It’s got enough technology to leave your head spinning. In fact, the Jeep Wrangler 4xe is like no other Jeep we’ve seen. But how does it work? And most importantly, is a hybrid Wrangler a real Jeep? Does the technology take away from the Jeep experience?
Let’s take a look.
What is the Jeep Wrangler 4xe?
Well, in an industry first, the Rubicon 4xe marries plug-in hybrid electric technology with the open-air freedom for which the Wrangler brand is known.
Is the 4xe Powerful?
The plug-in hybrid turbocharged powerplant produces 375 robust horses and a whopping 470 pound-feet of torque. That’s pretty darned impressive. And according to Jeep, the thing scoots from standstill to 60 mph in six ticks.
How Does the Technology Work?
The Wrangler 4xe is the automotive industry’s first plug-in hybrid electric vehicle with a front and rear locking differential system that’s married to a direct-injection turbo PHEV engine. An eight-speed auto tranny, regenerative braking and 17-kWh lithium-ion battery pack collaborate to forward beaucoup torque and brawn to every wheel, optimizing each part’s capability.
How Do I Charge It?
You can always use a conventional household outlet. When you buy a Jeep Wrangler 4xe you get a 120-volt charging system that you can set up. If you want a speedier charge – two hours versus 12 — you can get an available 240-volt charger that can be installed at your home.
Can I Run Out of Power?
Nah, you needn’t worry about range, which is estimated at 49 MPGe and 370 miles in total. E-select driving modes that utilize Power Routing puts you in charge of performance — and your mind at ease.
With Electric Mode, only battery power is used for tooling around or for serene off-roading with optimal torque and horsepower. Meanwhile, eSave Mode saves battery power for the future. Hybrid Mode combines the two technologies.
What’s This About Regenerative Braking?
This means your battery will be charged when you’re slowing down and braking. Unless you deactivate the system, it’s always on.
But is it Still a Wrangler?
Ah the $64,000 question. Hey, if you’re interested in the Wrangler lifestyle as much as you’re into the ride, never fear. For example, the hybrid’s waterproof battery pack and electronics let you ford creeks and streams – just like the old days – up to 30 inches.
And, when you think about it, the Wrangler 4xe technology actually allows you to be more adventurous with your Jeep; quiet electric power lets you truly enjoy nature’s sights and sounds. Yes, you will hear other non-nature sounds too, such as the kind the vehicle makes when the Pedestrian Alert System kicks in, or when you’re driving less than 20 mph. But those aren’t “bad” sounds. They’re just unfamiliar to you.
What’s more, Jeep is creating a free charging network for the hybrid so that you can roam like a true Wrangler owner. The stations will either utilize solar panels or the electrical grid and will be located across the country near iconic off-road trails.
So, is a hybrid Wrangler a real Jeep?
Yes, the 4xe is the most technologically progressive Wrangler ever. Still, the sport-ute uses electric energy in a way that doesn’t compromise the “wide open” spirit for which the Jeep brand is known.
Don’t be put off by the technology. Once you get used to how the powertrain works, the 4xe can drive like a regular Wrangler. And it can tow 3,500 pounds; nothing namby-pamby about that. As with any Wrangler, this one can serve as an off-roader, a family hauler, a drop-top, or a daily driver.