Jeep: Return of the Wagoneer and Plug-in version for the Wrangler

Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 4xe 2021

Last week, Jeep orchestrated the unveiling of two very important models that will adapt very different stances within the FCA (Fiat Chrysler Automobiles) off-road brand. The Wagoneer returns with a nostalgic name for the brand’s fans, while the Wrangler looks to the future with a plug-in hybrid engine.

By reviving the Wagoneer name, abandoned in 1991, Jeep wants both to expand its range with a new full-size SUV and also to diversify its positioning.

Jeep Grand Wagoneer Concept

The model will become the manufacturer’s luxury flagship in the Grand Wagoneer version, while the Wagoneer livery will aim at a more affordable entry price. By unveiling – virtually, pandemic obliges – its new protégé in the form of a concept vehicle, Jeep has not a priori specified anything on the technical aspect of the Wagoneer, which will be marketed next year.

However, Sergio Marchionne, a former FCA boss who died in 2018, had declared in 2017 that this large SUV would be based on a ladder chassis, probably derived from that of the RAM 1500 pickup truck. There could therefore be a sharing of mechanicals between these two models.

A slightly greener Wrangler
Jeep also introduced an all-new rechargeable hybrid version of its Wrangler designed to reduce its environmental footprint. Called the Wrangler 4xe, this version essentially uses the 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine with a small electric motor that acts as starter and alternator. A second electric motor is housed in the transmission. It powers this Wrangler when in electric mode.

Jeep estimates the range of this plug-in livery at 40 km from a 17-kWh battery. The 375 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of maximum torque – as much as the Grand Cherokee SRT’s 6.4L V8 – will allow for better off-road performance, according to the manufacturer. On sale as early as the dawn of 2021.

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