The plug-in hybrid version of the new Jeep Grand Cherokee, the 4xe, won’t be available immediately after launch, but it will be added to the range by the end of the year. Our spies recently spotted a short-wheelbase plug-in prototype testing under camo in and around the Detroit metropolitan area.

The Grand Cherokee 4xe will most likely be powered by a 2-liter turbocharged four-cylinder which together with two electric motors will make 375 horsepower and 470 pound-feet (637 Nm). It won’t be the only electrified Grand Cherokee powertrain, though, as it is also believed to eventually get a new six-cylinder Tornado engine that’s also a mild hybrid, with a standard 48V electrical system.

The top of the range engine will most likely still be 5.7-liter V8 with 357 horsepower and 390 pound-feet (528 Nm), but the PHEV promises to match or even exceed its performance but with far better fuel efficiency, as well as decent electric-only range.

Gallery: 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe PHEV

So far we’ve only see plug-in hybrid Grand Cherokee prototypes based on the short wheelbase two-row body style called WL74. This differs from the longer three-row WL75 in more than just wheelbase or overall length - the biggest difference is in the rear where the three-row model is more squared off, while the two-row version has a sportier looking tapering roofline.

Our spies point out that the front fascia is also different, although this could simply be the case for the 4xe plug-in hybrid version that gets unique design in order to differentiate it from non-plug-in hybrid variants. We’ll have to wait and see the short-wheelbase Grand Cherokee to confirm this - it is expected to be unveiled later this year and enter production at the Jefferson North Assembly Plant this autumn.

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