Jeep continues to expand its Wrangler SUV’s powertrain calendar with the accession of a constituent gasoline-electric amalgam advantage for 2021. Dubbed the 4xe (that’s arresting “four-by-E”), the Wrangler’s latest powerplant joins the model’s 285-hp 3.6-liter V-6, 270-hp turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder, and 260-hp turbo-diesel 3.0-liter V-6. As with the closing engine, Jeep limits the 4xe kit strictly to four-door Wrangler models.
Thanks to the accumulated furnishings of its turbocharged 2.0-liter agent and two electric motors, (one 44-hp starter-generator in the agent bay—dubbed eTorque by Jeep—and a added 134-hp assemblage chip aural the eight-speed automated transmission), the 4xe produces a aiguille 375 hp, or 90 added than the Wrangler’s abutting best able agent option. Torque, meanwhile, peaks at a abounding 470 lb-ft. That’s an added 28 lb-ft of aberration about to the accessible agent engine—impressive indeed.
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The 4xe’s added grunt comes with a weight penalty, though. Tipping the scales at an estimated 5,000 pounds, the lightest Wrangler 4xe carries an added 830-plus pounds than does the lightest Wrangler four-door, the Sport V-6 with an eight-speed automatic. Blame the added electrified bits, including the 17-kWh lithium-ion array backpack Jeep stuffs beneath the 4xe’s rear seats, a amplitude the cast claims bigger protects it from the elements—Jeep notes the Wrangler 4xe matches its siblings’ ability to ford through up to 30 inches of water. Redesigned rear-seat cheers now cast advanced in adjustment to affluence admission to the ample battery.
With a abounding charge, Jeep expects the Wrangler 4xe to action up to 25 afar of all-electric active range. Similarly, the cast anticipates the SUV to administer 50 MPGe already its gas-engine comes into play. Plan on ambience abreast about 12 hours to absolutely allegation the 4xe’s depleted array backpack application the accepted 110-volt charging cable, per Jeep. That time drops to about two hours back acquainted into a 240-volt Level 2 charger.
Save for its cowl-mounted allegation port, model-specific badging, and the casual $.25 of Electric Blue trim, the Wrangler 4xe looks all but identical to its carefully gas- and diesel-drinking kin. Step central the SUV, though, and the Wrangler 4xe reveals its accurate colors. Accompanying its Electric Blue stitching, the PHEV off-roader gets a dashboard-mounted charging indicator, model-specific barometer cluster, and audible infotainment arrangement menus. Additionally, the Wrangler constituent packs assorted 4xe-specific drive settings that aim to accomplish the best of the SUV’s gasoline-electric powertrain.
Christened E Selec, the bureaucracy offers three drive modes: Hybrid, which serves as the SUV’s absence bureaucracy and uses both gasoline and electric ability as needed); Electric, which avoids application the gas agent until the array depletes its charge; and eSave, which affords the disciplinarian the advantage to advance the battery’s accepted allegation or use the gas agent to access the allegation of the battery. There’s also a Max Regen function, which increases the bulk of adorning braking from the electric motors.
In animosity of its efficiency-minded powertrain, the Wrangler 4xe promises to action the aforementioned accepted adequacy of added four-door Wranglers. In fact, the entry-level 4xe and higher-spec 4xe Sahara models’ 10.1 inches of ground clearance betters the 9.7- and 10.0-inch abstracts of other Wrangler Sports and Saharas. For its part, the alike added off-road-oriented 4xe Rubicon’s 10.8 inches of arena approval matches that of its beneath able Wrangler Rubicon stablemates.
Like added Wranglers, the 4xe boasts accepted four-wheel-drive and Dana-sourced solid axles at both ends. Jeep’s Selec-Trac full-time four-wheel-drive arrangement comes accepted on the 4xe and 4xe Sahara trims, with the cast applicable its tougher Rock-Trac arrangement to the 4xe Rubicon. Both setups avowal a two-speed alteration case, with the above featuring a 2.7:1 low-range arrangement and the closing a beneath 4.0:1 ratio.
Beefy advanced and rear tow hooks and a scattering of skidplates ensure all Wrangler 4xe models abide aces of Jeep’s “Trail Rated” brand Jeep affixes to the model, alike if the SUV’s accepted 20-inch auto assume beneath than ideal for off-tarmac travel. Those in chase of bigger off-road achievement care to bounce for the 4xe Rubicon and its accepted 17-inch auto captivated in asperous 33-inch tires.
What furnishings the 4xe’s added pounds have on the Wrangler—both on- and off-road—remains a mystery until we accept the adventitious to get abaft the wheel. Nevertheless, Jeep is assured the amalgam powertrain’s added grunt, as able-bodied as the near-instant thrust of the electric motors, will make the 4xe a terrific tool for both dabbling about town and tackling tough trails.
As for the amount tag, apprehend the 4xe to amount a appealing penny. While Jeep has yet to absolution an MSRP for the model, we ahead it will start at able-bodied north of $40,000 back it goes on auction at the end of the year. That’s a acceptable accord added than the four-door 2020 Jeep Wrangler Sport’s $33,290 starting sum.