600 Horsepower Jeep Wagoneer S Is Hot on the Trackhawk’s Heels
The most powerful SUV in Jeep’s history is the Hellcat-powered Grand Cherokee Trackhawk. That beast made 707 horsepower and 650 lb-ft of torque. But it had better watch its back: a 600 horsepower Jeep is on the way. The fascinating thing about this new Jeep is that it is a luxury-level Wagoneer. And it’s electric.
First of all, yup, Jeep’s going electric. Its been playing with electric concept vehicles for years, such as the Jeep “Magneto.” In 2022, it unveiled Jeep Recon and Wagoneer S concepts destined for production. With the current high cost of EVs (40% higher than comparable ICE vehicles), they often fit better into luxury segments. So it makes perfect sense that the first full EV from Jeep will be part of its Wagoneer luxury sub-brand.
Of course Jeep already has some electric offerings with its 4xe plug-in hybrid lineup. This currently only includes both a Grand Cherokee and Wrangler. But I fully expect it to expand to every Jeep model. While some states plan on banning combustion in the future, this ban doesn’t apply to plug-in hybrids, because they have both electric and combustion powertrains.
The Jeep Wagoneer S will be a bit different. It won’t be a hybrid, but will be an electric-only vehicle. We actually haven’t seen any range estimates for the new SUV. What we do know is that it will make 600 horsepower and rocket to 60 mph in about 3.5 seconds.
With their oodles of low-end torque, gut-wrenching acceleration remains EV’s most popular party trick. With a 3.5-second 0-60, the Wagoneer S could tie the Rivian’s claimed time. But that won’t be enough to catch up with the old Grand Cherokee Trackhawk. MotorTrend found that Jeep could hit 60 mph in 3.3 seconds. That said, MotorTrend also found the Rivian could do it in 3.1 seconds, so I’ll be interested to see where the Wagoneer S lands.
There is one key difference between Rivian’s truck/SUV chassis and the Wagoneer S. The Rivian offers optional quad-motor drive. The Wagoneer S will have one motor for each axle.
It’s not cheap to buy a Rivian with an electric motor for each wheel. But the result is a vehicle that can modulate power instantly. This gives it sports sedan performance on the road and precise control off road. Such capabilities would grab the attention of even the most combustion-loving Jeep fans. But we won’t see it for a long time.
Chrysler Corporation bought Jeep in 1987. Then Fiat and Chrysler merged in 2009. Finally, the resulting FCA merged withe Peugeot Group to form Stellantis in 2021. The resulting conglomerate includes 15+ brands. Stellantis is pushing hard to migrate all new vehicles to one of just four shared chassis.
Crossovers, such as the Wagoneer S and Jeep Recon will end up on the “STLA Large” chassis, alongside Dodge’s muscle cars. This chassis will have hybrid and fully electric variants. Brands will choose one of three possible motors for each axle, and a 400-volt or 800-volt architecture.
We know that Stellantis‘ largest electric drive unit is rated at 440 horsepower. So I suspect the Wagoneer S EV will have one of those at the back and the next size smaller drive unit at the front. I suppose there’s a chance it has two of the biggest drive units, but isn’t rated to put full power to both at once, so it lands at a 600 horsepower maximum output.
If Jeep decides to make another “SRT” level crossover, it will probably make the full 880 horsepower that I expect the “Banshee” level Dodge Charger to claim. If it keeps a full-frame Wrangler around, that Jeep will share the “STLA Full” chassis with future Ram trucks and full-size Wagoneers.
Jeep, if you are listening, know that what we really need is an efficient, Renegade-sized crossover EV. Build something on the “STLA Medium” chassis, with 800-volt charging, a small battery, and one motor that disconnects for efficiency. More of a station wagon, really. It’s the EV America needs. And they would sell like hotcakes.
And well I’m offering unsolicited advice. I worry that Jeep die-hards won’t be interested in EVs such as the Recon. But the Wagoneer crowd might love it. The Wagoneer brand has always stood for technology-forward, luxury-caliber off-road capability. And it would make the perfect EV-only sub brand.
Next, see Jeep’s TV spot teasing its new electric lineup in the video below: