Jeep, like every carmaker, is racing to create more economical vehicles to match stringent emissions rules around the world. Nowhere is this more important than in Europe, where lawmakers ruled that average CO2 emissions of new cars must be cut by 15% by 2025.
In order to meet these targets, the Stellantis-owned maker of sizable SUVs has put its thinking hat on. After some big-brain stuff, Jeep has come up with a new eco-minded car that it thinks will be perfect for city-center commutes across Europe.
It’s a hybrid-powered Wrangler Unlimited, of course.
Now, that might sound like a ridiculous idea for anyone that’s seen the size of the roads in central Paris, London or Rome, and has seen the size of the four-door Jeep Wrangler, but Jeep is all-in on this hybrid Wrangler thing. So much so, that from 2022, the hybrid Wrangler 4XE will be the only option for buyers of Jeep’s flagship off-roader in Europe next year.
It had better be good then.
The 5,000 pound Wrangler 4XE can cover up to 53 kilometers on a single charge, which is about 30 miles. This, Jeep says, is enough for buyers to enjoy “zero emissions on their everyday commutes around the city.”
While 30 miles doesn’t sound like a lot of all-electric range, it does mean that this two-ton truck can comfortably cover the average commute for a sensible European business person, which is 30 kilometers (18 miles).
The car’s battery can be fully recharged in just three hours when connected to a 7.4 kWh power supply.
Jeep makes a lot of fuss about its Max Regen mode, which is essentially a new name for one-pedal driving. In “Max Regen” mode, when the driver lifts their foot off the accelerator the vehicle slows down significantly under regenerative braking, adding extra juice to the batteries.
Across Europe, the Wrangler 4XE comes with tech like collision warning, headlamp control and brake assist as standard. And, customers can add a reinforced Gorilla Glass windscreen, and a new Sunrider Flip top roof to their truck.
The Wrangler 4XE is fitted with two electric motors (one in the transmission and the other on the accessory drive) and a two-liter engine coupled with an eight-speed automatic transmission.
I’m sure this 5,000lb off-roader doesn’t boast exactly the kind of eco-credentials EU lawmakers were hoping for, but I guess moving to offer just a plug-in hybrid across the bloc is a step in the right direction.
Correction (5 P.M. ET December 8th 2021): This story initially stated that the Wrangler 4XE received powertrain changes that enabled the European version to achieve a higher range than the 4xE offered in the U.S. In reality, the difference in range comes down to differences in certification processes between the two regions.