Jeep Wrangler Plug-In Hybrid Confirmed For 2020

1 day ago by Adrian Padeanu 10

All-new 2018 Jeep® Wrangler Sahara

The announcement was made during the Wrangler’s reveal in Los Angeles.

After months (if not years) of rumors and speculations, the new Jeep Wrangler has finally arrived in production metal at the 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show where the company’s boss had an interesting announcement to make. Speaking during the reveal event, Mike Manley disclosed plans to roll out a plug-in hybrid version of the Wrangler for the 2020 model year.

We found this (partial) Chrysler slide in a 2014 presentation that tipped the company’s hand for a plug-in hybrid future...although  ultimately they were a about 1+ years optimistic on the arrival dates.

He refused to go into any specific details, but at least we do know for sure the partially electrified Wrangler is in the works. One possibility is to adapt the plug-in hybrid powertrain from the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid, which is powered by a 3.6-liter V6 gasoline engine teamed up with two electric motors and a 16-kWh lithium-ion battery pack that provides 33 miles of real-world/EPA range.

Of Note:  Chrysler first foretold in 2014 of a coming extended range van as the 2017 Town & Country arriving in 2016 (which ended up the as Pacifica Hybrid in 2017), and a full size Chrysler crossover a year later…which apparently has now morphed (as many expected) into a Jeep offering, arriving in 2019 as the 2020 Wrangler PHEV.

However, packaging might turn out to be problematic, so don’t be too surprised if the Wrangler PHEV will feature its own setup.

If that’s going to be the case, it will likely still share many of the components with the Pacifica Hybrid as it’s the case with many models from FCA as part of a strategy to drive down costs with development.

All-new 2018 Jeep® Wrangler Sahara

Another piece of the puzzle is the model’s availability as we don’t know whether it will be sold only in the United States or it’s going to be offered in other markets as well.

Let’s keep in mind the regular 2018 Jeep Wrangler will be available with a mild hybrid setup by using a turbocharged inline-four 2.0-liter with a belt starter-generator and a 48-volt battery. Developing 268 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque, the engine is paired exclusively to an automatic transmission.

There will also be a turbodiesel 3.0-liter V6 mill is in the pipeline and will arrive “at a future model year” with an estimated 30-mpg rating on the highway, according to Motor Trend. It’s unclear at this point whether it will arrive before or after the plug-in hybrid, but it’s good to know Jeep is being flexible with the powertrains by giving customers more options to choose from.

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10 responses to "Jeep Wrangler Plug-In Hybrid Confirmed For 2020"

  1. JeremyK says:

    Not much reason to go larger than a turbo 2.0L if it’s a PHEV. If you need to tow a heavy load, perhaps consider something other than a Jeep Wrangler.

    Off-road vehicles are the perfect application for a BEV or PHEV. The high torque of electric motors would provide much more control when navigating difficult terrain.

    Personally, I’d prefer a PHEV Subaru but at least it looks like there will be some options in the market with AWD within the next 3-5 years.

    No, I don’t count Tesla (as an AWD option). I’m not spending $50K on a car that I mainly drive back/forth to work but occasionally thrash down a back road or forest trail.

    1. Nix says:

      The turbo 4 is better than a 6 cyl naturally aspirated engine in high altitude applications anyways. The NA engine loses too much power to thin air. The turbo loses much less, and the battery loses no power.

  2. Dan B. says:

    So much awesome. What’s next – plug-in body-on-frame pickups?

    1. Nix says:

      They are already talking about a Wrangler pickup. It isn’t exactly the most aerodynamic application, but it certainly would be cooler with a PHEV drivetrain

      https://www.caranddriver.com/jeep/wrangler-pickup

    2. EVShopper says:

      Workhorse W-15 will be a PHEV pickup with 80miles all electric range.

  3. EVShopper says:

    I would rather get the Bollinger B1.

  4. wavelet says:

    This Wrangler could sell well… They’re not comfortable long-distance vehicles anyway, and when going offroad the slow speeds mean the bad aerodynamics aren’t that important.
    I had expected a 16kWh pack woulddo better than 33mi, but then I saw thateven the ICE wrangler weighs ~1800kg — about 50% more than I expected? WTF? The classical Jeeps all used to be less than a ton.

    1. John Doe says:

      Safety equipment weighs a lot. Just a simple airbag adds several kilos. New cars have 5-9 airbags.
      Stonger, safer chassis weighs a lot too.

      I restores an old Jaguar E-Type together with a friend. They are just so simple.
      The electric harness is just comical, compared to a modern car. Safety was not a key back then.
      Or.. take an original Mini, and compare it to a safe modern one.

      Think how cheap a modern made old style Jeep would be. Almost not touched by a human, almost no electronics..

  5. John Doe says:

    I would have loved to have an old (fulle restored) 1965 Jeep Gladiator J200, like the one in Tremors: http://tremors.wikia.com/wiki/Val_and_Earl%27s_truck

    Even a new Jeep with that design would be nice.

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