Jeep recently offered a world a glimpse into the future of the Trail Rated brand with the debut of the Wrangler 4xe and the Grand Wagoneer Concept. Both vehicles feature hybrid power, but the Wrangler is about to come to market with the powerful gas-electric hybrid drivetrain while the Grand Wagoneer Concept is more about showcasing the exterior styling and incredible interior luxury of the big SUV.
First up, we have the 2021 Jeep Wrangler 4xe, which is the first production model to feature the brand’s new hybrid system. This system and the 4xe name debuted earlier this year at the Consumer Electronics Show as part of the push to electrify every Jeep, but it is fitting that the first production model is the legendary Wrangler.
Physically, the 2021 Wrangler 4xe is similar to the non-hybrid models with the exception of some unique light blue trim and the charging door mounted on the driver’s side front fender. This new hybrid Wrangler is offered in 4xe (base), Sahara and Rubicon trim, with each sharing key interior and exterior attributes as the versions that run strictly on gasoline.
All 2021 Wrangler 4xe models are plug-in hybrids featuring a turbocharged 2.0-liter engine mated to a dual motor electric drive system which features a new Saumsung 17kwh, 400-volt battery system. One electric motor is mounted at the front of the engine and the second is mounted in place of the torque convertor, and when combined with the output of the gasoline engine, the 4xe offers 375 horsepower and 470 lb-ft of torque.
Those are mighty impressive numbers from a hybrid SUV, making this the most powerful model in the current Wrangler lineup. More importantly, this vehicle is rated at 50 MPGe, offering 25 miles of all-electric road driving and a total range of 400 miles on a full tank of gas and a fully charged battery.
When the Jeep engineers created the Wrangler 4xe, they wanted to make sure that electrification didn’t water down the capabilities of this legendary off-roader. In the case of the Rubicon model, the engineers worked to create a vehicle that is even more capable than the gasoline models. The 4xe Rubicon comes with the Rock-Trac 4×4 system with a two-speed transfer case, Tru-Lok electric front and rear locking axles, an electronically disconnecting sway-bar and 17-inch wheels wrapped in 33-inch off-road rubber.
With the help of the Trail Rated suspension setup, this hybrid off-roader offers an approach angle of 44 degrees, a breakover angle of 22.5 degrees, a departure angle of 35.6 degrees and 10.8 inches of ground clearance. It can also ford 30 inches of water, while the all-electric driving function provides instant torque for smoother mudding and rock crawling.
The Wrangler 4xe will be built at the company’s Toledo Assembly facility starting in December and this package will be sold all over the world.
Grand Wagoneer Concept
The bigger news is the long-awaited introduction of the new Jeep Grand Wagoneer Concept. This big, plush SUV also features plug-in hybrid technology, but the company hardly addresses that. Instead, they focus on the exterior appearance and interior amenities, all of which takes the level of Jeep luxury to the next level.
The exterior of the Grand Wagoneer Concept shares some familiar styling with the Grand Cherokee, but this vehicle is clearly much bigger. It includes three rows of seats and a cargo area, taking aim at the likes of the Cadillac Escalade and other full-sized premium luxury SUVs. Up front, the Grand Wagoneer Concept has a signature lighting system that makes this vehicle unmistakable in the dark of night.
In addition to the LED projection headlights and LED driving lights, this concept includes an LED accent bar that runs across the top of the large grille with more LED trim flowing down between each opening of the familiar seven slots. Even the Wagoneer logo, which sits in a recessed area above the grille, is backlit, creating the most distinct lighting layout in the industry.
The trim for each of the grille openings up front is trimmed in a unique black chrome, with more of that dark, polished finish around the windows, on the 24-inch wheels and around the taillight. The taillights are also LED, including a red accent bar that extends across the rear end of the Grand Wagoneer Concept. The Grand Wagoneer font logo on the rear hatch is also backlit and we are hoping that the illuminated logos make it to the production models.
The cabin of the Jeep Grand Wagoneer Concept is where the designers really hammered home the premium luxury feel while using lots of renewable resources. The face of the dashboard is made from glass and raw aluminum rather than plastic. The headliner is synthetic suede and the seats, dash, door panels and center console are all wrapped in a premium leather-like material called PUR. The front and second row seats have heated and cooled captain’s chairs while the third row is a traditional bench, but the glass roof spans all three rows.
Next, the Grand Wagoneer Concept is packed with technology like no other luxury SUV on the market today. The gauges are displayed on a 12.3-inch screen, the main infotainment screen in the center stack is 12.1 inches, the dedicated HVAC screen below the main screen measures 10.25 inches and even the passenger gets an in-dash 10.25-inch screen.
In the back seat, there is another 10.1-inch HVAC screen along with a 10.1-inch entertainment screen for each of the second row seating positions. All of these screens run on the UConnect 5 system and the sound is provided by a super-premium McIntosh sound system featuring 23 speakers and a 24-channel amplifier.
While this swanky Grand Wagoneer is only a concept right now, the production version will debut next year and the design team expects that it will be very similar to the vehicle shown here. If the majority of the interior features make it to production, there will be no SUV in the world that will rival the level of interior technology or comfort.