JEEP has unveiled its new Wrangler 4xe, marking the arrival of the most capable, technically advanced and eco-friendly Wrangler ever made. But it may not come to Australia, at least not yet.You see, Jeep Wrangler 4xe models will be available in Europe, China and the United States by early 2021. The Jeep Renegade 4xe and Compass 4xe models have already hit European showrooms, and a Jeep Grand Commander PHEV launched in China last year.
But still Australia waits. Jeep Australia managing director Kevin Flynn tells us that the take up of electric vehicles locally will dictate any future EV or PHEV model introductions.“We are excited about these technical developments and advances and are monitoring the take up of electrification in Australia,” he said.“We will be ready to launch our PHEV strategy as soon as consumer appetite, regulations and infrastructure suggests the time is right.”
The Wrangler 4xe’s plug-in hybrid power train is capable of up to 40km of nearly silent, zero emission, electric only propulsion, making it commuter friendly as an all-electric daily driver without range anxiety.All electrified Jeep vehicles will carry the 4xe badge, with the Wrangler version providing a unique on and off-road experience through the combination of two electric motors, a high voltage battery pack, and a high tech 2.0-litre turbocharged I-4 engine.
That engine produces 280kW and 637Nm through a robust TorqueFlite eight speed automatic transmission. Torque is available on demand. The Jeep Wrangler 4xe will eventually be sold globally, with EV charge port plugs tailored to specific regions.The Jeep Wrangler 4xe’s 400-volt, 17-kWh, 96-cell lithium-ion battery pack uses nickel manganese cobalt (NMC) graphite chemistry. The pack and controls mount underneath the second row seat, where it is protected from outside elements.
The Wrangler 4xe’s second-row seat has been redesigned, allowing the bottom cushion to flip forward for access to the battery. Encased in an aluminium housing, the pack is fitted with a dedicated heating and cooling circuit.Its hybrid system includes an Integrated Dual Charging Module (ICDM), which combines a battery charger and a DC/DC converter in a single unit that is more compact than two separate components, and a next-generation Power Inverter Module (PIM).All high-voltage electronics, including the wiring between the battery pack and the electric motors, are sealed and waterproof. Like all Trail Rated Jeep Wranglers, the Wrangler 4xe is capable of water fording up to 76cm.
The electric charge port features a push-open/push-close cover and is located on the left front cowl of the Wrangler 4xe for convenient nose-in parking at charging locations. The charge port includes LED indicators of charging status.An LED battery level monitor is mounted on top of the instrument panel, making it easy to check battery state of charge at a glance during charging. Availability in Australia is yet to be determined.