September 3, 2020 , Auburn Hills, Mich. – FCA, owners of the Jeep® brand have introduced a new Jeep Hybrid, the Wrangler 4xe. This one is called the 4xe. Jeep claims that this is the most capable, technically advanced and eco-friendly Wrangler ever. The introduction of the Jeep Wrangler 4xe comes on the heals of the Renegade 4xe introduced last year in Geneva. The Renegade began arriving in Europe this summer. Last year the Jeep Grand Commander PHEV was introduced in China.
Jeep says the Wrangler 4xe is capable of up to 25 miles of nearly silent, zero-emission, electric-only propulsion. Since BeachStreetNews is a 100% solar powered operation, we like the idea of plug in’s. The first thing we want to try is the “hold mode hack” we found in another PHEV.
Jeep says the electric range makes it commuter friendly as an all-electric daily driver without range anxiety. It does this while remaining the most capable and eco-friendly Jeep vehicle off-road – combined with the open-air freedom that only Jeep Wrangler offers.
The New Jeep Hybrid
“Our Jeep 4xe vehicles will be the most efficient, responsible and capable that the brand has ever created,” said Christian Meunier, Global President of Jeep Brand – FCA. “We are committed to make Jeep the greenest SUV brand. The electrification of the Jeep lineup will allow commuters to travel solely on electric power, delivering an efficient and fun on-road experience and offering an ability to enjoy even more Jeep capability off-road in nearly complete silence.”
The Wrangler 4xe’s advanced Jeep hybrid powertrain provides a unique on- and off-road experience. It does this through the combination of two electric motors, a high-voltage battery pack, a high-tech 2.0-liter turbocharged I-4 engine and robust TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic transmission. The most advanced powertrain ever developed for a Jeep Wrangler maximizes efficiency with an estimated 50 miles per gallon equivalent (MPGe) while eliminating range anxiety, delivering pure-electric operation for most daily commutes.
(Editors Note: Down the Hall, CoolToys Host Scott drives the eTorque turbocharged 1-4 Jeep Wrangler and says it is the best Jeep he has driven yet and prefers it as a daily driver)
The Wrangler 4xe’s hybrid powertrain delivers electric torque that arrives instantly on demand from the driver. Turbo lag problem solved. Like the current “Mild Hybrid” 2.0T option, The 4xe also delivers fuel-saving, seamless, start-stop operation of the engine.
For nearly 80 years Jeep has been the name associated with 4×4 vehicles. The first to feature an automatic full-time four-wheel-drive system. The first 4:1 transfer case and the first electronic front sway-bar disconnect system are also Jeep innovations . Jeep designers say that merging electrification into the product lineup is a natural evolution.
Wrangler 4xe Advanced Powertrain Combines Electric Motors, Turbo Engine
With two electric motors and a 400-volt battery pack, the 4xe is PHEV contender. Combined with the fuel-efficient, turbocharged, four-cylinder engine and TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic transmission there are no sacrifices in this Jeep.
The Wrangler 4xe powertrain includes 375 horsepower (280 kW), 470 lb.-ft. (637 N•m) of torque and an estimated 50 MPGe by combining technologies:
- 2.0-liter turbocharged I-4
- Engine-mounted motor generator unit
- Transmission-mounted motor generator unit integrated into eight-speed automatic transmission (ZF 8P75PH)
- 400-volt, 17-kWh, 96-cell lithium-ion, nickel manganese cobalt battery pack
The 2.0-liter turbocharged I-4 engine is part of FCA’s Global Medium Engine family. This engine has been highly rated in the 2019 and 2020 models as the “mild hybrid” eTorque option. This direct-injection engine uses a twin-scroll, low-inertia turbocharger mounted directly to the cylinder head. It also features a dedicated cooling circuit for the turbocharger, intake air and throttle body. We have found it to have exceptional responsiveness, performance and fuel efficiency.
Airplane Level Technology
The 4xe is equipped with a combination motor generator that spins the engine. This can create nearly seamless, fuel-saving, start-stop operation and generates electricity for the battery pack at the same time. This saves weight and space. Airplane manufacturers have been doing this for years.
Because of the motor generator, the Wrangler 4xe does not need a conventional 12-volt starter motor. The Wrangler 4xe is equipped with a 12-volt battery to run accessories.
The second motor generator is mounted at the front of the transmission case, replacing the conventional torque converter of an automatic transmission. This motor uses a two clutch system to manage power and torque from the e-motor and gasoline engine.
Battery Pack Preserves Interior Room
Using a 400-volt, 17-kWh, 96-cell lithium-ion battery pack based on nickel manganese cobalt (NMC) graphite chemistry, the 4xe uses the latest battery technology. The second-row seat had some space below that now houses the battery pack and controllers. Under the seat, the batteries and controller are protected from outside elements.
The pack wrapped in an aluminum housing and is fitted with a dedicated heating and cooling circuit. This dedicated circuit is there to keep the battery at its optimum temperature for best performance.
All high-voltage electronics, including the wiring between the battery pack and the electric motors, are sealed and waterproof. Like all Trail Rated Jeep Wranglers, the Wrangler 4xe is capable of water fording up to 30 inches (76 cm). This is impressive when you think about the batteries in the back seat.
One thing the 4xe features that is missing from many other PHEV is a charging status indicator. The 4xe charge port includes LED indicators of charging status. There is also an LED battery level monitor mounted on top of the instrument panel. This feature makes it easy to check battery state of charge at a glance during charging.
Wrangler 4xe E Selec Modes
Being able to override the electric and gasoline modes can be a big benefit if you want to beat the EPA numbers with this new Jeep hybrid. When testing another PHEV, the “Hold Mode Hack” added 20% to the electric range and 15% to the fuel mileage. Jeep got smart on this one with several options to tailor the hybrid powertrain to best suit each trip. Whether it is filling the needs of most daily commuters in pure-electric operation, a night on the town or quietly exploring nature off-road.
The Wrangler 4xe hybrid powertrain has three modes of operation. Jeep called them E Selec. Regardless of the mode selected, the Wrangler 4xe operates as hybrid once the battery nears its minimum state of charge.
- Hybrid: The default mode blends torque from the 2.0-liter engine and electric motor. In this mode, the powertrain will use battery power first, then add in propulsion from the 2.0-liter turbocharged I-4 when the battery reaches minimum state of charge
- Electric: The powertrain operates on zero-emission electric power only until the battery reaches the minimum charge or the driver requests more torque (such as wide-open throttle), which engages the 2.0-liter engine
- eSave: Prioritizes propulsion from the 2.0-liter engine, saving the battery charge for later use, such as EV off-roading or urban areas where internal combustion propulsion is restricted. The driver can also choose between Battery Save and Battery Charge during eSave via the Hybrid Electric Pages in the Uconnect monitor
eSave may be the mode that you can use like the “hold mode hack” in another PHEV we tested. To help optimize the benefit of the E Selec modes, the Wrangler 4xe driver information display and the Uconnect touchscreen feature Eco Coaching Pages. The Eco Coaching Pages let owners monitor power flow and see the impact of regenerative braking, schedule charging times to take advantage of lower electric rates, and view their driving history with a detail of electric and gasoline usage.
Maybe there can be a Rubicon and MOAB challenge to see who can use the least amount of energy total on the trail?
Like most PHEV’s, the 4xe Jeep Hybrids have the ability to capture energy when braking. Instead of turning the energy into hot brakes, the motor generator turns it back into electricity and puts it back into the battery pack for later use. When in the 4×4 mode, all four wheels can send power back to the battery increasing efficiency.
Jeep also says there is a Max Regen feature. This is the one the city dwellers will either love or hate. We haven’t tested it on the Jeep just yet, but in other vehicles we liked it a lot. It makes the vehicle react more like an airplane, always managing energy.
Jeep tells us that when Max Regen is engaged, a more assertive regenerative braking calibration occurs. When the vehicle sees zero throttle input from the driver (coasting) it will start regenerating. This gives the effect of very lightly braking. This is a great tool for controlling speed down the Grapevine and getting a little bit of that range back that was lost climbing up the grade.
Jeep Wrangler’s heritage is defined by its off-road capability. Even in 4Lo, all of the different modes are available for the driver. The seamless integration of electric power into the 4×4 drivetrain elevates the Wrangler 4xe to new levels of off-road performance.
Enthusiasts will find that the instant availability of torque from the Wrangler 4xe’s electric motor delivers a more precise and controlled driving experience for climbing and crawling – there’s no need to build up engine rpm to get the tires to move, minimizing driveline shock loading and maximizing control and speed.
In EV mode, the Wrangler 4xe treads lightly and silently, conserving fuel and allowing occupants to focus solely on the sights and full sounds of nature.
Like every Jeep Wrangler, the Jeep Wrangler 4xe models wear a Trail Rated badge that signifies legendary 4×4 capability with equipment that includes:
- Skid plates and front and rear tow hooks
- Wrangler Rubicon 4xe approach angle of 44 degrees, breakover angle of 22.5 degrees, departure angle of 35.6 degrees and ground clearance of 10.8 inches (27.4 cm)
- Aggressive, available, 17-inch, off-road wheels and 33-inch tires standard on Rubicon 4xe; 20-inch wheels standard on Wrangler 4xe and Sahara 4xe
- Up to 30 inches (76 cm) of water fording
‘Electric Blue’ Design Cues Mark Wrangler 4xe
The 2021 Jeep Wrangler 4xe maintains a sculptural design aesthetic that’s bold and functional, with a wide stance and trapezoidal wheel flares.
Exclusive content identifies the Jeep Wrangler 4xe as the most technologically advanced Wrangler ever. New Electric Blue coloring on the front and rear Rubicon tow hooks stands out against the black bumpers. The unique blue coloring also traces the Rubicon name on the hood, Jeep badge and the Trail Rated badge. Select Easter egg design cues also receive the Electric Blue shade. The black hood decal is outlined in the special color with “4xe” that lets the body color show through.
Inside, the Wrangler 4xe Rubicon includes unique Electric Blue stitching on the seats and trim.
The 2021 Jeep Wrangler 4xe is available in 10 exterior colors: Black, Bright White, Firecracker Red, Granite Crystal Metallic, Hella Yella, Hydro Blue (late availability), Sting-Gray, Snazzberry, Sarge and Billet Silver Metallic. Two Wrangler interior options are available in the 4xe version: Black with Heritage Tan cloth and Black with Dark Saddle leather.
Jeep Performance Parts and Mopar will offer a 240-volt at-home electric vehicle (EV) wall charger on Amazon.com and quality installation services, giving customers a fast and convenient way to charge their vehicles at home.