The First Electric Jeep Is a Crossover: Not a Wrangler
Stellantis CEO, Carlos Tavares, recently announced the automaker’s strategic plan through 2030 at an Amsterdam press conference. The plan details how the brand will offer “second to none” value to stakeholders and lead the industry’s battle against climate change, ultimately aiming to reach carbon net-zero emissions by 2038.
After years of concepts and teasers, we now know that the first pure electric Jeep model is coming in early 2023. And no, it’s not an electrified Wrangler. It’s an all-new crossover, small in stature, that has yet to be named. Below, we’ll discuss everything we know (and don’t know) about the BEV joining the Jeep lineup and several other parts of the brand’s electrification plan.
The Knowns of the New Jeep BEV
Jeep has not revealed too many details about the new BEV coming next year, though we can expect more information to roll out in the coming months. With that said, the automaker has given us a look at the electric crossover’s exterior design. The images suggest the BEV resembles a sort of scaled-down version of the Jeep Compass, and there are several Renegade-like touches present as well.
A shut-off seven-slot grille is adorned with a small “e” badge in the front. Each side has a brow-like DRL on top of the smoked-out primary headlights. Moving to the back, the BEV boasts an athletic posture, not unlike a hatchback. The vehicle frame appears slightly wide proportionally, and the taillights are set in to cap off a modern, attractive design. The taillights feature the brand’s X-signature and a smoked-out appearance similar to the headlights.
The new Jeep electric SUV sports large wheel arches to house the big wheels. However, many enthusiasts expect those features to be scaled-down for production. Something else that makes the BEV stand out is its sporty split-tone floating roof design. And the rear door handles are positioned on the C-pillars (instead of the doors). Besides giving the vehicle a three-door appearance, placing the handles on the C-pillars might enhance drag co-efficiency. All and all, the Jeep BEV looks athletic yet conventional.
Some industry experts predict this vehicle will come equipped with two motors. Since it’s a Jeep, we can expect there to be a four-wheel-drive option, even if only on higher trims. Stellantis will build the electric crossover in Europe alongside other brand models that share the STLA Small platform.
The Unknowns of the New Jeep BEV
We don’t have much to go on regarding the name of the new Jeep electric SUV. In fact, all we have are the “Jeep” and “e” badges on the front and back of the vehicle. Hopefully, Jeep will soon announce what it will call the production model.
We can expect this model to ride on the same platform as other upcoming Stellantis models, such as the new Peugeot e-2008 and the Alfa Romeo Brennero. As such, the Jeep electric SUV will likely be built on the STLA Small platform (the updated version of the Peugeot EMP1 platform). The Peugeot e-208, Opel Corsa e, and Citroen DS3 Crossback all share the EV platform design. With that said, these vehicles do not come with a dual-motor option.
Some enthusiasts are worried that the BEV platform will not be able to accommodate all-wheel drive. Considering that this feature is essential to Jeep’s iconic status, it would not be surprising if the brand modifies the platform for a dual-motor all-wheel-drive system.
If the automaker alters the platform to facilitate two motors, other models that share the platform will probably start offering the same. All-wheel-drive will likely be reserved for higher-spec models instead of coming standard.
The New Electric Wrangler Concept
Jeep recently unveiled the Magneto 2.0 concept EV as the latest tease of what the iconic Wrangler may look like as a fully electric SUV. Of course, the brand released a concept last year too. But this year’s model features several performance refinements.
For instance, the Magneto 2.0’s motor now operates with a higher peak amperage and a lower RPM. It provides 625 horsepower and 850 pound-feet of torque (more than three times the torque of last year’s concept).
The new Magneto comes under the same mutant villain nameplate from the previous prototype. And it brings back the six-speed manual transmission, which is rare for an EV but in line with the 2019 Ford Mustang concept.
Another carryover feature is the “electrified” blue and white color scheme. However, the Magneto 2.0 has a more performance-oriented appearance than the first concept, and it is missing the oversized winch that last year’s model housed in its front bumper.
The front of the Magneto 2.0 is now black, and white stripes run along the body sides and meld into blue on the rear. Also, the vehicle now offers a custom bikini top, and a small “2.0” badge adorns the logo. You might remember the 35-inch tries of last year’s Magneto; the 2.0 rocks 40-inch tires that hug 20-inch rims. What’s more, Jeep has lifted the SUV three inches instead of two.
The Mopar team stretched the Magneto’s wheelbase 12 inches wider than the gas-powered Wrangler models to make room for the electric drivetrain. This leaves the Magneto with plenty of ground clearance to weave through rough terrain and climb rocks safely; the brand has claimed that the new concept has similar proportions to the 2004 “LJ” Wrangler Unlimited.
As in the original, the Magneto 2.0 comes with a 70 kWh battery system that is split into four parts evenly distributed around the vehicle body. Perhaps the most impressive claim Jeep has made about this concept is that it will go zero to 60 mph in just two seconds (3.5 times faster than the first Magneto). If that is true, it means the Magneto 2.0 beats out the Ford Mustang Mach-E GT, GMC Hummer EV, Tesla Model X Plaid, and Rivian R1S.
We don’t know anything about the estimated battery range of the Magneto 2.0, though the brand will hopefully release more information in the coming months. Still, the concept is an exciting development and shows that the Mopar team is serious about developing and refining a fully electric production version of the Wrangler.
Stellantis’ Dare Forward 2030 Announcement
Stellantis has big hopes to positively impact families, communities, and societies over the next decade. CEO Carlos Tavares has touted the automaker’s new mindset and expanded vision to deliver innovative, affordable, and clean transportation solutions.
Stellantis has declared it will become the industry champion in the fight against climate change and become carbon net-zero by 2038.
Its hope is to reduce carbon emissions by 50% by 2030, and it has committed to achieving 100% European and 50% U.S. BEV sales within the same period.
According to the strategic plan, this will include more than 75 BEVs. Along with the first-ever fully electric SUV coming in 2023, we know that the new Ram 1500 EV is arriving in 2024.
Current and Future Jeep 4xe Models
The electric SUV and Ram 1500 EV are not the only environmentally friendly vehicles on the radar for Stellantis. The Jeep brand itself already has some PHEVs on the market while others are soon to follow.
Jeep Wrangler 4xe
The Jeep Wrangler 4xe is available in the U.S. at a starting price of $52,530. It comes in Sahara, Rubicon, and High Altitude trims, each of which is powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged I-4 gas engine and two electric motors.
A 400V 17.3 kWh lithium-ion battery pack sits under the second row and powers the electric motors. This brings the combined system output to 280 kWh (375 hp) and 637 Nb (470 lb-ft) of torque. The Wrangler 4xe comes standard with an eight-speed automatic transmission and is rated for a 21-mile EV range.
Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe
The Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe is slated to arrive in spring 2022 at a starting price of $58,095. The highest trim (Summit Reserve) will sell for $74,695. The Grand Cherokee 4xe will come in five trim levels and use the same powertrain as the Wrangler 4xe.
With that said, the brand estimates the Grand Cherokee 4xe will provide 25 miles of EV range. This vehicle’s towing capacity is rated at 6,000 lbs.
Jeep Renegade 4xe
Consumers can currently purchase the Jeep Renegade 4xe in Europe, and the next Renegade generation will see a fully electric version. Industry experts predict that the EV version will arrive by early 2024. The vehicle will likely be built on the STLA Medium platform and slot just above the all-new EV crossover coming next year.
There’s a slight chance the Renegade EV will ride on the eCMP platform. But if Jeep uses the STLA Medium architecture, the SUV will provide at least a 440-mile electric range.
Jeep Compass 4xe
As with the Renegade, the Compass PHEV has already hit the European market. And Stellantis predicts a Compass 4xe EV release by 2025. This vehicle will undoubtedly ride on the STLA Medium architecture and accommodate battery packs ranging from 87 to 104 kWh. The multiple range variants will put off-roaders at ease since they will be able to take a Compass EV off the beaten path without worrying about range.
Jeep Grand Wagoneer 4xe
We expect the Grand Wagoneer 4xe EV sometime in 2024, and it will come become the most expensive Jeep with a starting price of $100,000. We can also anticipate Jeep to uphold the vehicle’s luxury status by throwing a bunch of elaborate add-ons into the mix.
Reports suggest that the Grand Wagoneer EV could bypass the conventional EV styling of a smoothed-out grille and aerodynamic-optimized bumpers and wheels. Expect Jeep’s trademark seven slots to be seen whether or not the grille is closed. And we know that the charging port will be located on the left front fender for easy charging access when parked.
The Grand Wagoneer EV is already getting special attention in the auto industry. Jeep CEO, Christian Meunier, stated in July 2021 that the vehicle was like “magic” and unlike any other vehicle ever developed. He also offered that it will deliver “very very strong acceleration.”
Exciting things are on the horizon for Jeep and other Stellantis brands. Not only is the family of brands dedicating the next decade to combatting climate change, but it has also resolved to take actionable steps to improve the everyday lives of families and communities where it operates. Only time will tell whether Stellantis will reach its carbon net-zero emissions goals, but even if they make it halfway, it’s excellent progress.
If you are in the market for a small EV crossover, it could be worth waiting for the new Jeep to arrive in 2023. Keep up to date on new details and teasers the brand releases in the coming months to get a better idea of whether or not the vehicle is the perfect choice for you. And as always, don’t hesitate to call us at Mount Airy CDJRF or visit our website to browse our current selection or schedule a test drive!