Jeep Wrangler's Next Generation to Embrace Electric Power in 2028

Jeep Wrangler's Next Generation to Embrace Electric Power in 2028

The iconic Jeep Wrangler is set for a groundbreaking transformation as it steps into its next generation in 2028, marking a significant leap towards electric power. According to recent revelations stemming from documents unveiled during Stellantis's agreement with the United Automobile, Aerospace, and Agricultural Implement Workers of America (UAW), the upcoming Wrangler iteration will feature both battery-electric and range-extender (REx) powertrains.

While the current generation introduced the plug-in hybrid 4xe model (unavailable in the UK), the future promises an upgraded plug-in hybrid for both the Wrangler and its pickup counterpart, the Gladiator, by 2025. However, by 2028, these models will pave the way for the J70-generation Wrangler, embracing electric and 'Range Electric Paradigm Breaker' (REx) powertrains.

The REx system, initially employed in the 2025 Ram 1500 REV (based on the STLA Frame platform), will likely underpin the electric Wrangler. This robust body-on-frame platform, a part of Stellantis's upcoming EV architectures, prioritizes payload capacity and towing capabilities. For instance, the 1500 REV boasts an impressive 1224kg payload and a 6350kg towing capacity, surpassing rivals like the Ford F-150 Lightning. The adaptable STLA Frame accommodates substantial batteries to address the demanding mileage and heavy-duty needs of commercial vehicles.

The 1500 REV will offer two long-range electric powertrains, equipped with 168kWh and 229kWh batteries, delivering ranges of 350 miles and 500 miles between charges, respectively.

Previously teased through the Magneto 3.0 concept, an audacious off-roader with 641bhp and 900lb ft torque from a unique axial-flux motor, the electric Wrangler hints at remarkable power. Strikingly, this power will be harnessed through an unconventional six-speed manual gearbox.

Ahead of the production Wrangler EV, Jeep plans to unveil the Recon, a rugged electric SUV designed to match the Wrangler's off-road prowess. However, unlike the Wrangler, the Recon will be based on Stellantis's more road-centric STLA Large platform.

Speaking to Autocar, Jeep's European head, Antonella Bruno, confirmed the Recon's unique positioning in Europe. «It's a unique car, very boxy and very capable. It will sit in a lower part of the [market] segment to the Wrangler,» she affirmed, hinting at the coexistence of these electric 4x4s.

While the Wrangler's design may not undergo significant alterations, its powertrains will undoubtedly herald a new era. The Magneto concept suggested the potential for a manual transmission in the Wrangler EV, offering a unique driving experience. The Recon, following the smaller Avenger, represents Jeep's second foray into the world of electric vehicles.

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