The Jeep Wagoner S will be the American carmaker’s first series production battery-powered model sold in the United States and Canada. Set to be revealed tomorrow, the Wagoneer S will be built at Jeep’s Toluca Assembly Plant in Mexico, according to Automotive News quoting a source with knowledge of the matter.

Jeep’s first U.S.-bound EV is a big gamble, considering it will go against the extremely popular Tesla Model Y in the increasingly crowded mid-size crossover segment.

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Jeep's EV push

The brand known mostly for its off-road-oriented Wrangler is slowly but surely shifting to an electrified lineup. The Wagoneer S will be its first U.S.-bound all-electric model, followed by battery-powered versions of the Wagoneer, Grand Wagoneer and Grand Cherokee.

The Model Y is built stateside at Tesla’s factories in California and Texas. With production of the Jeep Wagoneer S set to begin in Mexico later this year, the Stellantis-owned automaker hopes to bring its inaugural EV to a competitive price point in an age where affordability is the name of the game.

Tesla’s Model Y, which last year was crowned the best-selling car in the world, starts at $44,990 excluding the $7,500 tax credit for which it is eligible when purchasing, while the top-spec version goes for $51,490. To make a lasting impression, Jeep will have to price the Wagoneer S in a similar range, and building it in Mexico might help it do just that, thanks to lower manufacturing costs compared to the U.S.

That said, the first teasers suggest the off-road-oriented carmaker’s EV will be positioned more upmarket, with several displays scattered throughout the interior and a spec sheet better than that of the rumbling V-8-powered Grand Cherokee Trackhawk. 

Gallery: Jeep Wagoneer S EV First Look

Jeep said the Wagoneer S would be capable of accelerating from zero to 60 miles per hour in 3.4 seconds, a tenth of a second quicker than the Tesla Model Y Performance, thanks to a dual-motor setup that puts down an estimated 600 horsepower and 617 pound-feet of torque. The estimated range of the Wagoneer S was advertised as “over 300 miles.”

Jeep isn’t the only American automaker turning to Mexico for its EV efforts. Ford makes the Mustang Mach-E at the Cuautitlán Stamping and Assembly Plant and General Motors assembles both the Blazer EV and Equinox EV at the Ramos Arizpe Assembly plant.

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