2023 Jeep Wrangler Willys 4xe Goes Silent Off-Road

Off-roading fans are about to have a new cleaner energy option for their next adventure: the Willys variant of the Jeep Wrangler 4xe plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV). The upcoming model will offer the equivalent of 49 mpg, according to Jeep, which says the 2023 Wrangler Willys 4xe will offer a mixture of retro-inspired design elements and modern features, including everything from LED headlamps to the automaker's hybrid propulsion system.

Jeep diehards will be pleased to know the Willys 4xe will, among other things, sport a generously-sized Willys decal on the hood so that everyone around will know it's the vintage-inspired variant. The back end of the Jeep also has a large decal that announces the vehicle is a PHEV. These visual proclamations are joined by what Jeep calls "authentic retro cues," not to mention the make and Trail Rated badges. The Willys 4xe certainly doesn't lack in the style department, but that's only the start of its appeal.

In addition to the various performance capabilities one would expect from a rugged Jeep, the model also packs some of the features that come with an electric vehicle, not the least of which is the ability to switch over to a fully-electric mode for operating the Wrangler entirely on battery power — though, as is the nature of a PHEV, it doesn't get much range. There's also the torque power EVs are known for, and on the financial side of things, Jeep notes that buyers in the U.S. can take advantage of a $7,500 tax credit to help blunt the model's hefty starting price of $53,995, which doesn't include the additional $1,595 destination fee.

An off-road beast with an EV heart and retro style

The 2023 Jeep Wrangler Willys 4xe features a 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbocharged engine, as well as two electric motors, the TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic transmission, and a 17 kWh, 400-volt battery pack featuring 96 cells. As with other PHEVs, the Willys model can be driven entirely on electric power or on its default hybrid mode, which utilizes both the electric motors and the ICE depending on the charge available at any given moment. Beyond that, Jeep says there's also an eSave mode that will give priority to the ICE so that the EV mode can be activated later on in situations where it would be ideal.

Jeep is careful to point out that the instant torque offered by the electric motors will be particularly useful for drivers who head out to climb some big rocks. As expected, the EV mode offers a nearly silent experience, the automaker says, and the Willys 4xe is equipped with the hardware necessary to handle other difficult conditions, including ice and sand. These elements are joined by LED fog lamps, tow hooks, 17-inch alloy wheels painted black, all-weather floor mats, and rock rails.

Moving to the interior, buyers can expect an Alpine audio system with nine speakers, and those who opt for the Sun and Screen Package will also get an 8.4-inch touchscreen with Uconnect 4C Nav, plus a Sky One-Touch Power-Top. Overall, the Willys 4xe boasts 375 horsepower, 470 lb-ft of torque, a total of 21 miles of fully electric range, 10.1-inches of ground clearance, and it sports the 2.71:1 Selec-Trac full-time 4WD system. Jeep says consumers can expect the Willys variant to arrive at dealerships starting in the fourth quarter of this year.