2021 Jeep Wrangler 4xe Plug-in Hybrid Preview

Christian Wardlaw | Sep 03, 2020
  • Plug-in hybrid version of the Jeep Wrangler 4-door
  • 25 miles of electric driving range
  • Almost 400 miles of total driving range
  • Accelerates to 60 mph in six seconds flat
  • No loss of off-roading capability
  • Offered in base, Sahara, and Rubicon trim
  • Release date is early 2021

Introduction - Find the best Jeep deals!

The 2021 Jeep Wrangler 4xe is a plug-in hybrid version of the popular Wrangler Unlimited 4-door, able to travel about 25 miles purely on electricity before a gasoline engine starts up and delivers a total driving range of nearly 400 miles.

Electrification isn’t entirely new to Jeep. It’s been offering eTorque engines in the Wrangler for a couple of years now, mild-hybrid powertrains designed to provide small increases in efficiency and a little extra electric torque down low where it counts.

2021 Jeep Wrangler Plug-in Hybrid 4xe Front View

Now, with the debut of the 2021 Jeep Wrangler 4xe, it is clear that the brand is going green – and not just as a wooded destination well off the beaten path. When the Wrangler plug-in hybrid arrives in early 2021, it will come only in 4-door format and in base 4xe, Sahara 4xe, and Rubicon 4xe trim levels. Production starts in December 2020.

Exterior Features - Find the best Jeep deals!

The Wrangler 4xe looks just like any other version of the SUV, except for its Electric Blue detailing on the tow hooks, around the badges, and outlining the unique black decal on the hood. Jeep will offer the Wrangler 4xe in 10 colors, including new Snazzberry and Hydro Blue.

2021 Jeep Wrangler 4xe Plug-in Hybrid Silver Rear View Top Off

Interior Features - Find the best Jeep deals!

Inside, the Wrangler 4xe features Electric Blue stitching on Black or Heritage Tan cloth seats. Black or Dark Saddle leather is available as an upgrade.

2021 Jeep Wrangler Plug-in Hybrid 4xe Interior Dashboard

Because the plug-in Wrangler’s battery is mounted under the rear seat, Jeep redesigned it so that the bottom cushion flips up to provide access to the battery. This revised seat design does subtract a little from the Wrangler 4xe’s cargo capacity in comparison to the standard version.

With the rear seat in use, the Wrangler 4xe cargo space measurement is 27.7 cubic feet (down from 31.7 cubes in the standard Wrangler). With it folded down, the plug-in Jeep Wrangler’s cargo space is 67.4 cubic feet (a drop from 72.4).

Optional Features - Find the best Jeep deals!

Expect the Wrangler 4xe options list to mirror those for other Sport, Sahara, and Rubicon trim levels. Also, Jeep confirms that Wrangler 4xe customization parts will be offered through Mopar and Jeep Performance Parts, including a 2-inch lift kit designed specifically for the plug-in hybrid.

Buyers will also be able to get a 240-volt Level 2 home electric charging station through Mopar, in the event the 12-hour recharging time using a standard household wall outlet is too lengthy. With the Level 2 charger, the Jeep recharged in about two hours.

Under the Hood - Find the best Jeep deals!

Getting to the heart of the Wrangler 4xe, this plug-in hybrid Jeep uses a turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine, an 8-speed automatic transmission with an integrated electric motor generator, a 17.3-kWh lithium-ion battery, regenerative brakes, and new E-Selec driving modes including Hybrid, Electric, and eSave.

2021 Jeep Wrangler 4xe Plug-in Hybrid Drivetrain Tranparent See Through View

In base 4xe and Sahara 4xe trim, a full-time 4-wheel-drive system is standard with an available Trac-Lok limited-slip rear differential. In the Rubicon 4xe, Jeep installs its Rock-Trac 4WD with a 4:1 low-range, a 77.2:1 crawl ratio, and a front-axle electronic sway-bar disconnect system for greater wheel articulation and suspension travel.

New to the Wrangler, the 4xe includes Selec-Speed Control, which is an off-road cruise control system with hill-climb and hill-descent control. Drivers adjust speed using the transmission shifter.

Collectively, this powertrain makes 375 horsepower and 470 lb.-ft. of torque. According to Jeep, the Wrangler 4xe accelerates from zero to 60 mph in 6.0 seconds, tows up to 3,500 pounds, and carries as much as 1,280 pounds of payload.

Electric driving range is about 25 miles, and Jeep says that when you’re off-roading in 4-Lo, the battery provides hours of nearly silent outdoor exploration. When the battery reaches its minimum state of charge, the Wrangler 4xe switches back into the default Hybrid driving mode and, with a full tank of gas, provides almost 400 miles of total travel range.

Jeep says the Wrangler 4xe’s “Trail Rated” off-roading capability is uncompromised by the plug-in hybrid powertrain. Chassis modifications were necessary to fit the battery pack, which is encased in aluminum, protected by steel, and has a dedicated heating and cooling system for use in extreme weather conditions. All high-voltage electronics are sealed and waterproof, according to Jeep.

Furthermore, Jeep says the Wrangler 4xe will be more enjoyable to drive off-road because the instant availability of electric motor torque means you won’t need to build engine revs to get the tires to move when climbing up or crawling over terrain.

Here are the off-roading specs for the 2021 Jeep Wrangler 4xe Rubicon:

  • Approach angle: 44 degrees
  • Breakover angle: 22.5 degrees
  • Departure angle: 35.6 degrees
  • Ground clearance: 10.8 inches
  • Water fording depth: 30 inches

While driving, the Wrangler 4xe feeds energy back to the battery pack through regenerative braking and coasting. A driver-selected Max Regen mode enhances this energy capture. Jeep also says the 5,000-pound Wrangler 4xe boasts improved ride and handling qualities on pavement thanks to a lower center of gravity.

Safety - Find the best Jeep deals!

Expect the Jeep Wrangler 4xe to offer the same safety technologies as other Wrangler 4-door models. You cannot, however, apply the same crash-test ratings to this new version of the Jeep due to its added components and chassis modifications.

During a presentation to the media, Jeep said the Wrangler 4xe is prepped for future potential automated drive technologies, which would seem to take all of the fun out of owning a Wrangler in the first place.

Technology - Find the best Jeep deals!

Specific technology enhancements for the Wrangler 4xe include a new Eco Coaching function for the Uconnect infotainment system, battery charge status indicators on the top of the dashboard, and a new power meter within the instrumentation.

All 2021 Wrangler models are newly available with a forward-view TrailCam camera showing what’s ahead of the vehicle on the Uconnect 8.4 infotainment system’s dashboard display.

Jeep is the source of the information in this article. It was accurate as of September 1, 2020 but may have changed since that date.

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