Jeep says that it is soon to bring fully-electric models into the line-up, and suggests a Wrangler EV like the Magneto will come.
Jeep has officially launched the Grand Cherokee 4xe PHEV (plug-in hybrid electric vehicle) in Europe which will go on sale in Australia next year. It is the 4×4 brand’s third PHEV model to launch, following 4xe versions of the smaller Jeep Renegade and Jeep Compass crossovers, and arrives as Jeep embarks on an ambitious strategy to electrify its line-up.
Jeep is already the best-selling low-emissions vehicle brand in Italy, where the Compass and Renegade are built, and the new Wrangler 4xe is claimed to be the best-selling PHEV in Jeep’s US home market, accounting for 25 per cent of the company’s volume in the region.
The next step is going pure electric for Jeep, and the company’s boss, Christian Meunier, says that it could bring new models and enhance existing icons such as the Wrangler.
“We are accelerating electrification, amplifying 4×4 capability and the spirit of freedom with electrification,” he told media.
“It’s not only about being more green. It’s about emphasising and improving the capabilities of our Jeeps – making them more fun, exciting, sustainable and being able to drive off road quietly.”
Details of Jeep’s first pure-EV remain thin on the ground, but Meunier pointed to the Jeep Wrangler-based Magneto EV concept – “more Jeep than Jeep” – as a sign of its priorities during the shift to electrification.
Meunier said “the order doesn’t matter” when it comes to electrifying the Jeep portfolio, but there will be “a few BEVs before the Wrangler”.
Asked if the brand’s electrification push will take it into new segments, Meunier told Automotive Daily Network partner Autocar: “Stay tuned. You’ll get some news in the next few months. Jeep is a global brand and we’re meant to cover the entire range of SUVs – true SUVs, not raised hatchbacks.
“We’re not completely expanded to 100 per cent and we still have a few bullets in our pocket.”
The Grand Cherokee 4xe which is on route to Australia mates a turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine with a pair of electric motors for combined outputs of 280kW and 637Nm and it is equipped with a 17kWh battery, which gives a claimed 50km of EV range in urban areas.