Jeep plans to launch a total of four 100% electric vehicles by 2022, to which should be added ten plug-in hybrids. The most iconic model in the range, the Wrangler SUV, will receive precisely a PHEV version (dubbed 4xe) in the short term. However, some rumors suggest that it will also have an electric version.
According to Mark Allen, chief design officer for Jeep, full electrification could improve the vehicle’s off-road capabilities. “I truly believe that if we do an electric Wrangler, sometime in the future, that would actually be a better Wrangler (…) It would be more capable off-road. It has the ability to do things that we can’t do now.”
Although the designer has confirmed that there are still no final plans for the release of such a version, it is yet being studied.
“If we do something like that, it shouldn’t be a compliance play because to me, it doesn’t really matter where the power comes from,” he said. “Just that it goes to all four wheels. That’s what’s important.”
According to Allen, an electric propeller provides numerous advantages in an off-road environment compared to a conventional internal combustion engine.
“There’s a central power source, and then through mechanics, we spread that power to all four wheels (…) If we did an electric vehicle, you’d have the ability to control each wheel’s speed and direction individually. That’s huge. That’s a big deal for maneuverability and off-road traction. The possibilities open up for us rather than close down.”
The designer claims that the most staunch Jeep supporters would not object to an electric Wrangler, as the vehicle’s core DNA lies in its off-road capabilities. By improving them through electrification, they will continue to be faithful to the legacy of the brand and model. “It’s about making a better Wrangler. A more capable off-road vehicle. That could happen.”
This same year the Jeep Wrangler will receive a direct rival in its native market, the resurrected Ford Bronco. This SUV, which will also bet on a retro design, will derive from the F-150 pick-up from which it will take its stringer and crossbar chassis. Considering that the F-150 will have 100% electric plug-in hybrid versions, it is highly likely that the Bronco will have them as well, increasing the pressure on Jeep to take out a fully electric Wrangler.