The Jeep Easter Safari is coming in hot, and y’all know what that means; wild new Jeep concepts! Last year the Jeep Gladiator had a strong showing with rad throwback graphics packages and bright color schemes, and even some new off-road accessories. This year there is going to be an entirely new kind of concept stomping through the dust of Moab. The Hummer EV better make room for the Jeep Wrangler BEV concept. The race for EV 4×4 is so on.
The Jeep Easter Safari always shows off some killer Jeep Wrangler concepts
Obviously, Jeep introducing an all-electric 4×4 Wrangler is big news. Jeeps have always been the knuckle-dragging 4x4s that didn’t care even to have doors and a roof, much less some kind of fancy new engine.
The announcement of the Jeep Wrangler 4xe had EV fans turnt by the mere fact that Jeep knew what hybrids were, now that Jeep announced that it would make an all-electric powered Wrangler, the EV folks are stoked. Unlike the Wrangler 4xe, the BEV has shed the turbocharged 2.0-liter engine to make room for more batteries.
What will power the Jeep Wrangler BEV?
Jeep has yet to tell us any details about that yet. According to MotorTrend, the concept’s cutaway diagram seems to show a traditional-looking gearbox and transfer case, which would suggest that the electric motor would be sending power to the front and rear depending on where it needed it. Typically, AWD or 4×4 EV designs tend to have a motor to power each set of wheels, like the upcoming Hummer. However, MotorTrend brings up a good point. It wouldn’t seem to make much sense to mount an electric motor onto the Jeep’s axles directly. That would be heavy and wouldn’t be sprung by the suspension.
It’s Just a teaser but what info can we glean?
Jeep has released one exterior image so far. The image seems to be sticking its tongue out at the Hummer directly. There is a bright line of light across the front of the seemingly solid grille that looks like a direct reference to the Hummer EV teaser. It is unclear whether this will be an actual lighting feature or if this is just a bit of computer magic to play with the Hummer.
The grille seems to lack any openings, which I guess makes sense as an EV doesn’t exactly need a lot of airflow. The other noteworthy detail is that the BEV concept is built on the long-wheelbase four-door version of the Wrangler. This is a bit of a no-brainer as the EV will require more room to house the batteries.
How will the Jeep BEV stack up against the Hummer?
At this point, it is hard to know if the two are even comparable. The GMC Hummer is a 1,000-hp luxury, off-road, racing, convertible, crab-walking monster that costs $100k. The Hummer does so many things that I doubt anything, much less a Wrangler can compete. The thing is, though, I don’t think the Jeep needs to compete, per se. The Hummer is silly in its opulence. The people who buy that aren’t going to use it like Jeep people use their 4x4s. The Hummer is too expensive and flashy to really be a Jeep contender.
As it stands, we just don’t know enough about the Wrangler BEV yet, but as spring approaches, I’m sure Jeep will tell us little bits here and there to keep us good and anxious.