Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe plug-in hybrid confirmed

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Jeep’s 4xe PHEV version of the Grand Cherokee to join hybrid electric future.

Jeep’s plug-in hybrid lineup is set to expand, with the Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) to join the Compass and Renegade 4xe models.

The Compass 4xe uses the same petrol-electric powertrain as the Renegade but it is unclear what drivetrain the Grand Cherokee 4xe will use. The Compass as way of comparison uses uses a 1.3-litre petrol engine driving the front wheels and an electric motor that drives the rears, and combined the two power sources produce a maximum of 177kW. Driving on electric power along, the Compass plug-in can travel around 50km before needing to use the petrol engine. Charging time of just over an hour and a half from a 7.2kW wallbox are the other headline figures.

Exact specifications for the Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe have yet to be confirmed and just a single image of the car has been released so far. It’ll arrive to European markets along with conventionally fuelled versions of the model at some point in 2022.Jeep Australia is yet to confirm the model though it has previously discussed bringing electrified models here in the future.

Jeep 4xe PHEV off-road technology

Speaking about the hybrid models’ off-road prowess, Jeep’s head of product marketing, Marco Pigozzi, has said that “The move from mechanical to electric all-wheel-drive is a massive improvement – it’s more capable than the conventionally powered Jeep. The enormous torque on offer from the electric motor allows [the car] to easily crawl over rocks and obstacles. And the fact that it’s mounted on the rear axle means [the car] is pushed up hills rather than pulled.”

Jeep says its plug-in hybrid technology enhances the off-road capability of the Compass, with the combination of two power sources resulting in more torque (50% more in the case of the 177kW hybrid model versus the 125kW diesel). Furthermore, as the rear axle is driven by a dedicated electric motor and not a prop shaft, the two axles can be separated and their torque controlled independently in a more effective way than a mechanical system. The Jeep Selec-Terrain traction-control system offers five driving modes for different on and off-road conditions (Auto, Sport, Snow, Sand/Mud and Rock) as well as hill-descent control.

It is expected that the Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe will further enhance capability given its intended use as a tourer and tow vehicle, though such information remains unknown.

Further details are expected when the model is officially unveiled at the New York Auto Show in August 2021.

Stephen Errity

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