Jeep Sets the Stage for Electrification of Lineup
It’s been quite a few months of non-stop success and accolades for Jeep and it’s automaker parent Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA). Back in November of 2018, the Wrangler was named Motor Trend’s SUV of the year – a feat whose momentum the brand used to capitalize on SUV sales and make its splash into the pickup segment with the all-new Gladiator after a 27-year absence. The automaker then followed up with taking the luxurious high-end SUV concept to a whole new level with the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk – an SUV more than capable to take on any sports car in a 0-60 matchup. Now Jeep is looking to conquer the next horizon on the automotive market: electrification.
Jeep showed off at the 2019 Geneva Auto Show when it unveiled two new plug-in hybrid variants of its Compass and Renegade models. Both models serve as the brand’s entry-level vehicles, with starting prices of $21,845 and $18,750, respectively. Jeep did not announce a price for these hybrid options, but they’re both scheduled to make their grand debut across dealer lots in early 2020.
According to the specs presented, the vehicles will generate between 190 horsepower and 240 horsepower, while a gas engine will be responsible for powering the front wheels and an electric motor will power the back wheels. The all-electric driving range of each vehicle is an impressive 31 miles per charge. Such a figure is a commendable step for a brand that’s notorious for manufacturing rugged off-road utility vehicles.
By the looks of it, it’ll be the Renegade and Compass models that’ll beat the Wrangler to the plug-in hybrid option – industry experts expect its arrival sometime in mid-2020. In the meantime, the latest-generation Wrangler already offers a drivetrain enhanced by the eTorque mild hybrid system. Drivers of a Wrangler equipped with a 2.0-liter I4 eTorque engine will experience a significant bump in fuel efficiency and Jeepers will rejoice thanks to the significantly increased torque output.
Judging by Jeep’s willingness to electrify its flagship model, it’s no surprise that other models in the brand’s lineup are receiving the same option. Eventually, every Jeep model will be electrified if the automaker’s five-year production plan is anything to go by. Experts predict that the latest technology and declining costs of electrification will make it easier for automakers to innovate and manufacture affordable electrified options for drivers.
Jeep notes their research indicates that the Compass and Renegade models are the company’s entry-level models that youngest buyers tend to flock to, thus maintaining affordable pricing is of the utmost importance for these models. Efficiency and rising concern for the environment also play roles in the brand’s decision-making. Jeep sales are going strong in the U.S. and across the globe, as the brand expands – it’s a no brainer for Jeep to use this time to innovate and expand its reach as it diversifies its powertrains.
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Photo Source/Copyright: Jeep