Economy

Splashy return planned for the Jeep Grand Wagoneer

Splashy return planned for the Jeep Grand Wagoneer”

Jeep said the batteries and electric motor add 500 pounds to the curb weight of comparably equipped 3.6-liter V-6 versions of the Wrangler, up to a total weight of 5,222 pounds for the 2021 Rubicon 4xe. Unlike previously speculated, it doesn't have much influence from the iconic Wagoneer models. But since this is a plug-in hybrid, the Wrangler 4xe can also run on pure electric power for up to 40 km should there be sufficient charge from the battery. A two-clutch system connects the engine to the motor and the motor to the transmission. Outputs are sent to the wheels via a ZF-sourced TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic transmission. The second-row seat has been redesigned for the seat cushion to be flipped forward to grant access to the battery pack beneath. The battery systems are encased in aluminum, and have dedicated heating and cooling systems for thermal maintenance.

The other motor mounts to the Jeep Wrangler 4xe's engine, acting as a starter unit, power regenerator, and alternator. The Jeep Wrangler 4xe will be sold globally, and its battery charging ports will be tailored to specific regions, the company said.

The Wrangler 4xe is certainly an interesting vehicle. When the binary clutch is closed, torque from the petrol engine and the electric motor combine through the automatic transmission for maximum drive.

Combined, the petrol-electric drivetrain can deliver up to 280kW and 637Nm. Finally, there's eSave wherein the driver can save the battery charge for later use. However, what is clear is that the vehicle will be powered by a hybrid powertrain. Through the UConnect infotainment system, drivers can also observe their driving history detailing petrol and battery usage, and the charging schedule to take advantage of hours with lower electricity rates. Capable of generating 375 horsepower and approximately 637 Nm of torque - more torque than the Wrangler's EcoDiesel engine, in fact - the 4xe can accomplish the 0-100 dash in around six seconds. Both driveline versions have 2WD High, 4WD Auto, 4WD High, neutral and 4WD Low modes. The front axle features an open differential on the base and Sahara 4xe variants while the Rubicon 4xe gets a Tru-Lock electronically locking unit, while the rear axle gets an open differential with Trac-Lock anti-spin on the base and Sahara variants, and a Tru-Lock electronically locking differential on the Rubicon variant.

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The Wrangler is an icon of off-road prowess and capability, and is the vehicle most people immediately associate with rugged outdoor adventures.

The Wrangler Rubicon 4xe boasts almost identical approach, breakover, and departure angles as its non-hybrid counterpart: 43.8, 22.5, and 35.6 degrees, respectively. There are three models: the standard 4xe, and more powerful Sahara and Rubicon versions.

For most onlookers, the Wrangler 4xe will appear to be identical to all other current-generation Jeep Wrangler models with one exception - that being the blue highlights seen on the 4xe's badges and interior.

While local availability and pricing have not yet been confirmed - or any pricing, for that matter - expect the Jeep Wrangler 4xe to start somewhere north of US$30,000.



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