2021 Jeep Wrangler 4xe
Maybe one of the most recognizable vehicles driving on the road, the Jeep Wrangler has seen a remarkable evolution in the last few years. Since the first appearance of the actual JL series in November 2017, the model has undergone multiple advancements every year.

The Jeep Wrangler 4xe: When Off-Road Tradition Meets Hybrid Technology

2021 Jeep Wrangler 4xe2021 Jeep Wrangler 4xe2021 Jeep Wrangler 4xe2021 Jeep Wrangler 4xe2021 Jeep Wrangler 4xe2021 Jeep Wrangler 4xe2021 Jeep Wrangler 4xe2021 Jeep Wrangler 4xe2021 Jeep Wrangler 4xe2021 Jeep Wrangler 4xe2021 Jeep Wrangler 4xe2021 Jeep Wrangler 4xe
At first, it was offered with only two powerplants, either a 2.0-liter inline-four-cylinder turbo engine developing 270 hp and 295 lb-ft (400 Nm) of torque or the tried-and-tested 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 making 285 Hp and 260 lb-ft (352 Nm). Additionally, the European market received a 2.2-liter diesel alternative. In 2020, the Americans followed suit, with the introduction of the 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V6, good for 260 hp and 442 lb-ft (600 Nm) of torque.

The main surprise came a few months ago, with the launch of two new powertrains for the 2021 production year. First, an engineering exercise in madness in the form of the 6.4-liter V8 HEMI engine developing 470 hp and 470 lb-ft (637 Nm) of torque found on the Rubicon 392 and, secondly, an even more daring venture, the release of the plug-in hybrid version (PHEV) of the Wrangler, named "4xe" (pronounced "four by E").

It consists of a seamless mix between the aforementioned 2.0-liter, 270 hp powerplant, and two electric assemblies, a 44 hp one stashed in the front of the vehicle, connected by the accessory belt, and a more potent 134 hp unit, arranged in the back, taking the place of the transmission torque converter.

2021 Jeep Wrangler 4xe
Using this configuration, the Wrangler 4xe turns out to be quite powerful, producing 375 hp and an equal amount of torque to the bigger 392 HEMI brother, 470 lb-ft (637 Nm) to be exact. The EPA ratings are by no means similar, the hybrid Wrangler achieving 49 mpg (3.4 l/100km) with a full battery versus the thirsty V8's combined figure of only 14 mpg (16.8 l/100 km). The 0 to 60 mph (100 kph) time of just 6 seconds is impressive for a vehicle of such caliber, and the instant torque offered by electricity can become addictive.

"The most eco-friendly Wrangler ever," as Jeep states it, the Rubicon 4xe takes advantage of a few driving modes. In Hybrid Mode, the vehicle best combines the gasoline and electric drive units seamlessly, achieving the best acceleration times and instant torque figures. The Electric Mode takes full advantage of the 17.3-kWh lithium-ion battery stored in the back seat area and enables the vehicle to run in full-EV mode for up to 21 miles (33.7 km).

Finally, the ESAVE mode prioritizes the gasoline engine and maintains the battery energy for later use. Also, it can charge the battery while driving as well. Recharging can be done in about 2 hours if connected to a Level II 240V charging station or in 12 hours if the included Level I 120V charger is used.

2021 Jeep Wrangler 4xe
Visually, the 4xe resembles the conventional-powered Wranglers very much. Taking a closer look, you can spot the light blue accents and lettering on the hood and body panels. Also, similarly painted tow hooks can be observed, all these details hinting at the electric nature of the vehicle. The 4xe can be ordered in the Rubicon trim, which translates into impressive off-road capability, 33-inch tires, 11 inches of ground clearance, and the ability to ford 2.5 feet of water. For a more subdued experience, you can opt for the Sahara trim level, which is only available in the 4-door Unlimited configuration.

A similar story unfolds in the interior space of the 4xe as well. At first glance, you can spot the light blue contrast stitching and lettering, a battery charge progress bar right on top of the dashboard, visible from the outside, and the hybrid system's buttons and particular instrument cluster. Furthermore, the backseat underwent a complete redesign to accommodate the vehicle's battery and, as a result, it no longer folds completely flat. In addition to that, the cargo area also loses four cubic feet (113 liters) of space.

All this technology onboard the Wrangler 4xe bumps up the price quite seriously. The starting cost of a 4xe Sahara is $52,520 and, for the Rubicon, it starts from $56,220, meaning a $10,705 premium over a V6-powered Unlimited Rubicon, for example.

2021 Jeep Wrangler 4xe
A silent off-road trail conquerer, an everyday grocery handler, or a highway cruiser, the Jeep Wrangler 4xe PHEV can do it all. An obvious evolution for the American off-road icon considering current automotive trends, it positions itself in the sweet spot between the classical Jeep culture that made history and the newly developing electrification trend.

Considering that just a few years ago, such a Wrangler was not even conceivable in petrolhead's minds, its evolution most definitely hints towards a full-electric alternative in the near future. We shall wait and see. In the meantime, we can take advantage of the greater-than-ever variety of choices that the Wrangler family now offers.

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