Is the Jeep Recon Replacing the Wrangler?
During Jeep‘s 4xe day, the company unveiled an off-road-ready EV named the Jeep Recon. With its chunky design, removable doors, and convertible roof, this electric 4×4 looks like a Wrangler replacement. But Jeep is pledging to sell the two SUVs side by side. In fact, the Recon’s advanced chassis may guarantee the Wrangler gets to keep its more traditional layout for years to come.
The 2024 Jeep Recon is an electric SUV inspired by the Wrangler
The Jeep Recon is one of Stellantis‘ first all-electric SUVs. The company revealed it at the Jeep 4xe days, alongside two other electric SUVs: the Europe-only Jeep Avenger and the Wagoneer S.
The Recon is a full battery electric vehicle; unlike Jeep’s 4xe hybrid SUV, the Recon has no internal combustion motor. But despite the Recon’s very new technology, its style is familiar. From the Recon’s five-spoke rims to seven-slat grille, most elements of its design pay tribute to Jeep SUVs of the past.
Ralph Gilles, Chief Design Officer of Stellantis, said of the Recon, “It was absolutely inspired by the Wrangler.” He even went so far as to call the two SUVs “Brothers.”
To this end, the Recon features removable doors, removable rear windows, and a roof that opens the full length of the vehicle.
Jeep plans to continue selling the Wrangler
Even though the Recon is reminiscent of the Wrangler, it is not aiming to replace its big brother. Gilles added that the Wrangler is “The King of our portfolio of vehicles and will always lead the charge.”
Jeep is hustling to make 50% of its U.S. vehicle sales electric by 2030. To this end, you might see an all-electric Recon at your local Jeep dealership sooner rather than later. But this does not mean the traditional Wrangler is going away.
Will Jeep ever build a fully-electric Wrangler?
If the Jeep Wrangler continues to “lead the charge,” this 4×4 may need to transform for the electric future. Jeep has been dabbling in Wrangler EVs for years and has unveiled two generations of a fully electric concept vehicle called the Magneto.
The Magneto Wrangler has a single electric motor under the hood, batteries set above the frame rails, solid front and rear axles, and a manual transmission. That’s right, unlike most EVs the Magneto is a true, three-pedal manual. This is because its 850 lb-ft Axial Flux electric motor redlines at just 5,250 rpm.
The new Jeep Recon EV angles to fill an important market niche. Ford proved there’s a market for American unibody 4×4 SUVs with independent suspension with its Bronco Sport. With the Recon competing with the Bronco Sport, the Jeep Wrangler is free to continue being an aggressive flagship SUV.
A traditional Wrangler with an Axial Flux motor, available manual transmission, and gasoline-powered range extender would be one of the most capable 4x4s yet, and a perfect “King” of the Jeep brand.
Next, check out the latest electric Jeep Wrangler concept vehicles or see the Jeep Recon for yourself in the video below: