plug-in hybrid powertrain.
It features tow hooks, wider fenders and track, thicker front cladding, and larger tyres, as well as a lightweight roof cargo system. Jeep didn’t release any powertrain details.
Jeep CEO Christian Meunier told CarExpert last month the Avenger had yet to be locked in for Australia.
“Avenger is going to the UK, it’s going to Japan, and we’re looking at maybe Australia if there’s a market for it,” said Mr Meunier.
The Avenger EV features a 400V electrical system and a 54kWh nickel manganese cobalt lithium-ion battery located under the cabin.
Claimed range on the stricter WLTP cycle is 400km, while a newly developed electric motor produces 115kW of power and 260Nm of torque.
Jeep says a 100kW DC charger can take the Avenger’s battery from 20 to 80 per cent in 24 minutes.
Jeep says the front-wheel drive Avenger includes terrain modes and hill descent control plus underbody skid plates to protect the battery.
The Selec-Terrain system offers Normal, Eco, Sport, Snow, Mud and Sand modes.
Jeep says it has the highest ground clearance in its segment at 200mm, with approach, breakover and departure angles of 20, 20 and 32 degrees, respectively.
The 4×4 Concept ups these to 21, 20 and 34 degrees, respectively.
It’ll be built in Stellantis’ Tychy, Poland plant, understood to also be the source of upcoming Fiat and Alfa Romeo-branded small SUVs.
Jeep is calling it a “right-sized” SUV aimed at the B-SUV segment, the second largest segment by volume in Europe.
The brand is expecting it to become its best seller in Europe, and it’ll rival the likes of the Peugeot 2008 and Ford Puma – the former already offered with an electric powertrain, the latter getting one by 2025.
A canted-back version of Jeep’s trademark seven-slot grille is present, and the company says it has positioned it ahead of the headlights to protect them in case of an impact.
There are bulging, trapezoidal wheel arches under which sit 18-inch wheels, while down back there are tail lights with an X motif inspired by fuel cans.
Jeep says the Avenger’s cabin was inspired by that of the Wrangler.
There’s a standard 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment system, with wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, satellite navigation, and support for over-the-air updates.
This sits above a minimalist centre stack with a push-button gear selector.
An open shelf runs from the steering wheel to the passenger’s door, while above this is a ‘beam’ that can be finished in the vehicle’s body colour and which incorporates the air vents and ambient lighting.
The centre console features removable dividers, allowing you to stow larger items between the two front occupants. There’s also an additional, concealable storage cavity below the gear selector.
Jeep says, all up, there’s 34L of front storage, compared to an average of 15L in this segment. Down back, there’s 380L of boot space.
There’s a choice of 7.0- or 10.25-inch digital instrument clusters, while available creature comforts include power-adjustable front seats with leather inserts and massaging, plus a hands-free power tailgate, wireless phone charging, power-folding and heated exterior mirrors.
There’s a suite of active safety and driver assist features, including a Level 2 autonomous driving function that makes use of the adaptive cruise control, lane centring and Traffic Jam Assist.
Other equipment includes traffic sign recognition, autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian and cyclist detection, driver fatigue detection, blind-spot monitoring, lane-keep assist, automatic high-beam, and semi-autonomous parking assist.
The Avenger nameplate previously graced a mid-sized Dodge sedan exported to markets like Australia and Europe in the 2000s. Prior to that, the Hillman Avenger sedan and wagon was manufactured by Chrysler Europe in the 1970s, and it was later sold under both the Chrysler and Talbot marques there.
Jeep has a goal to become the world leader in zero-emission SUVs, and the Avenger is part of a quartet of electric SUVs launching between now and 2025 in Europe.
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