New Model News

Plug-in hybrid Jeep Wrangler coming before the end of 2020

The Jeep Renegade and Compass 4xe have already gone on sale in Europe.

Photo courtesy of FCA

More and more vehicles are being electrified and it was only a matter of time before America's beloved off-roader, the Jeep Wrangler, had its turn. Instead of first going mild-hybrid then advancing to full hybrid before landing on plug-in hybrid (PHEV), the brand is going straight to a plug-in hybrid version of the four-wheel drive model.

During the company' recent annual general meeting FCA CEO Mike Manely discussed the importance of the model to the U.S. market, sharing that it will be on the "front line of our electrification strategy in North America."

Despite the fact that FCA doesn't have many models available in the North American market that are electrified (Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid and Ram 1500 with the mild-hybrid powertrain are it), the company is expanding its options worldwide including the forthcoming Maserati Ghibli Hybrid. The coming merger with PSA Group should help bring many other parts of the lineup along.

Plug-in variants of the Wrangler will wear the "4xe" badge. This was first revealed at CES earlier this year. At that time, the brand revealed that PHEV versions of the Jeep Wrangler, Compass, and Renegade are all in the pipeline.

Jeep Renegade 4xe (European model)

Photo courtesy of FCA

Jeep Compass 4xe (European model)

Photo courtesy of FCA

Jeep is saying that the forthcoming production variants of these vehicles will be the "most efficient and responsible Jeep vehicles ever, providing absolute and quiet open-air freedom while taking performance, 4x4 capability and driver confidence to the next level."

The Wrangler 4xe is expected to have 31 miles of all-electric range, can reach 62 mph when running on electric power, and have around 240 total combined horsepower.

Originally, the models were set to debut at the Geneva, New York, and Beijing auto shows. The Geneva show was cancelled as COVID-19 took hold in Europe. The New York International Auto Show was postponed to September as the pandemic ravaged New York. As the sickness continued to cause shutdown, the organizing body was forced to cancel the show altogether. The Beijing show is still on the books for September.

After its debut, the Wrangler PHEV will be available in China and Europe in the first quarter of 2021. The timeline for U.S. availability has not yet been made public.

The Renegade and Compass 4xe have already been shown to the European market and reservations are now being accepted. Both models are powered by a turbocharged 1.3-liter gasoline engine with an electric motor located between the rear wheels, which is powered by an 11.4 kilowatt-hour battery. Depending on trim level, the models achieve either 190 horsepower (Limited version) or 240 horsepower (Trailhawk and S). The models have Electric, Hybrid, Sport, and E-Save drive modes.

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Larger tires headline the upgrades.

Jeep

The off-road wars are heating up. This year alone, we've seen the new Ford Bronco, Rivian's R1T electric pickup truck, new off-road models of the Ford Ranger, GMC Canyon, and Chevrolet Silverado, and more rugged versions of the Subaru Outback and Forester. Jeep, already deep in the game, doesn't need to do much to bolster its off-road offering, but the brand is doing just that for 2022. The automaker is offering a new Xtreme Recon Package for the Wrangler Willys SUV, which brings more capability and style to the boxy off-roader.

Jeep Wrangler Willys Xtreme Recon Package The package can be ordered for Wrangler Willys models later this year. Jeep Wrangler Willys Xtreme Recon Package

Beyond beefy 35-inch tires tires, the Wrangler Willys with Xtreme Recon Package gets a 1.5-inch factory lift, a 4.56:1 axle ratio, 17-inch wheels and swing gate reinforcement. Jeep says those improvements give the Willys best-in-class approach and departure angles, ground clearance, and water fording capability. Approach angle improves to 47.4 degrees, breakover angle improves to 26.7 degrees, and departure angle jumps to 40.4 degrees. The extra ride height also pushes ground clearance to 12.9 inches and the water fording depth to 33.6 inches.

The package's 35-inch tires make the Willys Jeep's third Wrangler model with hardcore rolling stock. It joins the Wrangler Rubicon and Wrangler Rubicon 392 in the 35-inch club, all of which can be equipped with the tires directly from the factory.

Jeep Wrangler Willys Xtreme Recon Package A factory lift helps improve ground clearance and capability.Jeep

The Xtreme Recon Package can be ordered starting in October and will be available for the Jeep Wrangler Willys with 3.6-liter eTorque engine. The package adds $3,995 to the Wrangler Willys' price tag, which brings the total starting price to $40,930, including a $1,495 destination charge.

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New electric luxury vehicles

Three new Mercedes-Benz EVs we can't wait to see

Mercedes showed off its electric future at the 2021 IAA Mobility show in Germany.

Mercedes-Benz

Mercedes-Benz is going electric, and though it only recently announced its firm plans to do so, it already seems that the German automaker is moving quickly toward that goal. At the 2021 IAA Mobility show in Munich, Mercedes showed off some of its upcoming electrified products. We've seen the EQS, a flagship electric sedan, but three newcomers made an appearance at the show.


Mercedes-Benz EQB EQB will be Mercedes' electric family SUV.Mercedes-Benz


EQB

EQB is the brand's family-sized SUV, offering seating for up to seven people. A long wheelbase of 111.3 inches and adjustable second-row seating allows more interior space for people and gear. Mercedes says the EQB will offer two powertrain configurations: The EQB 300 4MATIC will get 225 horsepower and the EQB 350 4MATIC will sport 288 horsepower. A front-wheel drive configuration will go on sale later and a long-range model will follow.


Mercedes-Benz Concept EQG The EQG will eventually become the brand's electric off-roader.Mercedes-Benz


EQG

Concept EQG is a preview of the eventual electrification of the Mercedes-Benz G-Class, its boxy, upper-crust off-roader. This concept is far closer to a design exercise than something we'll actually see in production, but it's an interesting demonstration, nonetheless. With 22-inch wheels, wild exterior lighting touches, and what the automaker says will be legendary off-road abilities, the EQG will be an exciting vehicle when it does make an appearance.


Mercedes-Benz EQE EQE will follow the EQS as a smaller, sportier electric sedan in 2022.Mercedes-Benz


EQE

EQE is the second car to use Mercedes' EVA2 electric architecture, following the EQS sedan. The car is currently scheduled for a staggered release in mid-2022 and will feature a more compact and sportier design than its predecessor. Mercedes says that the car will be available with either 19- or 21-inch wheels, and notes that its size is comparable to the current CLS coupe-sedan. The car offers an impressive range of up to 410 miles on a single charge from its 90kWh battery and special charging capabilities through the Mercedes me Charge network.

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