Jeep’s hybrid Willys, M5 CS tuned to 900 hp, new green paint for Defender’s 75th
Jeep’s newest hybrid Wrangler is a Rubicon-lite
Intake: Jeep is bringing a touch of modern to its retro-inspired trim level of an aging but wonderful machine. The Willys Wrangler will get Jeep’s 4xe drivetrain technology starting next year, meaning that you can now cruise up to 21 miles silently in a Wrangler that boasts chunky mud-terrain tires but does without the hardcore bits of the Rubicon 4xe, like the 4:1 transfer case and electronic disconnecting front sway bar. The Willys 4xe still offers 10.1 inches of ground clearance, heavy-duty Dana 44 axles, and a 2.72:1 transfer case. The 4xe drivetrain employs a 17-kWh, 400-volt battery that drives two electric motors—one at the front of the engine, and one just in front of the transmission case—for all-electric or hybrid-assisted cruising. That electric tech pairs with a turbocharged, 2.0-liter, four-cylinder gas-burning engine, and total system output is rated at 375 hp and up to 470 lb-ft of torque. It’s efficient when burning gas, too: Jeep says that the Willys 4xe will return 49 MPGe.
The “Willys” decal on the hood gets a blue outline in the same shade as the blue tow hooks, and there’s a new decal on the rear swing gate that now says “Electric 4-Wheel Drive.” Standard interior niceties include an Alpine 9-speaker audio system, all-weather floor mats, and more. An available Sun and Screen package will net you Jeep’s Sky One-Touch Power-Top that hauls the soft roof back for mild open-air cruising, as well as the 8.4-inch center screen running Uconnect 4. Jeep says the Willys 4xe Wrangler will start at $55,590 including destination, but remember, this one will be eligible for the full $7500 federal EV tax credit. Order books are open now, and deliveries will begin in Q4 of this year.
Stick axles too archaic? Jeep also announced a 30th Anniversary Edition of the new Grand Cherokee 4xe. This one offers the same system output as the Willys 4xe, but offers an additional 4 miles of all-electric driving range, up to 25 total. Special 30th A.E. package touches include a blacked-out exterior, modified front fascia, special edition badging, and new 20-inch black wheels. The package will cost $4700 in addition to the price of your new 2023 Grand Cherokee, which will start a tad below $60,000, all in.
Exhaust: Good on Jeep for tossing the 4xe tech into yet another of the inimitable Wrangler’s trims. That said, the hybrid Willys costs a whopping $12,840 more than the ICE version and just $1230 less than the all-out, electrified Rubicon. Even if a beefier t-case or sway-bar disconnnect isn’t on the shopping list of some 4xe customers, we’d bet the street cred of the Rubicon name will them away from the Willys trim. — Nathan Petroelje
German tuner muscles M5 CS to 900 hp and 207 mph
Intake: Do you find your 635-horsepower BMW M5 CS a little lacking? Hand it over to G Power in Germany and the shop will pump it up to 900 hp and throw in 772 lb-feet of torque. The conversion to “G5M Hurricane” specification costs $119,000 but it’s far more than just some software upgrades. The 4.4-liter twin-turbo V-8 receives forged pistons and con rods plus bigger turbos with CNC-milled turbines and compressor housings. There are CAD-designed air coolers and a new quad-tipped exhaust. G Power’s 21-inch bronze and gold alloys are bolted on, there’s an added carbon-fiber trunk lid spoiler, and the hood is swapped for a ferociously ventilated carbon-fiber panel. G Power also removes the electronic speed limiter which caps the regular CS to 189 mph and claims that its Hurricane will blow through to 207 mph.
Exhaust: G Power has been tuning BMWs for almost 40 years and this looks like it’s the ultimate expression of the art—at least in its traditional form. The next BMW M5 will be a plug-in hybrid with much of its performance coming from electric motors. How will G Power and other tuners adapt to the new era? —Nik Berg
Land Rover goes green to celebrate 75 years
Intake: To mark three-quarters of a century since the original Land Rover Series I made its debut, the go-anywhere British brand has announced a run of special Grasmere Green Defenders. The color is a throwback to the earliest Land Rovers and has never been available on a Defender before. The bodywork, 20-inch alloy wheels and dashboard are a green dream, 75 Years graphics are tastefully deployed, and Ceres Silver bumpers provide a classy contrast. The 75th Limited Edition will be available in 90 (two-door) and 110 (four-door) styles, but not the larger, eight-seater 130 model. Despite the name suggesting capped production, Land Rover hasn’t revealed how many will be made.
Exhaust: When the Land Rover made its debut in 1948 it was the first all-terrain vehicle from Rover, and few could have imagined that the utilitarian truck would usurp its parent as a luxury vehicle—yet that is exactly what happened. Rover is long dead, long live Land Rover. —NB