Jeep’s most iconic model is going electric and now we have all the details on the brand-new Wrangler 4xe (pronounced “four by E”) plug-in hybrid.
Launching in early 2021, the Wrangler 4xe arrives packing a 2.0-litre turbocharged inline-four-cylinder engine mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission. Hybrid propulsion comes from two different motors – an engine-mounted motor generator unit and a second electric motor integrated into the transmission – offering up to 375 horsepower and 470 lb-ft of torque when all combined. A 17-kWh lithium-ion battery pack stores the electricity needed to drive the 4xe model up to 40 kilometres on electricity only.
Drivers have three hybrid drive modes available to choose where the power comes from. Hybrid mode uses both the engine and electric motors; Electric mode will only use the battery power until it is depleted or the driver demands full power; eSave mode uses the gas engine by itself, saving the stored battery charge until the driver switches to one of the other modes.
The battery pack lives underneath the rear seat to keep it out of harm’s way; and that seat has been redesigned to allow it to flip up for access, with the spec sheet claiming that the Wrangler gives up just 0.1 inches of legroom in the back to accommodate. This placement also ensures the Wrangler retains its standard 30 inches of water-fording capability. All 4xe models have four doors, using the extra length to accommodate the battery.
The battery pack and all the electrical gear adds some weight to this 4xe, with the Rubicon 4xe weighing in at 5,222 lb (2,369 kg) compared to 4,478 lb (2,031 kg) for a 2.0-litre Wrangler Rubicon.
Trim Levels & Equipment
Three trim levels of plug-in hybrid Wrangler will be available: 4xe, 4xe Sahara, and 4xe Rubicon. The first two make use of the Selec-Trac two-speed transfer with a 2.72:1 low-range ratio, while the Rubicon continues to use the Rock-Trac 4:1 low-range transfer case, adding up to a final crawl ratio of 77.2:1.
All of the other important off-road gear on the Rubicon model stays intact with the 4xe as well, including 10.8 inches of ground clearance, a 44-degree approach angle, 33-inch tires, locking differentials, Dana 44 axles, and a disconnecting front sway bar.
By combining the Rubicon’s low-range ratio with all of the instant torque from the electric motors, the off-roading experience of the 4xe has the potential to be even better than the standard Wrangler, as low-end torque is so important when rock-crawling and picking your way down a trail.
To make sure these models stand out, Jeep is using an Electric Blue colour scheme on all of its 4xe models, including around the badges, on the interior stitching and trim, and even on the tow hooks.
Those looking to accessorize their Wrangler 4xe will have access to the entire catalogue of over 300 parts, and Jeep even tuned the 2-inch lift kit specially for the extra weight of the 4xe so those interested can get a lifted plug-in hybrid straight from Jeep.
Pricing has not yet been announced. Jeep plans to offer electrification options on every single one of its vehicles, so stay tuned for more EV news from Jeep in the future.