New Model News

2021 Jeep Wrangler 4xe is a plug-in hybrid that enhances the JL's off-road prowess​

The Jeep Wrangler is getting an available plug-in hybrid powertrain.

Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

We all know how capable the Jeep Wrangler is. We know what mountains it can climb and what rivers it can ford. We also know that the fuel efficiency is terrible. Since the JL has debuted, Jeep added a slightly more efficient available EcoDiesel powertrain. Now there's an even more fuel-efficient choice.

The 2021 Jeep Wrangler 4xe is a plug-in hybrid that is capable of driving up to 25 miles on electricity alone. It's a next-generation system from Jeep and provides the added benefit of improving off-road performance.

2021 Jeep Wrangler 4xe Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

The gasoline engine attached to the Wrangler 4xe is a turbocharged 2.0-liter inline four-cylinder. It has two electric motors providing torque on-demand, and power is sent to all four-wheels via Jeep's tried-and-true eight-speed automatic. Jeep is estimating 50 MPGe.

Total system power output is 375 horsepower - significantly more than the 260 to 285 horsepower the JL has in its other power plant options. Combined system torque, however, is where it gets really fun. It's a beefy 470 pound-feet. That means it makes more than the EcoDiesel's 442 pound-feet, which should make ambitious rock crawling even more fun.

There's a 400-volt, 17-kilowatt hour, 96-cell lithium-ion nickel manganese cobalt battery pack on board for hybrid duty. On a Level 2 charger, expect a full charge in around two hours from empty. While those figures make the Wrangler 4xe's setup sound a lot like what's in the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid, this is a newer system. It's also larger and more powerful than the hybrid system in the Jeep Compass and Renegade 4xe.

2021 Jeep Wrangler 4xe

Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

There are separate controls to regulate the hybrid system. Standard operating procedure is in hybrid drive mode. There's an EV-only mode, which makes the Wrangler run on electricity on demand. An eSave mode will hold the electricity in the battery for use later and use the gas engine to fill it up. In Europe and Asia, some cities charge extra or prevent gasoline vehicles from entering their city center. Being able to hold the electricity until the driver needs it is crucial in those regions.

The battery pack sits under the rear seats. By default, this means that the 4xe only comes in the 4-door Unlimited body style.

In top-spec Rubicon trim, the Wrangler 4xe maintains all the capability of the non-hybrid Rubicon. That includes a water fording capability of 30-inches. All electric operating modes remain available when the Wrangler is in 4Lo.

The two other trims available for 4XE are the base model and the Sahara. All models get Dana 44 axles and have a two-speed transfer case. All Wranglers have Selec-Speed Control with both ascending and descending hill controls. That means the driver can select the speed they want to Jeep to go, and it controls the throttle and the brake to maintain that speed while clearing an obstacle.

Jeep's selectable Max Regen feature allows for more assertive regenerative braking while a driver is coasting. This is similar to one-pedal driving and it can slow the Wrangler 4xe faster than standard regenerative braking and generate more electricity for the battery pack.

Visually you'll be able to tell a 4xe model from the rest of the lineup because the Wrangler 4xe has blue accents on the badges and hood. The tow hooks on the Rubicon are also blue instead of red. Inside, the Wrangler 4xe Rubicon includes unique Electric Blue stitching on the seats and trim.

Beyond the electrification, the Wrangler is still a Jeep. They went to great efforts to ensure that selecting this powertrain option doesn't hinder the performance of the Wrangler off road, but actually improve it.

Pricing is unknown at this point, but getting the JL as a PHEV likely won't be the cheap option. Expect the Wrangler 4xe to be in showrooms in early 2021.

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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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New luxury car

BMW sends its V12 engine off in style

BMW will build its final V12 engine this June.

BMW

Most automakers are focused on building EVs and extracting the best fuel economy from gas engines possible, so it’s not surprising to hear that BMW is pulling the plug on one of its biggest and most iconic engines. In June 2022, BMW will build its very last V12 engine for use in a super-limited-production special edition 7 Series model. The ultra-rare cars will carry a starting price of $200,995.

BMW 760i xDrive The last V12 will power a very special (and very expensive) 7 Series car.BMW

Only twelve lucky customers will have the option to nab a V12-powered BMW, which will be called the M760i xDrive. Displacing 6.6 liters, the twin-turbocharged beast produces a massive 601 horsepower. An eight-speed sport automatic transmission and all-wheel drive are standard. BMW says the powertrain is strong enough to push the hefty 7 Series car to 60 mph from a standstill in just 3.6 seconds.

The final-run cars will feature little more than a special “V12” badge at the rear to differentiate them from standard 7 Series models. Inside, the car features a serialized plaque with the car’s production number out of the 12 units planned. The engine itself features a nameplate with “The Final V12.”

Beyond the badges, BMW’s 12-cylinder last-hurrah will come standard with 20-inch M double-spoke wheels, a choice of any available BMW full Merino leather color, M Sport brakes with black or blue calipers, a panoramic LED roof, remote control parking, a Bowers & Wilkins surround-sound system, and adaptive LED headlights.

BMW 760i xDrive Only 12 of the cars will be built, with a starting price of more than $200,000.BMW

Though it hasn’t been BMW’s most popular engine over the years, the V12 has been a part of the automaker’s catalog for 35 years. The first 12-cylinder engine showed up in 1987, producing 295 horsepower in the original 750iL sedan.

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