Have you ever thought of a hybrid that can go off the beaten path? Sure there are AWD, hybrid crossovers/SUVs that can essentially hit the trails, but we have yet to see a true off-road machine that benefits from hybrid technology get down and dirty...until now that is.
Jeep wants to show that hybrids (more specifically plug-ins) can make more power, be easier on the fuel bills, as well as go anywhere they please. Joining the Renegade and Compass plug-in hybrid models is the all-new Jeep Wrangler 4xe. Billed by Jeep as the most capable, and eco-friendly Wrangler ever, this electrified 4x4 benefits from electrification and better emissions.
But if there's one trait that makes the Wrangler 4xe really impressive, is that it's the most powerful Wrangler to date. While it may only have a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine under the hood that's good for 268 PS and 400 Nm of torque, it gets a helping hand from two electric motors and a 400-volt, 17 kWh lithium-ion battery pack.
The result? The Wrangler 4xe has a total system output of 375 PS and 637 Nm of torque. Compared to the 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V6 which already makes 264 PS and 599 Nm of torque, the Wrangler 4xe trounces the diesel by 111 PS and 38 Nm. But since this is a plug-in hybrid, the Wrangler 4xe can also run on pure electric power for up to 40 km should there be sufficient charge from the battery.
Speaking of battery, the battery pack itself is encased in an aluminum housing placed below the rear seats to conserve cabin space. The battery pack also has a dedicated heating and cooling circuit which keeps it operating at optimum temperatures. 4x4 enthusiasts also need not worry about the battery and electric motors from short-circuiting when going over high waters. Jeep made sure that both components, including the wiring harness between the electric motors and battery, are sealed and waterproof.
With the powertrain mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission, Jeep claims the Wrangler 4xe can deliver an estimated average of over 21 km/l. The Wrangler 4xe also has a total of three driving modes; Hybrid, Electric, and eSave. Hybrid serves as the default mode which uses battery power first before adding power from the turbocharged engine. Electric, meanwhile, allows for silent, pure electric mobility. Finally, there's eSave wherein the driver can save the battery charge for later use.
Despite having all of these fancy gizmos and electric aids, the Wrangler 4xe still comes with the usual suite of 4x4 features found in other Wrangler models. These include front and rear Dana 44 axles, a four-wheel-drive system, locking differentials, a two-speed transfer case, crawler gears, and sway bars that can be electronically disconnected for better wheel articulation when going off-road. And, just like the other Wranglers, the 4xe version can be had in Sport, Rubicon, and Sahara variants too.
If you're thinking of getting a go-anywhere Jeep but don't want a diesel-powered Wrangler, then the Wrangler 4xe could be the better alternative. Not only is it more frugal, but it's also more environmentally-friendly, while still delivering plenty of power on tap. The only question now is, will Jeep Philippines offer the Wrangler 4xe in the market soon?