Something new and something retro
FCA this week revealed two major new products of its Jeep brand. One is the next logical development of one of the automaker’s most legendary nameplates and the other revives a classic to reclaim the throne in a segment it pioneered. Wrangler 4xe (pronounced 4byE according to Jeep) is the long-awaited addition to the electrified powertrain to America’s favorite off-road vehicle. The return of the Grand Wagoneer (and the regular Wagoneer) marks Jeep’s return to the luxury market with a large, shiny third-row SUV. Both are exciting installments in the Jeep lineup and look to build on Gladiator’s success last year.
Wrangler 4xe – in the wild green area there
Jeep says it wants to become the “greenest” SUV brand in the world. The new hybrid Wrangler is the mainstay of this plan. The new Wrangler 4xe will not differ much from the standard Wrangler other than the 4xe badge and some elegant and elegant touches of blue (such as Toyota and BMW hybrids). However, there are some big changes under the hood.
What’s different is the inclusion of an electric motor and a 17.3 kWh battery that works in conjunction with the 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder. Together, Jeep claims the Wrangler 4xe will produce 378 horsepower and 470 pounds of power. From a couple. That translates to six seconds from 0 to 60 mph, a 3,500-pound towing capacity, and a 1,200-pound payload capacity.
The electric driving capabilities are also impressive. The range will exceed 400 miles on a single tank of petrol and include up to 25 miles of electric driving only. There will be three different powertrain modes: one for the all-electric drive, another for the hybrid – engaging the engine during times of increased power demand, and a regular petrol mode that includes an E-Save function that backs up battery power and a recharge mode. The Wrangler 4xe system works with regenerative braking, providing a single-pedal driving experience if you choose to.
The Wrangler 4xe will be offered exclusively in a four-door version, with three versions: the base Wrangler, the Sahara and the Rubicon top kit. The first two will have a Select-Track all-wheel drive system with options for two-wheel and four-wheel drive modes, while the Rubicon will have a full-time Rock Track 4WD system that comes with extras like lockers. Electric lock front and rear axle, electronic stabilizer bar, two-speed transfer case.
The 2021 Jeep Wrangler 4xe is scheduled to launch next year.
Grand Wagoneer – “No Wood Paneling?!”
Unlike the Wrangler 4xe, the return Grand Wagoneer previewed this week is still in concept form only, and powertrain information is scarce. Aside from promising an additional hybrid option, Jeep is currently silent on the details. Thankfully, Jeep has given us plenty of shots and running shots to give us an idea of which direction the company is heading in as it re-enters the luxury SUV market once again.
As noted above, the first thing you notice about the Grand Wagoneer concept is the lack of woodwork. Apparently, Jeep felt that the original signature of the Grand Wagoner did not match the modern design aesthetic. But given how much Ford will return its classic first-generation SUV with the new Bronco, we wonder how hard it would be to try Jeep on this car.
Despite the absence of faux wood, the Grand Wagoneer’s exterior appears to be a true competitor to the Lincoln Navigator and Cadillac Escalade. Among its decorations is the impressive illuminated front grille, which is arguably the finest interpretation of the classic seven-hatch car to date. Combined with the 24-inch obsidian aluminum rims, these decorations position the Grand Wagoneer as the upcoming Great American Land yacht. However, the extension of body color to the B and C substrates is clearly a failure, which is a bold but perhaps misleading choice that we hope it doesn’t go from concept to final version.
What matters is what’s inside
The fluctuations in the exterior stop as soon as you open the doors of the Grand Wagoneer, which features one of the most luxurious and refined interiors Jeep has ever offered. In a sign of added durability, the Grand Wagoneer leather is made of faux leather but is also abundant, like woodworking. Think RAM 1500 with a luxurious finish.
The arms race between manufacturers for the largest infotainment screen takes another degree with the Grand Wagoneer, which not only offers a 12-inch center display, but six other screens, including the dashboard and HVAC system. Double rear seat entertainment, rear control panel and front passenger windshield. This adds up to 45 inches of screen on the front seat alone. The front passenger display contains infotainment options, apps, and other controls. The screen will also be polarized to avoid distracting the driver.
Grand Wagoneer will start with around $ 60,000 and surpass $ 100,000 at the high end. It is scheduled to be launched in mid-2021.
The future is full of couples
Judging by the latest news from Jeep, it looks like manufacturers are starting to crack the car-buyer’s code to get their cake and eat it too, with smart and exciting electric cars. The Wrangler 4xe and Grand Wagoneer assert that the dual benefits of reduced torque and efficiency convincingly justify the additional electrification. In fact, Jeep said its goal is to introduce an electric version of every nameplate over the next year. We say bring them.