Jeep's Wild Wrangler Magneto 3.0 Concept EV Is Going Out With A Bang

Jeep may be preparing to launch its first all-electric SUV, but the upcoming Recon EV has some big shoes to fill. This year, at the annual Easter Jeep Safari, the automaker is bringing along its updated oddball Wrangler Magneto, a concept that takes a very different approach to 4x4 electrification. It's the third outing for the concept and Jeep's most extreme vision of the EV.

First shown off in 2021, the Wrangler Magneto 1.0 looked at first glance like a regular Wrangler but swapped out the gas engine for a custom electric motor. That linked to — rather than replaced — the six-speed manual transmission and was tuned to match the original V6 with 273 lb-ft of torque and 285 horsepower. Jeep retuned the EV as the Magneto 2.0, considerably bumping up the torque.

For 2023, though, the Wrangler Magneto 3.0 is getting the powertrain it arguably always deserved. There's a new axial-flux motor and 900 lb-ft of torque to play with. The six-speed manual transmission — borrowed from the Hellcat Challenger and reinforced to handle all the engine torque — stays, but there's now two-stage power regeneration. That allows for either off or medium regen; a separate switch puts the Magneto 3.0 into 4WD Low Regen mode, a more aggressive hill-descent mode.

An EV made for the wilderness

To go with that, Jeep has added Dynatrac 60 front axles (5.38:1 ratio) and Dynatrac 80 rear axles (5.38:1 ratio), along with 20-inch off-road beadlock wheels and 40-inch mud terrain tires. The whole thing is lifted by three inches compared to a standard Wrangler. The result, the automaker says, is an EV that excels in off-road situations, not least because of how controllable the power delivery is.

"When you're rock crawling, you need to be very neat and clean with your driving," Mike Allen, Jeep Design Chief, says, "especially if there's a cliff next to you, you need to be very controlled with that."

To help, Jeep has added a power selection switch. On the one hand, you can have the maximum 650 horsepower and 900 lb-ft of torque; alternatively, the standard setting tamps it down to a more conservative 285 horsepower and 273 lb-ft. Allen says the range is around 150 miles, though that — nor charging times —was never meant to be the Magneto concept's focus.

The Recon is the future

Instead, it's about usability and design; the latter has also had a makeover for 2023. The B-pillar has been pushed back 60mm, and the door opening is six inches longer. The windshield has an extra 12-degree rake, a new fender, and a custom anti-roll bar. Red accents to the Bright White and Surf Blue paintwork have been added.

As for the inside, there are new blue leather seats with red accent stitching. The rear seats have been removed, and there's a Rhino-lined Surf Blue floor. Altogether, it's a brighter and bolder goodbye to the concept.

That's because Jeep says the Magneto 3.0 will be the last outing for the EV. "We've learned a ton from it, and again, this is the last year of it, because going forward we will be playing with production electric vehicles, notably the Recon that we've shown now," Jeep's Mike Allen says. "And that's coming, and I'm actively trying to get my hands on one to modify for next year's Moab."