Jeep Wrangler 4xe teases the big thing Ford’s new Bronco doesn’t have

Chris Davies - Jul 14, 2020, 11:34 am CDT
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Jeep Wrangler 4xe teases the big thing Ford’s new Bronco doesn’t have

All eyes may be on Ford’s new Bronco right now, but Jeep is aiming to remind us that the Wrangler is far from finished with its latest teaser. In the process, it’s serving up a reminder that though Ford has given Bronco enthusiasts most of what they were hoping from the venerable nameplate’s reboot, there’s one conspicuous thing missing.

That’s electrification. Ford will offer the 2021 Bronco with a choice of EcoBoost turbocharged gas engines, but there’s no sign of even a mild hybrid in the line-up, at least for now. If you want a new Ford electric SUV, you probably should be in line for the upcoming Mustang Mach-E.

That’s not an accusation Jeep will face. In a new video, it’s teasing the upcoming Wrangler 4xe, the first model to bear its new “4xe” badging. Announced at the start of the year, it’s the nomenclature Jeep will be using to refer to its electrified SUVs.

The Wrangler 4xe isn’t going to be all-electric, at least to begin with. Instead it will rely on a plug-in hybrid drivetrain, combining a gas engine with at least one electric motor. Such a mixture makes perfect sense for an off-roader, Jeep argues, because it means instantaneous torque when you need it to tackle rough terrain.

Alternatively, as this new teaser suggests, it’s a way of enjoying the great outdoors without disrupting it. Jeep hasn’t said how much pure-electric range the Wrangler 4xe might have when it goes on sale, but clearly it’s counting on sufficient to make all-EV off-roading a possibility for at least some of your time in the wilderness.

It’s certainly been an interesting week for Jeep rumors and tidbits. While today’s Wrangler 4xe teaser takes a peaceful, green slant on the truck, the same can’t be said for the Wrangler Rubicon 392 Concept shown off yesterday. That slaps a HEMI V8 engine under the SUV’s hood, with 6.4-liters delivering 450 horsepower and 450 lb-ft of torque.

The result is 0-60 mph in under five seconds, Jeep crowed, a faintly terrifying prospect given the meaty 37-inch mud-terrain rubber. Unlike the Wrangler 4xe, Jeep isn’t saying conclusively whether it’s going to put this Rubicon 392 Concept into production, but if it sees an opportunity to steal some of the new Bronco’s thunder, we wouldn’t be surprised if at least some of the HEMI-powered trucks make it to dealerships. As for the Wrangler 4xe release, all Jeep will say is that the electrified model is “coming soon” to retail.


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