Could the New Jeepster Be the EV Off-Roader You’ve Been Waiting For?

What do you do when you want an off-road capable SUV from Jeep, but the Wrangler is too big? You look at the Renegade, Cherokee, and Compass, of course. What if you want your small SUV to run only on electricity? Right now, you’re out of luck, but the upcoming Jeepster might be the EV off-roader you wish to drive.

Project 516 should bring us the new Jeepster

Based on this Jeepster Concept Rough Image it doesn't seem Stellantis wants us to know much about this little SUV
Jeepster Concept Rough Image | Stellantis

The concept version of a Jeep SUV that slots below the Renegade appeared a few months ago. This tiny SUV should be an interesting new addition to the market. Autoblog.com tells us this new vehicle is known internally as “Project 516” or “Junior,” but we expect the name to be Jeepster when it arrives.

What platform does this tiny Jeep SUV use?

The CMP platform will underpin the gasoline version, while the electric version will ride on the eCMP platform. This platform is shared throughout the Peugeot-Citroen family with Stellantis to give us a Fiat, Alfa Romeo, and Jeep small SUV from each brand.

The gasoline model should use a small 1.2-liter engine, while the electric version could offer up to 193 miles of driving range. We don’t know a lot about this vehicle yet, but it’s on the way and could be the first fully-electric Jeep we see in the market.

Will the Jeepster be an off-roader?

EV Jeepster
EV Jeep Jeepster | Stellantis

If the Jeep Jeepster name is used for this little SUV, we expect it to be an off-roader. Even though all American Jeep models offer some form of AWD in the lineup, the CMP platform isn’t meant for this type of drivetrain. It’s possible the gasoline models won’t offer AWD, but the electric versions will. Of course, this is simply speculation, and we won’t know for sure until the new Jeepster arrives.

Does Jeep have a fully electric vehicle?

So far, there isn’t a fully-electric production vehicle in the Jeep lineup. CNBC reminds us of the Jeep Wrangler Magneto 2.0 concept vehicle that appeared at the annual Easter celebration in Moab, Utah. This particular Wrangler is all-electric, and it stole the show during the event. The only challenge left is to find this SUV in production.

The closest thing Jeep offers to an EV is the Wrangler 4xe, a hybrid version of one of the most capable off-roading machines. There’s also a Grand Cherokee 4xe, which delivers hybrid driving from the same plug-in hybrid powertrain as the Wrangler model.

How far can the 4xe Wrangler travel on electric power?

Blue Jeep wrangler and White Grand Cherokee parked side-by-side under a solar panel in the desert.
2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee and Wrangler 4xe | Stellantis

Similar to many plug-in hybrid vehicles, the Jeep Wrangler 4xe only travels a short distance using electric power. That distance is 22 miles, after which the gasoline engine kicks in for the rest of the drive.

When will the Jeepster arrive?

Rear of the new EV Jeepster
Junior Jeepster EV | Stellantis

The new gasoline-powered Jeepster hits the assembly line in November, with the electric model scheduled for April 2023. A mild hybrid model shows up in January 2024 to complete the lineup. We aren’t sure if the Jeepster will be an off-roader, but we know it will be an EV.

If this tiny SUV doesn’t bring AWD and off-road capabilities, we’ll have to wait for the Wrangler to receive a fully-electric powertrain before heading out on the trails for some fun in a Jeep EV.

Want to learn more about the Jeep Wrangler Magneto 2.0? Check out the next article.

RELATED: The Jeep Magneto 2.0 Is Unbelievably Fast for a Wrangler