By on March 5, 2019

FCA

Fiat Chrysler’s reputation as an automaker that scoffs at fuel economy mandates is slowly being chipped away. Never mind the much-loathed Fiat 500e; it was the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid that really got the ball rolling, with eTorque-engined Ram 1500s upping the company’s green cred for 2019.

At this week’s Geneva Motor Show, the high-flying Jeep brand revealed the next salvo in its bid to lower corporate emissions while wooing eco-conscious (or heavily taxed) overseas buyers: Two crossovers, each bearing a plug-in hybrid drivetrain.

While American  consumers can expect a plug-in Wrangler hybrid sometime in 2020, Jeep’s Tuesday reveal focused on more Euro-friendly models. The subcompact Renegade and compact Compass both gain a plug-in hybrid system that mates a rear-mounted electric motor with the brand’s potent new 1.3-liter turbocharged four-cylinder.

fca

Debuting in the 2019 Compass, the gasoline engine makes 177 hp and 200 lb-ft of torque in U.S.-spec models. For these two plug-ins, FCA claims a combined output of 190 to 240 hp, with the Compass understandably earning the highest power figure.

All-electric range for both Renegade and Compass is 31 miles, with each vehicle said to be capable of 80 mph in EV mode and a seven-second 0-62 mph sprint. The Renegade and Compass PHEV mark the debut of Jeep’s eAWD system, which forgoes a mechanical connection between front and rear drive wheels.

fca

“Thanks to the new electric all-wheel-drive technology (eAWD), traction to the rear axle is not provided by a prop shaft but through a dedicated electric motor,” FCA said. “This allows the two axles to be separated and to control the torque independently in a more effective way than a mechanical system.”

In last year’s five-year plan, the automaker said it hoped to offer 12 electrified powertrains globally by 2022, split among mild hybrids, hybrids, plug-ins, and fully electric vehicles. North America is said to get eight Jeep plug-ins by that target year, so expect to see this duo offered stateside, probably by the end of next year. The automaker has already revealed the Renegade PHEV’s availability in early 2020.

Last week’s plant investment announcement saw FCA reveal the future production of four PHEVs on American soil, as well as capacity for BEVs. Sitting atop Jeep’s green pyramid will be the plug-in Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer.

[Images: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles]

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

Recommended

25 Comments on “Jeep’s Green Wave Crashes Into Europe, Will Ripple Back to North America...”


  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Interesting.

    Surely this will be more well done than the 500e which Sergio told us not to buy because he was loosing money on each one?

    • 0 avatar

      Oddly if you read reviews on the 500E it was a decent electric car for the year it was released, despite being made as a compliance car. They just never updated because of the money losing thing.

      • 0 avatar
        Hummer

        I’ve seen quite a few more 500e’s than I’ve seen ELRs, though I don’t know the sales figures on either, but I don’t believe the 500e was even sold in my state and I still see quite a few here.

  • avatar
    ajla

    A 7 second 0-60 isn’t fast, but it’s a nice improvement over the current Compass and Renegade.

    Obviously the biggest question is price. Followed closely by reliability and charge times (on a ‘normal’ wall outlet).

    • 0 avatar
      HotPotato

      Who gives a rat’s patootie about charge time in a PHEV? Overnight on a regular household plug is inevitably enough for a relatively bitty battery with a 30 mile range, and paid public charging isn’t necessary because you can keep on trucking with gasoline.

  • avatar
    stingray65

    It will be interesting to see how the non-mechanical back axle electric drive works in off-road setting in maintaining Jeep’s Trail Rating image. Most such systems can’t put much power to the “electric” axle so are pretty wimpy in anything more than light mud or snow. Yes most Jeep owners never do anything more challenging than the school run in light snow, but they still like to think they could do the Rubicon trail if they wanted to.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      @stingray: Considering an electric motor provides its highest torque at 0(zero) rpm, what you describe is illogical UNLESS they use very underpowered motors. We also need to know if they’re wheel-mounted vs an axle-mounted motor. The article suggests that the rear axle will see something like 50hp, which is admittedly less than the gasoline engine but the EV-only acceleration figure suggests the electric HP is higher than that.

      Even so, when comparing that to what the Renegade does in 4×4 mode on the TigerShark engine, I expect it will perform better, not worse, as the engine won’t be having to split its output between two axles. We’ll just have to wait and see, as I follow a well-known Jeeper who already has a “Toaster Jeep” in his stable which has surprised numerous other Jeepers with its rock-crawling capabilities, even if it isn’t as good as the others’ Wranglers. This may prove superior to the Toaster Jeep he already drives.

      • 0 avatar
        stingray65

        170 HP gasoline motor, 190 total system HP = 13 electric HP for the rear wheels. 170 HP gasoline motor, 240 total HP = 70 electric HP for rear wheels. Neither figure is very impressive for pushing 4,000+ lbs up a steep rocky trail if the gasoline powered front wheels lose traction. Since many mechanical 4WD systems can typically shift 50+% of the power to the axle that has the most traction, that 170 HP gasoline motor alone would be able to provide 85+ HP to the rear axle in a conventional setup.

        • 0 avatar
          jack4x

          @stingray,

          Total peak power of a hybrid system is not simply the sum of the power peaks of the gas and electric components, since these will occur at different RPM.

          The 85 hp to the rear wheels you cite for the gas only version is also highly unlikely to happen off road, since the engine’s power peak of 170 hp is going to be at or near redline, which needless to say is rare on the Rubicon Trail.

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          @stingray: What you say sounds logical, but it isn’t. For instance, why two different horsepower ratings for the rear wheels? Secondly, the AWD system as it stands is a three-differential system that disengages the rear driveshaft unless it senses slip (notably difference between front and rear rotation speeds) or you press the Lock button on the dash. The computers then control how much of the power goes front to back and side to side, using differential braking to slow the wheels with no traction.

          By that means, with the eAWD system, ALL of the engine’s horsepower can go to the front wheels while ALL of the electric motor’s torque goes to the rear wheels. 40 to 70 horses in an electric motor is significantly stronger than a gasoline engine twice the power until they reach that torque balance, whereon the gas engine then overcomes the electric motor at a certain wheel speed. I remember watching a video some 10-15 years ago about a guy who’d replaced the engine in an old Land Rover Defender with a 40hp electric and ran side-by-side tests in an off-road experiment with a 100hp Diesel Isuzu SUV on parts of the Rubicon Trail. Despite the old LR still using its original gasser drivetrain, including the 3-speed transmission, it compared favorably to the Isuzu on each test and even better on the Waterfall. Even stuck in second gear, it out-accelerated the Isuzu on a sandy stretch of ‘trail’ until the diesel could wind up tight enough to reach a higher top speed.

          Because the torque curves are so different between electric and ICE, the electric, even at lower total horsepower, has the advantage in low-speed operation which, as a hybrid, means improved fuel economy for these Jeeps across the board. Even the Wrangler would see an improvement, at least until you hit the open highway and try running 80mph (good luck holding that hood down.)(Been there, done that in my ’08.)

    • 0 avatar

      I’m curious for more tech details. The official press release seems to indicate the electric rear actually presents more torque to the rear then the current system. Systems like the prius AWD are simply a low speed traction aid, but there’s no reason it has to be.

    • 0 avatar
      whynot

      Only certain trims get the “Trail Rating” badge (mostly the Rubicon/Trailhawks). Jeep will gladly sell you FWD/4×2 models across the lineup minus the Wrangler.

      • 0 avatar
        multicam

        whynot, true. There was a dark time back in the days of the JK’s introduction that JK Unlimiteds were offered WITHOUT 4 x 4. Can you imagine that? They actually built Wranglers without four wheel drive. During the decade of the TJ, that was unthinkable. Those truly were the dark times. The 3.8L V6 times.

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    Definitely interesting. As an owner of a Renegade today, seeing this with an all-electric rear axle suggests some strong benefits for fuel savings in town and improved soft-road capabilities as well.

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    One question though: “Debuting in the 2019 Compass, the gasoline engine makes 177 hp and 200 lb-ft of torque in U.S.-spec models. For these two plug-ins, FCA claims a combined output of 190 to 240 hp, with the Compass understandably earning the highest power figure.”
    — Why would the Compass, being bigger and heavier (albeit not by much) get, “…understandably … the highest power figure”? If they’re using the same engine and the same eHybrid drive, they should get almost identical figures. When comparing the gasoline-only versions, the Compass actually realizes a slight reduction in economy compared to the Renegade despite the Renegade’s less-aerodynamic nose.

    • 0 avatar

      I’m guessing mostly to maintain status among models in the brand.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        Silly, if you ask me. If they’re both using the exact same driveline, they should both see identical power and near identical performance numbers.

        Would also be cheaper to build as you wouldn’t need two different part numbers on the engines and motors.

    • 0 avatar
      whynot

      The Compass’s nose might be more aerodynamic than the Renegade’s but the frontal area of the Renegade is likely a whole lot smaller. Cd is only one part of drag. The compass is also likely heavier too, that also hurts fuel efficiency.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        @whynot: The difference in weight when the new Compass came out was only about 100-150 pounds It’s also only about 6″ longer and I think 3″ wider. Even so, it got about 1mpg lower ‘combined’ EPA, IIRC.

        I agree that Cd is only part of the equation, as is the frontal area. The only ‘fixed’ part of the equation is air density when the two are side by side.

  • avatar
    conundrum

    Makes me wonder how they integrate the output of the elctric motor in back and the ICE up front. With mechanical AWD you get automatic correlation of front and rear axles. That’s why Subaru kept its AWD system in their new hybrid.

    And no Mr Vulpine, I need no theorizing from you. Nothing I’ve read from you gives me any confidence you know what you’re on about, and you’re opinionated with it. I’m a mechanical engineer, so if you have some idea to fulminate upon, make it logical and defensible.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      Believe what you will.

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      Careful programming.

      The question of course is exactly how it is going to work. The problem I see is that once it enters charge sustaining mode it will be possible to “run out of AWD” Because the only MG is the rear axle drive when it is working as a hybrid it will need to use those rear wheels to recharge the battery. Regen braking alone isn’t going to cut it if that rear axle is asked to provide lots of torque for an extended period of time. So it will need to drag those rear wheels for a while before it can provide AWD again.

      That is the plus of the Toyota 3 motor system it can harvest energy directly from the engine to power the rear wheels regardless of the battery’s SOC.

      The plus of this system is that because that single motor is sized for EV only operation it will be able to put a lot of torque to those rear wheels, it there is enough energy in the battery.

      • 0 avatar

        Assuming they are having some form of generation on the engine to maintain the battery. Of course this would make your awd gas mileage plumuet if the battery pack is low on a long snowy trip.

      • 0 avatar
        danio3834

        My guess is that there will be a Motor Generator Unit on the gas engine similar to the eTorq system that will be capable of taking energy off the gas engine to power to the power pack if SOC is low.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        @Scoutdude: “Because the only MG is the rear axle drive when it is working as a hybrid it will need to use those rear wheels to recharge the battery.”
        — This, I believe, is an invalid assumption. Using the motor/generator (MG) to recharge the battery when AWD is not in use creates drag on the front drivetrain, making the engine work harder than necessary. It takes a lot less juice to have the engine’s alternator recharge the battery instead, as you say in the same manner as Toyota. There is nothing in any article I’ve read that claims the Jeep’s system exclusively uses the rear MG to recharge the battery, only that it uses regerative braking to HELP recharge the battery.


Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Recent Comments

  • Blackcloud_9: Good one, Dave. Corey, Congrats on your purchase. I’m sure you’ll be very happy with it. I...
  • JMII: I bought my 2014 C7 Z51 3LT Corvette in NJ and drove it home to FL last summer. Total was 1,207 miles in 2...
  • JimZ: “He has two master degrees in engineering” no he does not. he has undergrad degrees in Economics...
  • 28-Cars-Later: This particular model clocks in at $21K currently/12K miles avg. 4/5/19 $22,900 3,109 4.9 4GT/A...
  • d4rksabre: There are so many better cars for that kind of money it’s almost a joke that this even exists.

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Staff

  • Contributors

  • Timothy Cain, Canada
  • Matthew Guy, Canada
  • Ronnie Schreiber, United States
  • Bozi Tatarevic, United States
  • Chris Tonn, United States
  • Corey Lewis, United States
  • Mark Baruth, United States
  • Moderators

  • Adam Tonge, United States
  • Corey Lewis, United States