​How Does the Jeep Wrangler 4xe Work?

The 2021 Jeep Wrangler 4xe combines a 2.0-liter turbo-4 gas engine, two unique, high-power electric motors, and a 17.3-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack to create Jeep's first Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) Wrangler. With almost silent propulsion, this is the first electric 4x4 vehicle that will allow you to go off-roading and enjoy the actual sounds of the outdoors, sounds that would be drowned out by older gas-powered models. This new PHEV platform represents the first of Jeep's $10 billion initiative to hybridize its entire SUV line.

Is the Wrangler a PHEV?

Yes, the Jeep Wrangler 4xe is a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle, also known as PHEV. A PHEV SUV combines a gas engine and an electric motor powered by a battery that can be recharged by plugging it in. With a plug-in hybrid vehicle, you can drive using all-electric power, the gas engine or a combination of both. PHEV technology gives the Wrangler 4xe a boost in torque and traction, while E-Selec driving modes enable you to optimize performance on every ride. 

How is the 4xe drivetrain configured?

The Jeep Wrangler 4xe's drivetrain is roughly similar to the drivetrain in other Wranglers -it just has some extra components. Here's how it is configured: Upfront is a 2.0-litre turbocharged inline-four engine sending power to a rear-mounted transmission which is coupled to the two-speed transfer case. The transfer case then splits the power between front and rear Dana 44 axle sets which are coupled to the tire assemblies. The difference between this and a conventional fuel-powered drivetrain is the addition of two unique electric motors.

Does the Wrangler 4xe use electric motors?

One electric motor is attached directly to the inline-4 engine and the other is built into the 8-speed automatic transmission. The electric motor attached to the engine is a 33-kW unit capable of 44 horsepower and it performs two functions. First, it can be driven by the gas engine to generate electricity, just as an alternator does. Second, it can operate as a supplemental electric motor to apply a burst of power directly to the engine when needed.  Technically, this is not just an electric motor, it is a far more complex "motor-generator." The second electric motor is a beefier 100-kW, 134 HP unit that is mounted within the transmission housing. It generates the primary propulsion when the vehicle is in full electric mode.

Can the 4xe Wrangler operate purely on electric power?

Yes, the 17.3-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack is capable of powering the 4xe in full electric mode for a range of 25 miles. This Electric mode is one of three "E Selec" settings that can be activated via buttons to the left of the steering wheel. There's also a Hybrid mode that uses both gas and electric sources but prioritizes battery power. Plus, there is an eSave mode, which relies on the gasoline engine for propulsion, and saves the battery's energy for when you need it. Among the PHEV Wrangler's other electric-centric features is regenerative braking. The system integrates both traditional friction brakes with a maximum amount of regeneration braking when the driver presses the brake pedal to stop or slow down the vehicle.

Can the hybrid Wrangler be used off-road?

Absolutely. It wouldn't be a Wrangler if it was not 100% off-road capable, right? The Wrangler 4xe is a plug-in hybrid electric SUV that combines a powerful electric motor with a gas engine, which means that even when the Wrangler 4xe isn't charged, you can still drive using the gas engine. In other words, you don't need to worry about getting stranded on the trails due to running out of electricity. In terms of 4x4 systems, the Wrangler 4xe is packed with Jeep's trusted off-road technologies.  All Wrangler 4xe power modes are available when the drivetrain is shifted to 4Lo. In fact, the seamless integration of electric power into the 4x4 drivetrain elevates the Wrangler 4xe to new levels of off-road performance. Wrangler 4xe is first and foremost a Jeep Wrangler with Trail Rated running gear: solid front and rear axles, full-time 4x4 two-speed transfer case, fully articulating suspension and 30 inches of water fording capability. The Wrangler Rubicon 4xe models carry the Rock-Trac 4x4 system that includes a two-speed transfer case with a 4:1 low-range gear ratio, full-time 4x4, front and rear next-generation Dana 44 axles, Tru-Lok electric front- and rear-axle lockers. Rubicon 4xe models also offer improved articulation and total suspension travel with help from a front axle, electronic sway-bar disconnect. Together, these components contribute to the maximum off-road prowess Wrangler Rubicon is known for.

Test drive the new Jeep 4xe at Falls Motor City in Cuyahoga Falls, OH

If you are considering a new Wrangler, we urge you to come on down and see the new Wrangler 4xe in person. There has never been an off-road vehicle quite like this before. 
We invite you to visit us and see what all the excitement is about by contacting us at Falls Motor City and scheduling a test drive with one of our amazing sales team members. To see what Jeep Wranglers we have in stock, you can access our complete inventory online here.

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