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ELECTRIC WRANGLER: Jeep shows Wrangler Rubicon 4XE PHEV

This is the first look at Jeep’s new electrified Wrangler, and it doesn’t look much different at all.

JEEP HAS SHOWN its upcoming Wrangler 4XE PHEV on stage at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas this week, giving us a hint of what to expect from the brand’s first serious hybrid electric offroader.

Suggesting that its plug-in electric hybrid (PHEV) won’t affect off-road performance (it could bring benefits) it has unveiled the model in the trail-rated Rubicon trim. Unfortunately, no specifics have been provided yet.

Instead, the Wrangler 4XE’s public debut is a static showing, revealing that typically red components such as the recovery hooks and Rubicon badge are in eco-inspired blue. On the front left-hand guard is the charging port for the battery.

We don’t know what engine resides underneath the bonnet – that will be revealed later this year at either the Geneva, New York or Beijing motor show – but the Jeep Renegade and Compass PHEVs, unveiled last year, utilise a 1.3-litre turbo petrol hybrid setup. Power produced in that drivetrain is from 140-180kW. The claimed electric-only driving range for those cars is about 50km.

Jeep Wrangler Rubicon green
Jeep’s Wrangler 4XE will have green credentials

The Wrangler PHEV will likely preference electric power for low-emissions driving in urban environments, and petrol-electric hybrid power when off-roading, potentially allowing the Wrangler to apply differing amounts of torque at each wheel using electric motors. 

Jeep Australia has been uncommitted on the Wrangler PHEV since it was confirmed at the Los Angeles motor show in November last year, but last month newly-appointed Jeep Global President Christian Meunièr told Australian media that our country was on the cards after it first launched in bigger markets Europe, China and the US.

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Alex Rae

Alex Rae