Jeep Is Straight-Up Calling The Hybrid Wrangler 4xe 'The Most Capable Wrangler Ever'

Illustration for article titled Jeep Is Straight-Up Calling The Hybrid Wrangler 4xe The Most Capable Wrangler Ever
Screenshot: Jeep
Truck YeahThe trucks are good!

Today the world was introduced to the new hybrid Jeep Wrangler 4xe (pronounced “four-by-E,” FYI) in a livestream presentation proclaiming this electrified 375 horsepower off-roader is the most-capable Wrangler ever. Neat.

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The powertrain is fairly complex, for a Jeep: It’s got a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine, plus FCA’s eTorque electric assist system plus another electric motor between the engine and eight-speed automatic transmission.

The total claimed power output is 375 HP and 470 lb-ft of torque, which would make it the most powerful Wrangler by far. The ubiquitous V6 claims 285 HP, the regular 2.0 turbo is 270, and the diesel is only 260. (The diesel does claim 480 lb-ft of torque though.)

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Screenshot: Jeep

Jeep says the Wrangler 4xe will be good for 0 to 60 mph in “about six seconds” but I’m more interested in the “most capable” claim, inferring of course that they mean to say this Wrangler will out-wheel all other stock Wranglers off-road.

Since the show truck trotted out for the presentation was clearly a Rubicon, denoting the Wrangler’s top-tier off-road setup, I guess it’s clear that Jeep does indeed plan to pair electrified propulsion with off-road capability.

At any rate, it does indeed have solid front and rear axles, full-time 4x4 two-speed transfer case, fully articulating suspension and apparently 30 inches of water fording capability. Guess the battery stuff must be pretty well sealed!

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Specs on the Wrangler Rubicon 4xe include an approach angle of 44 degrees, breakover angle of 22.5 degrees, departure angle of 35.6 degrees and ground clearance of 10.8 inches.

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Screenshot: Jeep
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The Wrangler 4xe is supposed to be available in North America by the end of 2020.

As for more specifics on tech, the press release details a “400-volt, 17 kWh, 96-cell battery pack mounts beneath second-row seat to protect it from outside elements and to preserve the interior space” providing 25 miles of range in pure-electric mode. Seems decent for such a heavy and aerodynamically punishing machine.

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To be clear: It is a plug-in hybrid, not an EV, so it’s mostly meant to be driven with its electric motor and gasoline engine working together. Under such conditions Jeep is claiming “50 mpg equivalent” which is hilarious to think about from a Wrangler. I mean, in a good way!

To make the most use of the powertrain, the Wrangler 4xe will have a few drive modes and “eco coaching” baked into the infotainment to tell you to go easier on the gas pedal. Copypasta’d from the release:

  • Hybrid: The default mode blends torque from the 2.0-liter engine and electric motor. In this mode, the powertrain will use battery power first, then add in propulsion from the 2.0-liter turbocharged I-4 when the battery reaches minimum state of charge
  • Electric: The powertrain operates on zero-emission electric power only until the battery reaches the minimum charge or the driver requests more torque (such as wide-open throttle), which engages the 2.0-liter engine
  • eSave: Prioritizes propulsion from the 2.0-liter engine, saving the battery charge for later use, such as EV off-roading or urban areas where internal combustion propulsion is restricted. The driver can also choose between Battery Save and Battery Charge during eSave via the Hybrid Electric Pages in the Uconnect monitor
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As for design, the Wrangler 4xe pretty much just looks like a regular Wrangler but here are a few detail images with some differences you might notice:

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Screenshot: Jeep
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Reviews Editor, Jalopnik | 1975 International Scout, 1984 Nissan 300ZX, 1991 Suzuki GSXR, 1998 Mitsubishi Montero, 2005 Acura TL

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DISCUSSION

I think this is pretty great. So much opportunity here. Power your camp with the battery. Deep water? No problem - and no snorkel necessary - just put it in EV drive. Need ultra low crawl speed? - EV is good at that. Need instant throttle response in mud? Yep - got you covered. Offroading needs to embrace electrification. It has so many cool things it can do that ICE alone can’t. I’m all for it.

In other exciting news Toyota put a color matched cooler in the back of the new 4runner. Seriously - what will it take to get some movement from Toyota on it’s ancient products?