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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Dream job alert

You could become Dodge's Chief Donut Maker

You can apply to become a Dodge ambassador with some great perks.

Dodge

One lucky person is about to win the car enthusiast's job of a lifetime, though only for a year. Beginning today, Dodge is accepting applications for its new and temporary Chief Donut Maker

If the title alone isn't enough to make the job sound appealing, the benefits are seemingly endless. The lucky new Dodge "employee" will pick up a $150,000 salary, along with the opportunity to drive an SRT Hellcat company car for the year. Additionally, the winner will participate in all manner of racing and car-related events, take courses at Radford Racing School, and get a load of Dodge-branded clothing.

Dodge is Hiring a Chief Donut Maker www.youtube.com

If you're reading this and thinking it sounds like a blast - you're right. There's a catch, however, which comes in the form of an intense consideration process that culminates in a racing event with a pro driver on a closed course. A panel of judges will evaluate the video entries, and wrestler Bill Goldberg will oversee the race between the top ten finalists. Dodge says the series of eliminations will air like a reality TV show, with the winner being revealed in the final episode.

Today is the opening day of the application period. You have until February 28 to submit your short video, which can be a maximum of two minutes. Get busy making your video and head here to submit it before the deadline.

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The Grand Cherokee is now available with three rows.

Stellantis

The Grand Cherokee has always been the Jeep that could haul the family to the mall as easily as it could traverse serious off-road terrain. The design was starting to age, however, after ten years on the market without a major redesign. Jeep fixed that for the 2022 model year, and after a week behind the wheel, there are three things we think you should know about the new SUV.

It Comes in Two Formats

The three-row Jeep Grand Cherokee L debuted in 2021 as the first Grand Cherokee with more than two rows of seating. The standard Grand Cherokee followed it with many of the same features and upscale finishes, but in a more familiar two-row SUV format. The move to a two-body-style lineup for the Grand Cherokee does not mean there's less choice. The standard two-row model is offered in a staggering number of configurations, including a 4xe plug-in hybrid variant.

2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee The new Grand Cherokee ups the luxury considerably. Stellantis

It's Luxurious

Top Grand Cherokee trims have long been plusher and more luxurious than most people expect from a Jeep, and the new model takes things further down that road. Top trims feature luxurious materials such as quilted leathers and real wood trim, along with desirable and innovative electronics features. An optional passenger-side touchscreen offers climate controls and other functions to front-seat passengers, and Stellantis' UConnect infotainment software is among the easiest to use and most intuitive interfaces in the auto business.

2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee The Grand Cherokee can take its passengers far off the beaten path.Stellantis

It's Available with Three Strong Powertrains

The 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee comes standard with a 3.6-liter V6. A 5.7-liter Hemi V8 is available, and Jeep's excellent 4xe plug-in hybrid can be added to certain trims. The Wrangler was the first vehicle to use the system, which provides instant torque and excellent all-electric driving range. When the battery is depleted below a certain level, the vehicle then switches to operate as a normal hybrid.

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