Jeep Wrangler 4xe PHEV Wins Hybrid Technology Award

This PHEV Jeep Wrangler takes home the Hybrid Technology Solution of the Year award from the AutoTech Breakthrough Awards program.

The AutoTech Breakthrough Awards program has recently named the 2021 Jeep Wrangler 4xe PHEV as the recipient of its Hybrid Technology Solution of the Year award. 

Seeing however that this electrified variant of an American off-roading icon is set to only arrive early next year, this is yet another one of those awards that is presented to a car which hasn’t actually been launched yet. Nevertheless, it is still worth delving deeper into the specs of this plug-in hybrid Wrangler to see what exactly made it so worthy of this hybrid technology award. 

Pronounced ‘4-by-e’, this new Wrangler 4xe PHEV features a 275 hp/400 Nm 2.0 litre turbocharged four cylinder engine mated to an 8-speed TorqueFlite automatic transmission, along with a pair of electric motors that is fed by a lithium-ion battery pack. Combined power and torque figures of the entire hybrid system is rated to be a healthy 375 hp and 640 Nm, with a claimed 0-96 km/h time of 6.0 seconds. 

Being a PHEV however, more impressive is perhaps the 4xe’s efficiency and economy figures, with Jeep claiming that this electrified off-roader will manage up to 40 km (25 miles) of pure electric driving out of its 17 kWh battery pack. The American automaker also estimates a fuel efficiency figure of 50 MPGe for this hybrid SUV. A number that is double that of the most economical Wrangler on the market today. 

Continuing on the topic of its electrified drivetrain, this PHEV Wrangler features three bespoke driving modes to ‘tailor the hybrid powertrain to best suit each trip’. Chosen from the e Selec mode buttons on the instrument panel, the three to chose from are Hybrid, Electric and eSave which, very simply, translates to hybrid, electric-only and engine-only propulsion while on the road. 

Off-road meanwhile, this eco-friendly Jeep still retains the automaker’s signature 4×4 prowess. Coming standard with the usual off-roading paraphernalia seen on a standard Wrangler, like solid front and rear axles, a two-speed transfer case, fully articulating suspension and the 760 mm (30 inches) of water fording capability, this part-electric Wrangler should be able to climb every mountain, and ford every stream a purely fuel-burning model can. 

Moreover, thanks to the instant torque provided by the twin electric motors, it might perhaps be able to perform even better out on the beaten path than its other non-electrically assisted counterparts. Saying that, this is all still hypothetical as the actual car hasn’t actually been launched yet. 

This therefore loops back around to this award presented to this as-yet-untested Wrangler 4xe. According to Bryan Vaughn, the President of AutoTech Breakthrough Awards, this Jeep wins this award by ‘creatively mixing advanced propulsion with a staple in the off-road world’. He goes on to say that ‘it is this combination of technology without sacrificing the core capabilities of the Wrangler’ that merits this award to this Jeep.

Considering however that any corporation can submit an application online to be nominated for this award, and add to the fact that listed at the top of on the main benefits of winning this award is BRAGGING RIGHTS in large capitalised letters, it is therefore perhaps prudent to take this award presented here with a not insignificant pinch of salt, until at least this Wrangler actually hits dealerships and is tested out in the real world that is.

PRESS RELEASE: The 2021 Jeep® Wrangler 4xe plug-in hybrid has been named Hybrid Technology Solution of the Year by the AutoTech Breakthrough Awards program.

4xe is Jeep’s global name for its plug-in hybrid electric vehicle technology. Delivering up to 25 miles of nearly silent, zero-emission, electric-only propulsion, the new 2021 Jeep Wrangler 4xe is commuter friendly as an all-electric daily driver without range anxiety. It also is the most capable and eco-friendly off-road Jeep vehicle – combined with the open-air freedom that only Jeep Wrangler offers.

“The Jeep Wrangler 4xe reaches a new audience by creatively mixing advanced propulsion with a staple in the off-road world,” said Bryan Vaughn, President of AutoTech Breakthrough Awards. “It is this combination of technology without sacrificing the core capabilities of the Wrangler that has earned the vehicle our Hybrid Technology Solution of the Year award.”

The most advanced Wrangler powertrain combines a high-tech, 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbocharged engine with two electric motors, a high-voltage battery pack and TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic transmission. Torque from the electric motors in the Wrangler 4xe arrives instantly on demand from the driver. The powertrain also delivers fuel-saving, seamless, stop-start operation of the engine.

Jeep Wrangler 4xe maximizes efficiency with an estimated 50 miles per gallon equivalent (MPGe). With 375 horsepower, 470 lb.-ft. of torque, a 0-60 mph time of just 6.0 seconds and total driving range of nearly 400 miles, the 2021 Jeep Wrangler 4xe delivers performance, benchmark off-road capability and an electric vehicle lifestyle.

Drivers can tailor the hybrid powertrain to best suit each trip with the E Selec mode buttons on the instrument panel. Hybrid, the default mode, blends power from the engine and electric motors. Electric prioritizes EV operation until the battery reaches its minimum charge, while eSave prioritizes propulsion from the engine, saving the battery charge for later use.

Trail Rated is a necessary component for all Jeep Wranglers. The 4xe is equipped with solid front and rear axles, full-time 4×4 two-speed transfer case, fully articulating suspension and 30 inches of water fording capability. All Wrangler 4xe power modes are available when the drivetrain is shifted to 4Lo. The seamless integration of electric power into the 4×4 drivetrain elevates the Wrangler 4xe to new levels of off-road performance.

The Jeep Wrangler 4xe will be sold globally and assembled at the FCA Toledo Assembly Complex in Toledo, Ohio.

Joshua Chin

Automotive journalist. Professional work on and Personal writing found at Instagram: @driveeveryday

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