Everybody’s going electric these days, it seems. Or at least, electrified. The 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe is Jeep’s latest entry in the electrified-vehicle space (sorry for that bit of marketing speak, I must need more coffee), following, of course, the Wrangler 4xe.
Getting electrified might be good for the ‘ole CAFE standards – but is it worth the price premium? Will electrification change a vehicle’s character – and if so, for the better or for worse?
To find out, I headed deep to the heart of Texas last month.
It wasn’t too many years ago the Consumer Electronics Show was strictly the domain of purchasers from big-chain computer stores and a scattered basement dweller who smelled like coding and stale popcorn. These days, CES is one of the hottest tickets of the year for witnessing product reveals including – in recent years – all manner of tech from the world’s automakers.
Stellantis has announced what they’ll have on hand at their booth, a roster that includes an EV that plucks its name from the halls of history at Citroën.
If you’re an off-road fan looking to plunk money down on an electrified Jeep with an open pickup bed, you might be hanging onto your cash longer than anticipated. Despite the brand heavily hinting at its existence during presentations earlier this year, rumors have cropped up that the Gladiator 4xe may have been pushed to the back burner in favor of other, more pressing projects.
Like updating the Wrangler to better compete with the Bronco, for instance.
One of the main reasons Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is partnering with PSA Group is to help soften the financial blows of battery development, we literally just talked about it. But the French automaker has its own reasons for wanting to get into bed with the FCA, namely its rather diverse list of subsidiaries — with Jeep occupying spot número uno.
Despite being offensively American to some, Jeep is the sixth most-popular nameplate in the United States. It also happens to be world-renowned as an off-road brand and had made strong inroads in places you’d never expect. This has forced the brand to rethink its global appeal, requiring Fiat Chrysler to issue some market-specific models like China’s Jeep Commander PHEV and the Renegade 4xe — the latter of which is already sold in Europe and slated to launch this November in Japan. But these models are only the tip of the iceberg as FCA intends on meeting ever-tightening emissions regulations in major markets that aren’t the United States.
Eager to steal some thunder from Ford’s returning Bronco, Jeep pulled the wraps off its upcoming Wrangler 4xe Thursday, revealing an off-roader that might be able to handle your commute without consuming a drop of gas. Oh, and you could probably cruise quietly through some sort of wilderness terrain, too.
Mating a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder with two electric motors, the Wrangler 4xe is said to be able to deliver up to 25 miles of all-electric driving.
Overshadowed lately by a brace of upcoming full-size SUV stablemates, to say nothing of its reborn Ford Bronco rival, the plug-in Jeep Wrangler remains the next big introduction for the off-road brand.
Teased on and off throughout the year, the Wrangler plug-in hybrid, known officially as the Wrangler 4xe (a moniker greeting all hybridized Jeeps), has appeared with an arrival date in tow. Best to get this introduction out of the way before a busy 2021.