Jeep is introducing the fifth generation of the Grand Cherokee, which for the very first time will include a plug-in hybrid Grand Cherokee 4xe version.
It will actually be the second plug-in hybrid Jeep in the U.S., after the Jeep Wrangler 4xe, with which it shares the drive unit and battery. In Europe, the company offers also the Jeep Compass 4xe and Jeep Renegade 4xe.
The company says that it will be the most technologically advanced and 4x4-capable Jeep Grand Cherokee yet and the 4xe version in particular might be a pretty good choice to enjoy off-roading and at the same time improve fuel economy on the daily commute.
Christian Meunier, Jeep Brand Chief Executive Officer said:
“The Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe driver can tailor its hybrid powertrain to suit each trip, from daily commuting in pure-electric mode to extended highway road trips with no range anxiety, allowing owners to explore nature off-road in near silence. This is another important step toward achieving our global vision of Zero Emission Freedom. By 2025, we plan to offer a fully electric Jeep vehicle in every SUV segment."
The market launch of the Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe in North America is scheduled for early 2022, while other markets will follow.
There will be a total of four trim levels: Limited, Trailhawk, Overland, Summit and Summit Reserve. The prices have not yet been announced.
Jeep promises that the plug-in hybrid Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe will be an off-road capable SUV that is able to conquered the Rubicon Trail in full-electric operation.
According to the initial estimates, the all-electric range should be about 25 miles (40 km) using a 17 kWh battery (probably Samsung SDI cells like in the Jeep Wrangler 4xe), while the total range is expected at 440 miles (708 km).
The vehicle will be equipped with an all-wheel drive system that consists of an electric motor generator mounted in the transmission (replacing the torque converter). There is also a small electric motor generator that replaces the alternator.
Overall, the Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe will have an output of 280 kW and 637 Nm. It will be able to tow up to 6,000-lbs (2,720 kg) - only slightly less than the conventional version.
"the 4xe propulsion system combines two electric motors, a 400-volt battery pack, 2.0-liter turbocharged, four-cylinder engine and TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic transmission for maximum efficiency and capability."
"The fuel-efficient 2.0-liter turbocharged I-4 engine is part of Stellantis’s Global Medium Engine family. The high-tech, direct-injection engine uses a twin-scroll, low-inertia turbocharger mounted directly to the cylinder head. Efficiency is enhanced via the use of electric power steering and an electrically driven air conditioning compressor, removing those loads from the engine.
The conventional alternator is replaced with a high-voltage, liquid-cooled motor generator unit. Connected to the engine crankshaft pulley via a belt, the motor generator spins the engine for nearly seamless, fuel-saving, start-stop operation and generates electricity for the battery pack
A larger high-voltage motor generator is mounted in the transmission, replacing the torque converter. Two clutches manage power and torque from the e-motor and engine.
A clutch is mounted between the engine and the motor. When the system operates in electric-only mode this clutch is open so there is no mechanical linkage between the engine and the e-motor. When the clutch is closed, combined torque from the 2.0-liter engine and the e-motor flow through the automatic transmission. A variable clutch mounted behind the e-motor manages engagement with the transmission to improve drivability and efficiency.
The Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe carries a 400-volt, 17-kWh EV battery. The battery units and controls mount underneath the vehicle, packaged under the floor and protected by a series of skid plates.
The battery pack system includes a dedicated heating and cooling circuit to keep the battery at its optimum temperature for best performance. The system includes a dedicated heater unit and a chiller that uses the Grand Cherokee’s air-conditioning refrigerant to reduce coolant temperature when needed.
The Grand Cherokee’s 4xe system also includes an Integrated Dual Charging Module (ICDM) that combines a battery charger and a DC/DC converter in a single, compact unit and a Power Inverter Module (PIM) that is reduced in size. These are mounted under the body and protected with steel shields."
From an EV perspective, an interesting solution is the integrated DC/DC converter and on-board charger.
An important element note is that the front-axle is automatically disconnected if not needed, so most of the time the vehicle will operate as a rear-wheel drive vehicle:
"New for the 2022 Grand Cherokee 4x4 is front-axle disconnect. If the vehicle senses that road conditions do not require all-wheel drive, the front-axle disconnect automatically places the Grand Cherokee in two-wheel drive, reducing drag on the driveline and improving fuel economy. Four-wheel drive automatically re-engages when the vehicle senses it is needed."
Gallery: Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe
Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe specs:
- Range (all-electric)
target: estimated 25 miles (40 km) and 440 miles (708 km) total
target: estimated 57 miles per gallon equivalent (MPGe)
- 17 kWh battery
400 V battery system
- all-wheel drive (front-axle disconnect if not needed)
Quadra Trac II 4x4 system with two-speed transfer case and 2.72:1 low-range gear ratio
47.4:1 crawl ratio
- system output of 375 horsepower (280 kW) and 470 lb.-ft. (637 Nm) of torque
2.0-liter turbocharged, four-cylinder engine
TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic transmission
an electric motor generator - mounted in the transmission (replacing the torque converter)
two clutches manage power and torque from the e-motor and engine
a high-voltage, liquid-cooled motor generator unit (replacing the conventional alternator)
- 6,000-lbs (2,720 kg) 4xe max towing capability