Jeep is known for its capable and impressive SUVs with the Wrangler being its most-popular off-roader, hands down. But today’s SUVs need to be more capable than ever as more and more brands move to fuel efficiency and electrified powertrains. With the highly-anticipated Ford Bronco set to steal customers away from the reigning Wrangler king, Jeep isn’t going to allow that to happen. Enter, the newly electrified Wrangler.
The new electrified Jeep Wrangler 4xe
Jeep recently teased a new addition to the Wrangler lineup by way of an electrified powertrain. According to MotorTrend, FCA (Fiat Chrysler Automobiles) shared at its 2020 annual shareholder meeting earlier in the year that Jeep was on track to launch a hybrid powertrain project for its off-roading SUVs, starting with the Wrangler.
Expected to launch in the third quarter of 2020, FCA has been mostly silent about the finer details . . . until now. In fact, thanks to its recent teaser posted on social media, the world should expect an electrified Wrangler sooner rather than later – the Jeep Wrangler 4xe.
After the world caught a glimpse of the future Wrangler 4xe, more details have emerged on what an electrified Wrangler will promise buyers. The Wrangler 4xe is expected to pair its current turbocharged, 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with an electric motor, offering up to 31 miles of electric-only driving.
Of course, Jeep will also most likely use the Wrangler’s electrified powertrain to its advantage as Jeep is known to do. The electrified powertrain may also provide additional benefits such as serving as “an external power source for the likes of personal camping equipment.”
The “4xe” nameplate will stand for Jeep’s electrified, hybrid powertrain, which will carry to all future electrified models. After all, we know Jeep won’t let just the Wrangler lineup have all the electrified fun, especially since FCA has already committed to adding 30 models with electrified powertrains to its ranks by 2022.
How FCA’s announcement of the Jeep Wrangler 4xe comes at a bad time for the Ford Bronco
The world has been on pins and needles for a few years following the Ford brand’s announcement that it would be reviving its beloved Bronco. Boasting capability and a true fan following, the debut of the Bronco could mean direct competition for other capable SUVs like the Wrangler. But it appears FCA and Jeep won’t be outdone.
The FCA’s announcement of its new hybrid powertrain definitely seemed to come at a purposeful timing. In fact, according to Car and Driver, on the very day Ford celebrated the release of the new Bronco, Jeep silently and without warning shared a video that would act as its official announcement that its newest hybrid Wrangler 4xe is coming.
In addition to saying that the electrified Wrangler would be coming soon, Jeep also made some not-so-subtle hints that it won’t be intimidated by the Ford Bronco. Jeep used social media to post, “The electrified Jeep Wrangler 4xe lets sleeping dogs lie… and horses too.” This obvious jab at the Ford brand is continued in the video, which depicts the electrified Wrangler scaring off horses.
Will Jeep leave behind any customers for the Ford Bronco?
The fact that Jeep is announcing the release of an available hybrid powertrain on the Wrangler (and possibly other models in the future) is an especially brutal blow to Ford, which has teased the possibility of an electrified Bronco in the future. Jeep’s announcement of the Wrangler 4xe means the brand is leaps ahead of Ford, which has neglected to provide any specific details on a hybrid Bronco project.
But Jeep’s announcement of the 4xe powertrain wasn’t the only punch it would deliver to Ford. According to The Drive, Jeep also revealed that it’s working on a new Wrangler Rubicon “with a snarling, factory-installed V8 under the hood.” This Hemi V8 Wrangler could give power-hungry drivers up to 450 hp and 450 lb-ft of torque.
Between a new electrified Wrangler, a super-charged Hemi version, and all the options already made available through the Wrangler, it seems Jeep plans on appealing to everyone. With the future providing a Wrangler to draw in literally any SUV shopper, will there be any buyers left for the Ford Bronco? Not if Jeep has anything to say about it.