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    28 May, 2021
    Posted by Steve
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    Jeep Wrangler goes electric

    The march for electric continues as today Jeep Wrangler goes electric with a new 4xe e-hypbrid powertrain.

    The new Jeep Wrangler 4xe features a plug-in hybrid powertrain, ensuring a zero-emission full-electric driving option and a range that can exceed 30miles in the urban cycle which although doesn’t sound much, most journeys are less than 20 miles so actually is about industry average on a hybrid.

    Key driving figures

    • Courtesy of 4xe technology, it can drive in four-wheel drive in full-electric mode, with a maximum combined output of 380hp and peak torque of 637Nm, delivering unprecedented off-road performance in complete safety while preserving its ‘Trail Rated’ capability
    • A significant improvement in on-road performance with acceleration from zero to 62mph in 6.4 seconds
    • Charging is easy and user-friendly with a full charge available in less than 3 hours due to the hybrid element rather than full electric.
    Jeep Wrangler goes electric
    Jeep Wrangler goes electric in a year where the brand celebrates its 80th anniversary

    It is a model which is literally capable of overcoming any obstacle and this is the true strength of a brand boasting 80 years of achievements. Today the Jeep technical evolution continues with the new Wrangler 4xe plug-in hybrid, the most capable, powerful, efficient, eco-friendly and technically advanced Wrangler ever introduced in Europe.

    In 1941 the legendary Willys MA/MB, the first Jeep vehicle, brought to the world the concept of the 4×4 and the idea that any terrain can be tackled with the right vehicle.

    In 2021, the new Wrangler 4xe will allow customers to truly go anywhere. The natural heir to the first Jeep vehicle, the Wrangler 4xe combines, the company says, the best 4×4 and electric technology while representing another step towards a conscious and more sustainable future. All this while proving that off-road can be eco-friendly, emotion can be efficient and electric driving can be fun. Certainly I know from on-road vehicles the

    The 4xe technology enables customers to travel in full-electric mode on their everyday commutes around the city and enjoy an efficient and fun on-road driving experience, while benefiting from enhanced all-terrain performance in nearly absolute silence.

    Hybrid-Electric Jeep


    It is the ideal solution for those customers who are looking for an SUV to be used every day and are unwilling to compromise between freedom, fun and respect for the environment.

    This gave birth to a Wrangler, 100 per cent unstoppable, as per the Jeep tradition, and sporting unprecedented features. It is the most eco-friendly and capable off-road Wrangler ever, while maintaining the open air freedom that has always been a hallmark of its driving experience. Performance has also been enhanced with Wrangler 4xe accelerating from zero to 62mph in 6.4 seconds and delivering a combined output of 380hp and 637Nm of torque. In addition, it it four-wheel-drive in “pure electric” mode, with never-seen-before low-end control, and can ensure more than 31 miles of pure electric, zero emissions range (in the urban WLTP cycle). Full battery recharge is available in less than three hours with options for scheduling, and – courtesy of the Max Regen feature – to increase the battery charge when coasting.

    The Wrangler 4xe plug-in hybrid is equipped with two electric motor generators and a high-voltage battery pack, with a high-tech turbocharged 2.0-litre petrol engine and the proven TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic transmission. The instant torque availability and the improved performance promised by the pairing of the turbo petrol engine and electric motor make the undisputed off-road champion even more capable and unstoppable on trails. It is off-road that 4xe technology takes the new Wrangler plug-in hybrid to the next level, offering four-wheel drive in full-electric mode for benchmark all-terrain performance and the pleasure of listening to the sounds of nature.

    All this while maintaining the unmatched ‘Trail-Rated’ technical content of the Wrangler. Depending on the trim, it offers two advanced four-wheel drive, active, on-demand full time systems (Selec-Trac or Rock-Trac), next-generation Dana axles, Tru-Lok electric front- and rear-axle lockers, Trac-Lok limited slip differential and electronic front sway-bar disconnect. In addition to making it a sustainable and efficient 4×4 vehicle, 4xe technology guarantees an easy and extremely fun driving experience.

    Charging the new Jeep Wrangler 4xe is also an easy and intuitive operation, courtesy of public and home charging solutions with the easyWallbox – ensuring a full charge in less than three hours at 7.4 kWh.

    Easy to drive, easy to be chosen
    The new Wrangler 4xe plug-in hybrid is available in three trim levels – Sahara 4xe, Rubicon 4xe and the exclusive 4xe 80th Anniversary special edition, two 4×4 systems and 17 and 18-inch alloy wheels. Ten exterior paint colours are available: Black, Bright White, Firecracker Red, Granite Crystal Metallic, Hella Yella, Billet Silver Metallic, Sting-Gray and, for the first time in the range, the new Hydro Blue, Snazzberry and Sarge Green. All colour options can be combined with the choice of soft top, hard top, power soft top and dual top roof configurations for an unparalleled open-air driving experience, in typical Wrangler style.

    The standard technological content includes 8.4-inch Uconnect™ NAV system with touchscreen, comprehensive on-board connectivity with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration and Uconnect Services (including the monitoring of the vehicle’s parameters through the My Uconnect app), 4xe models’ specific 7-inch TFT display with information on battery charge levels and range (in electric and hybrid modes) and 9-speaker Alpine audio system with 552-W subwoofer. In terms of safety, the new Wrangler 4xe offers the most advanced ADAS systems, including standard blind spot monitoring with rear cross-path detection, rearview camera, Electronic Stability Control (ESC) with Electronic Roll Mitigation (ERM), front and rear park assist and Keyless Enter’n’Go™. Optional safety features include Adaptive Cruise Control, Forward Collision Warning Plus and new forward-facing camera (standard on Rubicon).

    By choosing the new Wrangler 4xe, customers also receive access to the benefits of Jeep Wave, the new loyalty and customer care program that includes a wide range of services and advantages, including two years of routine maintenance, roadside assistance, dedicated customer services and privileged access to branded events and partnerships.

    Customisation is another key attribute of the Jeep Wrangler 4xe so, courtesy of Mopar®, customers will be able to select from more than 100 accessories to enhance the vehicle’s functionality with additional content, increasing the options for personalisation and expanding the offer to improve the iconic Wrangler’s capabilities even further.

    Design

    The Jeep Wrangler 4xe maintains the iconic, sculptural design aesthetic of the version with internal combustion engine, with its unmistakable functional elements such as the trapezoidal wheel arches, the iconic seven-slot grille and round headlights. The 4xe version features the new electric blue colouring on the ‘Jeep’, ‘4xe’, ‘Trail Rated’ and ‘Wrangler Unlimited’ badges, while the Rubicon trim level sports additional aesthetic cues, with the unique blue colouring tracing the Rubicon name on the bonnet, rear tow hook (available after launch) and black bonnet decal with 4xe logo.

    The electric charge port features a push-open/push-close cover and is located on the left front cowl of the Wrangler 4xe for easy and convenient nose-in parking at charging locations. The charge port includes an LED indicator to show charging status.

    The driving experience in the city will benefit from the use of the new forward-facing camera (standard on Rubicon and available on Sahara and 80th Anniversary). Sitting behind the middle slot of the seven-slot grille, the forward-facing camera can be operated through the Uconnect display and adds to the safety offered by the Wrangler when driving off-road but also on everyday journeys in the city. It includes a self-cleaning function, which is activated via the radio menu.

    Engineering

    • The turbocharged 4-cylinder, 2.0-litre I-4 petrol internal combustion engine
    • A first motor generator connected to the internal combustion engine. As well as working in synergy with the engine, it can also act as a high-voltage generator if required
    • A second motor generator mounted on the transmission case, and built into the TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic transmission (ZF 8P75PH), which generates the traction and recovers energy when braking
    • A 96-cell/17 kWh/400 volt lithium-ion (nickel-manganese-cobalt) battery pack

    The 2.0-litre I-4 turbocharged engine is part of the Stellantis Global Medium Engine family. This high-tech, direct-injection petrol engine uses a Twin Scroll, low-inertia turbocharger mounted directly to the cylinder head, along with a dedicated cooling circuit for the turbocharger, intake air and throttle body. A combination of technologies that improves responsiveness, and ensures performance and fuel efficiency.

    The first high-voltage, liquid-cooled motor-generator is mounted at the front of the engine, replacing the conventional alternator. A robust belt connects the motor generator to the engine crankshaft pulley. As well as providing additional torque to power the combustion engine, it manages the start-stop system, while generating the electricity for the battery pack. The Wrangler 4xe does not use a conventional 12-volt starter motor but is fitted with a 12-volt battery to power the accessories.

    The Wrangler 4xe uses a hybrid system that includes an Integrated Dual Charging Module (IDCM), combining a battery charging system and a DC/DC converter into a single unit, which is more compact than the two separate components. The hybrid system also includes a next-generation Power Inverter Module (PIM), that is reduced in size, housed and protected from damage inside the battery pack.

    Electric driving modes

    Drivers of the Jeep Wrangler 4xe can tailor the hybrid powertrain and driving experience to best suit each trip and its requirements: no matter whether it is a daily commute in pure-electric, an evening driving downtown or a quiet exploration of nature on an off-road adventure.

    The Wrangler 4xe hybrid powertrain has three modes of operation, known as E-Selec. The driver can select the desired powertrain mode via buttons mounted on the dashboard, to the left of the steering wheel.

    • Hybrid: The default mode that blends torque from the 2.0-litre engine and electric motors. In this mode the powertrain will use battery power first, then when the battery reaches its minimum state of charge, or the driver requests more torque, it will use the propulsion from the 2.0-litre turbocharged I-4
    • Electric: The engine operates on zero-emission electric power until the battery reaches the minimum charge level, or the driver requests maximum torque (such as wide-open throttle), which engages the 2.0-litre engine. If the battery level is at its lowest, the system automatically switches back to Hybrid mode.
    • E-Save: This mode prioritises propulsion from the 2.0-litre petrol engine, saving the battery charge for later use, such as all-electric off-road driving or for when entering urban areas. The driver can choose between two modes, known as Battery Save and Battery Charge during E-Save, both of which can be activated from the Uconnect screen: 
      • Battery Save: maintains battery charge level for later use and predominantly uses the internal combustion engine
      • Battery Charge: charges the battery up to 80% using the internal combustion engine, acted on by the combined electric generator

    Off-road capability of the electric Wrangler

    The heritage of the Jeep Wrangler has always been defined by its legendary off-road capability. All Jeep Wrangler 4xe models are equipped with sophisticated full-time active on-demand 4×4 systems: Selec-Trac on the Sahara 4xe and 80th Anniversary 4xe trims, and Rock-Trac on the Rubicon 4xe, the most capable version for off-road driving. Both operate in four driving modes (plus Neutral mode):

    • 2H (Two-Wheel Drive High Range)
    • 4H AUTO (Full-Time Active On-Demand Four-wheel drive High range)
    • 4H Part-Time (Part-Time Four-wheel drive High range)
    • 4L (four-wheel drive low-range)

    When the drivetrain is shifted to four-wheel drive low-range (4L), all Wrangler 4xe power modes are available – Hybrid, Electric and E-Save. The seamless integration of electric power into the 4×4 drivetrain elevates the Wrangler 4xe to new levels of off-road performance.

    Off-road enthusiasts will find that the instant availability of torque from the electric motor in the Wrangler 4xe delivers a more precise and controlled driving experience for climbing and crawling – there’s no need to build up engine rpm to get the tyres to move, minimising driveline shock loading and maximising control and speed.

    All this while maintaining the car’s unmatched ‘Trail Rated’ technical features, which, depending on the trim, include two advanced full-time active on-demand 4×4 systems – Selec-Trac or Rock Trac, next-generation Dana axles, Tru-Lock electric front and rear-axle lockers, Trac-Lok limited slip differential and electronic front sway-bar disconnect.

    In full electric mode, the Wrangler 4xe uses four-wheel-drive to deliver benchmark off-road performance and safety and allows occupants the pleasure of hearing the full sounds of nature.

    Jeep Wrangler Sahara 4xe is fitted with Selec-Trac full-time active on-demand four-wheel drive system, with a two-speed transfer case, with a 2.72:1 low-range gear ratio, and Dana 44 front and rear axles.

    Wrangler 4xe lineup
    The first electrified Wrangler is available in two trim levels, Wrangler Sahara 4xe and Wrangler Rubicon 4xe, plus the exclusive “80th Anniversary” special-edition model. 

    For 2021, and as tribute to the 80th birthday of the Jeep brand, the Wrangler 4xe range also includes an exclusive ‘80th Anniversary’ special edition. This commemorative model is marked out by distinctive design cues such as neutral grey metallic grille, headlight and fog lamp bezels and two-tone, 18-inch alloy wheels. A body-colour hardtop, a hard cover for the spare tyre and the special “80th Anniversary” badge on the front wheel arches mark the exclusivity of this special-edition model. The interior features black leather seats with tungsten stitching and the ‘80th Anniversary’ badge, along with a leather wrapped dashboard with contrast stitching, premium headliner and black berber floor mats. Standard technology includes the 8.4-inch Uconnect™ NAV system, smartphone integration with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, 7-inch TFT display and 9-speaker Alpine audio system with 552-W subwoofer, while standard safety features comprise blind-spot monitoring with rear cross path detection and Keyless Enter ‘N Go™. 

    It looks to be a great step forward and certainly a lot of information being pushed by Jeep on this anniversary of the brand. Great to see the march continuing and look forward to testing this on and off road at some point in the near future.

    If you’ve got an EV and need help with an installation, get in touch with Steve to discuss your needs.

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