2020 Wrangler Plug-in Hybrid
It’s been quite an eventful year for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA), in fact, these past few months have brought on a CEO change and the unveiling of an extensive five-year electrification plan. The automaker announced that they will be electrifying over 30 vehicles in its lineup, with the Jeep® brand slated to be the biggest beneficiary of these plans that run the gamut from plug-in hybrid technology all the way to fully electric vehicles. It seems that the future is closer than we think as Jeep recently announced that key components of the Wrangler plug-in will go into production soon at their Toledo Machining Plant in Ohio.
News of a Jeep Wrangler plug-in first hit the airwaves back in 2016 when Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) lightly hinted at electrification plans – plans that the brand finally confirmed in 2017 when they announced that they’re aiming to have a Wrangler Hybrid in showrooms by 2020. With a vehicle that once felt like a possibility, the Wrangler Hybrid is more on the side of reality than anything else at this point. As announced, the Toledo Machining Plant will be responsible for the Power Electronics module for the Wrangler plug-in. The electronics module consists of the Power Inverter and an Integrated Dual Charger – an onboard charger and a DC/DC converter for fast charging. Once the modules are manufactured and assembled, they’ll be shipped down the road to the Toledo Assembly Plant where the Wrangler Plug-In will be put together, specifically placing the modules in a protective structure between the exhaust and drive shaft.
Of course, details are scarce for the time being, but industry experts suspect that the Wrangler plug-in will borrow tech from one of its distant relatives – FCA already has a successful plug-in vehicle with the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid. Currently, the Wrangler is powered by the same 3.6-liter V6 gasoline engine that powers the Pacifica Hybrid, thus, experts assume that it may very well use the same setup coupled with a 16 kWh lithium-ion battery. In the Pacifica Hybrid, the gasoline engine is modified to adhere to the Atkinson cycle – sacrificing some power output in exchange for optimal efficiency and compensated with dual electric motors. The Pacifica Hybrid has an all-electric driving range up to 33 miles, and given the heavier design of the Wrangler, experts expect that the all-electric range will be similar or a little bit less than the Pacifica Hybrid – it all depends on the size of the battery packs chosen by Jeep engineers.
FCA will release much more information about the Wrangler plug-in as we near its expected launch in 2020. The automaker is slated to have 30 electrified vehicle models by 2022 according to their electrification plans, therefore it won’t come as a surprise as the press releases become more and more frequent. Jeepers will be happy to know that the Wrangler plug-in isn’t only about fuel economy and environmental benefits – the immediate torque of a hybrid at low speeds will have serious off-roaders giddy with excitement. Follow us on Cape Coral CDJR social media to stay up to date with the latest Wrangler plug-in announcements!