Jeep’s first electric SUV will go on sale this year and undercuts one of its closest rivals on price.
Jeep’s first foray into the electric market, the Avenger, will launch in Europe this year priced from £36,500. Comparatively in that market, it undercuts its rival the Hyundai Kona EV which is priced at £37,111.
The model is yet to be confirmed for Australia but Jeep boss Christian Meunier said it is under consideration.
The baby electric Jeep, which despite not yet being released has already been crowned European Car of the Year 2023, will look to draw new customers to the US brand – now part of the giant Stellantis group – in Europe, with a particular focus on younger, female buyers.
A 54kWh battery, the same as is found in similarly sized Stellantis stablemates the DS 3 E-Tense and Opel Mokka Electric, will give a range of up to 400km, according to the WLTP cycle, but Jeep has previously claimed this can be as much as 550km depending on driving conditions. Power is sent to the front wheels via a single 115kW/260Nm electric motor.
The Avenger, which is the smallest car the brand has ever produced, will be joined on the continent by three other Jeep electric cars on the continent by 2025.
These will be the range-topping Wagoneer S premium SUV and extreme, off-road-focused Recon (both electric, and will get US launches first), with a final, as yet unannounced electric model to come – which CEO Christian Meunier has described as a look into the future of the brand.
The Avenger itself has been built around the “right size” for Europe, head of Jeep’s European arm Antonella Bruno said.
“What makes it different is its capabilities,” said Bruno, confirming the car will be “equal or better than” the larger Jeep Renegade 4xe when used off road.
The Avenger will use a new version of Stellantis’s ECMP platform – the current version of the architecture is used for EV and combustion versions of the similarly sized Stellantis models. This will give it “impressive” ground clearance, Jeep said, with segment-topping breakover and approach angles. A large boot and modern interior will also look to attract a new customer base, Bruno added.
Its Stellantis-built battery will be able to be recharged from 20-80% in 24 minutes via a 100kW cable.
The baby SUV will sit at the bottom of the range as part of a five-car line-up when it launches, with initial models to arrive as an exclusive a front-wheel-drive 115kW First Edition. Higher-powered variants will be offered soon after, as well as two-wheel-drive and four-wheel-drive configurations.
Inside it will be fitted with a 10.25” HD touchscreen Infotainment system, similar to other Stellantis models, voice recognition, and Apple Carplay/Android Auto. Three colours will be available from launch: Sun, Graphite and Volcano.
It will be built at the group’s advanced, high-efficiency plant in Tychy, Poland. The model will also be sold in Japan and South Korea, but it will not get a US release. Australian confirmation is pending.
The Avenger will be joined by the Wagoneer S, which will top Jeep’s range and come with a raft of premium features, although none of these has yet been confirmed. It will pack 447kW, have a 0-100km/h time of around 3.5sec and offer a range of 640km.
The Recon will also be offered and positioned as a raw take on off-road Jeeps of old, with options including removable doors and an open-top design – like the Wrangler. It will get similar power and range to the Wagoneer S. Both will be in right-hand drive production in 2025 and have been confirmed for Australia.
“The scale of Stellantis is absolutely fantastic and means we can really bring the best technology possible to a lot more people than we could before,” said head of design Ralph Giles.
Meunier added that the new line-up will reposition Jeep in the market as an electric brand, with a target of 100% of sales to be from EVs by 2030. Prices for all three new electric cars will be announced at the Paris motor show.