The latest Jeep Wrangler is about to get electrified.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has confirmed the first-ever plug-in hybrid Jeep Wrangler will be revealed in the fourth quarter of this year.
Production will also begin in Q4 of 2020. Fiat Chrysler Australia has yet to confirm whether the PHEV will be offered here.
The announcement was included in FCA’s second quarter results presentation, which also revealed when production would begin for the next Grand Cherokee, plus the Wagoneer, Grand Wagoneer and a new, three-row SUV.
The Jeep Wrangler 4xe, as it’ll be known, was already revealed in prototype form at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show in January.
Jeep also released a teaser last month at the same time as it revealed its polar opposite in efficiency, the Hemi-powered Wrangler Rubicon 392 concept.
The 4xe is distinguished from other Wranglers through the use of subtle blue accents on the wheels plus unique badging and, naturally, a visible charging port.
Jeep has yet to release any powertrain details. Given it shares its naturally-aspirated 3.6-litre Pentastar V6 with the Chrysler Pacifica minivan, the Wrangler 4xe could receive a similar hybrid system to the Pacifica Hybrid.
The powertrain would need to be reconfigured for a longitudinal application and four-wheel drive.
The Pacifica Hybrid mates a slightly detuned Pentastar V6 with 164kW of power and 319Nm of torque to a 16kWh lithium-ion battery and two electric motors, one with 85kW and 313Nm and the other with 63kW and 125Nm.
Total system output is 193kW, while electric-only range is 51km according to estimates from the US Environmental Protection Agency.
While the 4xe will be the first plug-in hybrid Wrangler, in other markets Jeep offers the Wrangler with a 48V mild-hybrid system.
Called eTorque, it’s available with both the Pentastar V6 and the turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine.
The Wrangler 4xe will be beaten to market by the plug-in hybrid Compass 4xe and Renegade 4xe, which go on sale in Europe this September.
It won’t end with PHEVs as, eventually, Jeep wants to introduce an electric Wrangler. Jeep’s chief designer, Mark Allen, told CarExpert, “I truly believe I could make a better [electric] Jeep, not just a compliant Jeep. I could make something that’s truly a better off-road machine.”
“I will reveal, those are the thoughts that are going on behind the scenes right now,” Allen added.