Jeep showed off its all-new Wrangler Rubicon PHEV (4Xe) at the recent Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas but it didn’t give anything away, unfortunately it seems that Mopar spilt the beans.
Jeep is pushing hard to include electrified drivetrains in its lineup and while it recently showed off its electrified Wrangler Rubicon 4Xe at the Consumer Electronics Show, it said nothing at all about the thing. Nothing about the drivetrain or transmission. And the Wrangler wasn’t the only plug-in hybrid on display but it’s the one we’re most interested in.
We’ve known this thing has been coming for some time. It was announced in FCA’s recent planning documents but the actual nuts and bolts or bolts and wires are being kept under wraps. Or so we thought. See, an eagle-eyed Jeep Wrangler fan spotted a menu item for the Wrangler PHEV on Mopar.com and grabbed the screen grab below before Mopar realised and took it down.
The Wrangler Rubicon 4Xe on display at CES the other week showed blue outlines on badges, even the ‘Trail Rated’ badge was tinged. And the charging port was sitting high and proud on the left-hand front fender.
There has been a lot of guess work around the actual engine Jeep might use for its Wrangler PHEV with the most popular thought being the 3.6-litre Pentastar V6 which in the Pacifica hybrid mates two electric motors and can run around in pure electric mode for about 52 kilometres. The fly in the ointment here is that the Pacifica is a front-wheel drive and, so, Jeep would have to do a heap of work to get the four-wheel drive they need for the Wrangler.
Wandering around on a US Jeep forum (JLWranglerforum.com) earlier this week Unsealed 4X4 stumbled across a post which had the below screen grab from the Mopar.com site. The post suggested the Wrangler PHEV could be selected via a drop-down menu and other members on the page suggested they’d found it to, reporting the Mopar website listed the Wrangler Sahara PHEV too. However, when Unsealed 4X4 tried to follow the link, the page could no longer be found, suggesting Mopar had realised its mistake in publishing details way too soon.
As you can see in the screen shot, the Wrangler Rubicon PHEV will run a 2.0-litre inline four-cylinder turbo-diesel engine (200kW and 400Nm of torque) which will be mated to an eight-speed automatic 8P75PH transmission. This is a ZF transmission intended for PHEVs with electric-only driving ranges of up to 50km and with a top-speed of 120km/h. It’s designed to handle an electric motor with up to 90kW and 250Nm of torque.
Here’s how ZF describes the transmission:
- All functions of the automatic transmission plus the advantages of the electric drive unit;
- Integrated starting element fits into the available installation space;
- Compact electric motor with a peak output of up to 90 kilowatt and 250 newton metre torque (Plug-in);
- Integrated electric pump (IEP) with an output of just 85 watts reduces the load on the on-board supply system;
- Separating clutch with low drag loss decouples the electric drive from the;
- combustion engine, which, in turn, increases the range in electric mode; and
- Electric motor cooled either by water or transmission oil.
It should be noted this is the same transmission as features in the Pacifica. According to the forum posters, the Rubicon PHEV retains its 4.10 rear axle ratio while the Sahara continues with its 3.73 rear axle ratio. How the electric motors will work when you’re in low-range, etc remains to be seen.
Jeep hasn’t said when we’ll get to learn more about the Wrangler 4Xe (PHEV) other than suggesting it will release more information across upcoming motor shows. And there’s no word on whether this Wrangler PHEV will make it Down Under, although there has been some suggesting that Jeep Australia would be keen if it did become available for Australia. And, in terms of pricing, we can speculate that the PHEV variants would become the most expensive in the lineup.
Question: Does an electrified Jeep Wrangler make sense?