If you’ve ever wanted a vehicle to get way off the beaten path and connect intimately with the wilderness, the 2021 Jeep Wrangler 4xe Rubicon with the doors and roof off is the answer. This plug-in-hybrid (PHEV) 4×4 SUV is ready for adventure.
The 2021 Jeep Wrangler 4xe Rubicon offers the off-road capability you’ve come to expect from a Jeep Wrangler. And it has an impressive range, power, and fuel economy that hybrid-electric technology provides.
Jeep plans to start production of the 2021 Wrangler 4xe this December, with the first deliveries in early 2021.
Your Hybrid Can’t Do This
The first thing to know is that adding the PHEV system did not compromise the legendary Jeep off-road capability. The Wrangler 4xe comes in base, Sahara, and Rubicon trim levels, all of which proudly carry Jeep’s Trail Rated badge. The Wrangler’s full-time 4×4 two-speed transfer case, solid axles, and 30 inches of water fording capability remain unchanged.
The ground clearance of the Rubicon 4xe remains at 10.8 inches. The rest of the Wrangler 4xe lineup offers a respectable 10.4 inches. The 4xe is loaded with the latest tech, however, like Select Speed Control, which is basically a 4Lo off-road cruise control. Conquering challenging off-road terrain has never been so easy!
“Our Jeep 4xe vehicles will be the most efficient, responsible, and capable that the brand has ever created,” said Christian Meunier, global president of Jeep Brand.
“We are committed to make Jeep the greenest SUV brand. The electrification of the Jeep lineup will allow commuters to travel solely on electric power, delivering an efficient and fun on-road experience and offering an ability to enjoy even more Jeep capability off road in nearly complete silence.”
2021 Wrangler 4xe
The 4xe versions of the Wrangler offer a ton of benefits over their gas-guzzling siblings. Primarily, you’ll feel this in the seat of your pants, as you get more horsepower and more torque. With 375 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque on tap, little can stand in the way of the Wrangler 4xe.
Those numbers are a considerable jump from the gas and diesel powerplants in the rest of the Wrangler lineup. Whether off road or on, there’s little doubt that the increased power will be more fun and make it easier to haul or tow more toys on your next adventure.
Speaking of more toys, the 4xe Wrangler offers nearly identical cargo and interior room as the dino-fueled version of the Jeep. So you won’t be able to carry more toys by volume, but you will at least be able to carry the same amount of toys while getting to your next adventure faster, on less fuel, and with fewer stops for fuel.
In order to maintain the much coveted, and generally lacking, interior space in the Wrangler, Jeep packed the batteries for the hybrid system under the rear seats. The 400V, 17 kWh, 96-cell Samsung battery pack’s location is ideal to keep the weight low while at the same time not impeding ground clearance. The weight penalty for carrying around the hybrid system is 500 pounds over the 3.6L Wrangler.
Jeep has tested the Wrangler 4xe over 1.4 million miles in some of the harshest environments around the globe. We have little doubt that the 4xe PHEV powertrain can withstand the use and abuse drivers expect of a Jeep Wrangler, even the Rubicon edition.
Hybrid Drive Modes Open Possibilities
The 2021 Wrangler 4xe has selectable Hybrid, Electric, and E-Save drive modes. Each mode is very usable for the specific adventure tasks at hand.
It runs in Hybrid by default. This uses the combination of the turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder engine and two electric motors to get the Jeep rolling. This mode is what makes the nearly 400-mile range possible.
When drivers select the Electric drive mode, it’s possible to travel up to 25 miles on pure electric power. This near-silent mode is perfect for pulling into camp late at night and rolling through the forest in search of wildlife. When you mash the accelerator and ask for max torque or when the batteries reach a minimum charge level, the gas engine does engage while in Electric mode.
E-Save mode heavily favors the gas engine. The idea is to save the battery charge for electric power needs in the future. A great example would be an hour’s drive on the highway to an off-road trail. If you drive in E-Save mode on the highway, the Jeep will save the maximum battery possible for the high torque and horsepower demands needed to tackle off-road terrain.
Wrangler 4xe MPG
The Wrangler 4xe is expected to get an impressive estimated 50 MPGe (miles per gallon equivalent). That’s impressive for any vehicle, but especially so for a solid-axle four-door SUV shaped like a box.
There is no manual transmission option on the Wrangler 4xe. We do, however, get the trusty TorqueFlight eight-speed automatic trans, which should offer a smooth, controlled ride in all environments.
The Jeep Global Electric Vehicle Lineup
Jeep debuted the first 4xe vehicle, the Grand Commander PHEV, in China last year. For 2021, Jeep will not only introduce the Wrangler 4xe but also the Renegade 4xe and Compass 4xe. Sadly, we’ll only get the Wrangler here in the U.S., with the other models hitting the European market this summer. Europe and China will also get the Wrangler around the same time as us.
The brand hasn’t yet announced pricing. But the 2021 Wrangler 4xe will no doubt bring a premium. For all the details on this new electrified adventure machine, keep an eye on Jeep’s website.
If you’re looking for more hybrid-electric awesomeness from Jeep, be sure to check out the just-released Grand Wagoneer Concept, a big luxury SUV we’ll see on dealer lots next summer.