Industry experts weigh in on potential of electrified off-roaders.
Jeep to unveil three plug-in hybrid 4x4s at CES
Las Vegas’ Consumer Electronic Show (CES) used to be the realm of graphics cards, video games, and the latest TVs. Well, it still is, but now those products share floor space with the latest in-car “user experience” systems and even entire vehicles. For 2020, Jeep will use the massive show to highlight plug-in hybrid versions of the Wrangler, Renegade, and Compass.
Both the Compass and Renegade will use a 1.3-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine and electric motor for the front wheels and a separate, independent electric motor powering the rears. So far, there are no available details on the hybrid Wrangler’s powertrain; that info will trickle out at the Geneva, New York, and Beijing shows. Jeep has announced, however, that all electrified Jeep vehicles will wear a new Jeep “4xe” badge. Jeep says the hybridization will increase vehicle efficiency, torque, responsiveness, and the overall fun of the Jeep driving experience without any compromises.
If you’re attending CES this January 7–10, you can experience the Jeep Wrangler 4xe using a virtual-reality drive through Hell’s Revenge trail in Moab, Utah. Four hydraulic cylinders, one per wheel, will articulate the Wrangler to help the driver become immersed in the simulation, while VR goggles will show the driver footage filmed from a Wrangler on the actual trail.
For now, VR is the best way to experience a 4xe Jeep, but with the entire lineup getting some form of electrification by 2022, those badges, and their corresponding powertrains, should be under the hoods of the Wrangler, Renegade, and Compass and at dealerships very soon.