Plug-in Hybrid Jeep Wrangler Confirmed for 2020 Model Year
Despite letting plenty of information out over the course of this year and even leaking the entire press kit a few hours ahead of the presentation, the official 2018 Jeep Wrangler unveiling event still went through.
There was no real new information to be gained, but at least we did get something out of Mike Manley’s speech during the inauguration of the new model. We already said the Wrangler would get a 48-volt hybrid system, but that was a mild hybrid with a belt starter-generator and a tiny battery available from launch.
Now, though, we get an official confirmation that the Wrangler will receive even more electric help in the form of a plug-in hybrid that ‘s coming toward the end of 2019 as a 2020 model year. Some Wrangler fans might raise an eyebrow at the thought of dragging a Lithium-Ion battery through the countryside, but city dwellers who only take their Jeep off-roading occasionally might be a bit more excited.
Manley did not go into any more details regarding the system, but bear in mind that FCA already has a very successful plug-in hybrid in the shape of its Chrysler Pacifica minivan. That one uses a 3.6-liter V6 engine coupled with an electric motor and a 16 kWh battery. The maximum electric range is a mere 33 miles (53 km), but that might prove enough for the daily commute of someone living in the city, limiting fuel pump stops only to road trips.
However, the Wrangler might not have sufficient room to host the V6 and all the additional equipment required by the hybrid system, so FCA might develop a new one based on the 2.0-liter turbo unit announced for the Wrangler. That would also explain the very long delay – close to two years.
A diesel version with a 3.0-liter V6 engine should arrive sooner across all markets for those who are conscious about fuel consumption but don’t care too much about which type they burn. Even if most people will ignore the hybrid, having this option in the Wrangler lineup shows the Jeep has grown up and is ready to satisfy a wider range of customers. Which can only be good news for its sales.