You’ve heard of the Jeep JL, and the Jeep JK, but how about the Jeep AC/DC? This isn’t a reference to the rock band,
or even "rock" crawling, but rather the fact that the first glimpse of the plug-in hybrid Jeep Wrangler has been
Jeep Wrangler Plug-In Hybrid Spotted
While we have known that a plug-in hybrid version of the Jeep Wrangler has been in the works, this is our first
glimpse of the vehicle. In typical Wrangler fashion, nothing about it looks remarkably different than JL.
Besides the spare bits of wrapping around the base of the hood, the rest of the vehicle looks just like any JL
Wrangler you’d spot in a parking lot.
This news comes from Autoblog and the spy photographer SpiedBilde. According to the photographer, the vehicle was driving around in EV mode at a modest 25 mph. Besides this testimonial, it’s likely that the small covered portion of this black Wrangler is there to hide the charging port. Even though this Wrangler was reported to simply be cruising around, some mud is visible on the side of the vehicle, meaning that it can certainly perform just as well as a standard Wrangler.
Hybrid Jeep Wrangler Range
There aren’t too many details known about the plug-in hybrid wrangler yet. If we look at the other PHEV options offered by FCA, we can see the Chrysler Pacifica hybrid which makes up to 33 miles on electricity alone, and can fully charge in two hours. The Chrysler Pacifica makes 84 MPGe. MPGe, which stands for miles per gallon equivalent, is a new way of measuring fuel efficiency based off of the amount of energy in a single gallon of gas. Basically, it’s a way of combining electric range and petroleum range in a single measurement. Unless the battery is given a major overhaul before being used on the plug-in hybrid Jeep Wrangler, we could expect a similar value.
The Wrangler has never really been a vehicle with efficiency in mind. Its boxy frame is fantastic for off-roading but notoriously un-aerodynamic. That being said, it’s still unclear whether the new PHEV Wrangler will have a larger battery (which will inflate its price) or will have a diminished range when compared to other FCA PHEV vehicles. Even if the electrified Wrangler doesn’t make 33 miles on electricity alone, the MPG will surely be given a great boost, giving the Jeep Wrangler an even wider appeal.
PHEV Wrangler Performance
Besides increased fuel efficiency, the partial electrification of the Jeep Wrangler will make it an even more fun vehicle to drive, especially in off-road scenarios. As is often noted in response to electric powertrains, they can
quickly produce boat-loads of low-end torque, giving them great acceleration and pulling power. When combined with an ICE engine, the new Jeep Wrangler will have the best of both worlds (at least from the enthusiast's perspective).
The rumble, feel, and power of the ICE engine will still be there, and the battery will add some extra “oomph” to the Wrangler.
The plug-in hybrid Jeep Wrangler is expected to come equipped with the tried and true 3.6L Pentastar V6 engine. This engine has been the bread and butter of Wranglers for years now, and the added electricity will add just a bit more butter to the mix. The added torque from the batteries will undoubtedly be both a gift to serious off-roaders and mall crawlers alike. All in all, a lot more Jeep waves are expected to be shared in the future.
This is expected to be a 2021 model year Wrangler, so we should begin to see them in dealerships in 2020. Even though the Wrangler has served the same function, and looked basically the same for years, that does not mean that Jeep is afraid of innovating. Alongside with the Jeep Gladiator pickup truck, there has been quite a lot of exciting developments coming from Jeep in the past couple years. It will be exciting to see where the Wrangler will be in the future. At this point, a fully electric Wrangler doesn't seem too far off. Hey, it's going to happen to the F-150, why not Jeep?
Sources: Motor Trend Image Credit: SpiedBilde