Jeep Renegade Plug-in Promises to Conquer Nature the Socially Acceptable Way

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems

There’s a raft of changes coming to Jeep’s Renegade for the 2019 model year, but the brand’s run-down of the various alterations for the U.S. market didn’t include the possibility of a gas-electric variant. That’s what’s coming to the model, however, as Fiat Chrysler looks to ditch its overseas diesel powerplants by 2021 and curry favor with green governments (and buyers).

On Monday, Jeep announced it had begun preparations for the production of a plug-in hybrid variant of its smallest model.

This should come as no surprise, as the automaker announced eight plug-in hybrid Jeep models for the American market during the June unveiling of its five-year plan. Globally, Jeep’s lineup is expected to gain 10 hybrids and four fully-electric vehicles by 2022. Backing the automaker’s company-wide electrification plan is over $10 billion in development cash.

Given former CEO Sergio Marchionne’s ambitions for the Jeep brand, no model in the brand’s lineup will remain untouched by electricity. While growth in Europe and China remains top of mind, the U.S. market isn’t exactly the most unregulated jurisdiction. A Wrangler PHEV is already in development.

One of the main benefits to rough-and-tumble Jeep purists of this setup, fuel bills aside, is the instant, measured, and strong torque made available by an electric motor, which could come in handy while rock crawling. Hunters might like the ability to arrive in the woods in relative silence, depending on forest floor material.

For 2019, the Italy-built Renegade gains an uplevel 1.3-liter turbocharged four-cylinder, good for 177 horsepower and 200 lb-ft of torque. The 2.4-liter Tigershark motor remains in the Renegade fold. No details exist on what kind of range to expect from the plug-in.

So, when can we expect a PHEV model? FCA claims the hybridized Renegade should launch in Europe in early 2020, though we’re almost certain to see it arrive here not long after.

[Image: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles]

Steph Willems
Steph Willems

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  • Jfb43 Jfb43 on Oct 08, 2018

    It's good to see the hybridization of "normal" vehicles; not just the ones people use for virtue signaling.

    • See 1 previous
    • Luke42 Luke42 on Oct 09, 2018

      @cdrmike Yeah, Prii have replaced the Honda Civic as the default boring responsible car. They're GREAT cars to own -- though I fully admit they're owner's cars more than driver's cars. We had ours for 12 years. When we first bought it, it was a green-tech wonder. That wore off very quickly, and we were left with an efficient and reliable car. The rest of the world caught up a few years later -- with jfb43 getting the memo on 2018. The greener-than-thou crowd rides Dr an cargo bicycles.

  • HotPotato HotPotato on Oct 10, 2018

    The Renegade is tiny. Itty-bitty. Made for narrow Old World roads. Where the hell would they strap enough battery capacity to be useful? The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV coughs up only 22 electric miles and it has a much longer undercarriage, and no mechanical connection to the rear drive wheels to get in the way (rear wheels electric only, front wheels able to cycle from gas, electric, or gas-electric hybrid). This smells like another European short-range bad-faith fake PHEV that kicks on the gas engine at the faintest whiff of throttle and can't go more than 14 miles on a charge, but rather exists only to allow urban drivers (who really need an SUV for those cobblestones, don't you know) to evade congestion or pollution charges for entering the city center by saying they will do so in "electric mode."

  • JOHN One is for sale on an ebay car donation site.
  • Scott So they are losing hundreds of millions of dollars and they are promising us a “Cheaper EV”? I wonder how that will look and feel? They killed the Fiesta because they claimed that they couldn’t make a profit on them and when I bought the first one in late 2010 they couldn’t deliver the accessories I wanted for it! Then I bought a 2016 Fiesta ST and again couldn’t get the accessories for it I wanted. They claimed that the components were going to be available, eventually. So they lost on that one as well! I don’t care about what they say anymore. I’ve moved on to another brand.
  • Michael S6 CX 70 or 90 will not be on my buying list. Drove a rental base CX 90 and it was noisy and the engine noise was not pleasant. Ride was rough for a family SUV. Mazda has to understand that what is good for Miata isn't what we expect in semi luxury SUV. My wife's 2012 Buick Enclave has much better Ride and noise level albeit at worse gas millage. Had difficulty pairing my phone with Apple CarPlay
  • Michael S6 What is the metric conversion between one million barrels and the number of votes he expects to buy.
  • NJRide This could give Infiniti dealers an extra product maybe make it a sub brand