One of the most interesting things that Jeep has done in the last year is rollout its new electrified plug-in hybrid Wrangler. Jeep has also confirmed that the Renegade 4xe will be deployed in some markets as well. Those aren’t the only two models the Jeep is looking at electrifying with its global head confident that plug-in hybrid vehicles can replace diesel engines in the lineup.
Jeep global president Christian Meunier gave an interview in Australia this week. He confirmed that the next-generation Grand Cherokee that will come to Australia at the end of the year wouldn’t be offered with the diesel engine. Instead, the 4xe plug-in hybrid powertrain will be offered in the vehicle.
While confirming the 4xe would be offered in the next-generation Grand Cherokee, the executive declined to speak on the future of diesel engines in the brand lineup. The Grand Cherokee 4xe would combine an internal combustion engine with an electric motor and battery pack. Meunier says that the electrified platform will deliver additional capability off-road, make the vehicle more fun to drive, give improved towing capacity, and make it eco-friendly.
The executive didn’t mention any electric-only driving range, but the other 4xe vehicles in its line do offer that capability. In Wrangler 4xe trim, the vehicle uses a 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder with an eTorque electric motor in the place of a standard alternator. The battery is a 400 volt, 17 kWh lithium-ion battery pack. Combined, the powertrain produces 375 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque with an estimated 50 MPGe fuel economy.
Some sources report an electric driving range of around 30 miles per charge. Since the Grand Cherokee is a significantly larger package than the Wrangler, there’s a chance a larger battery pack could be used, giving the vehicle a longer electric-only driving range. Presumably, the vehicle would be offered in the US as well, but that is unclear. Meunier also confirmed that an electrified Gladiator was in the works as well.