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Three plug-in hybrid Jeep models coming to CES

by Patrick Rall on

When the Consumer Electronics Show opens next week in Las Vegas, there will be a trio of plug-in hybrid Jeep models on display, including a Wrangler, a Renegade and a Compass. Each of these vehicles will feature the new 4xe badging, which will be found on every electrified Jeep model. There will also be a Wrangler virtual reality driving display featuring footage from Moab, Utah.

Two of these three vehicles – the Compass and the Renegade – made their formal debut last year at the Geneva Motor Show. Back then, they were wearing “4x4e” badging, but at CES, we will see the new 4xe logos for the first time. The pictures here of those two small SUVs were from Geneva, but aside from the badging, the vehicles on display in Vegas next week should be relatively similar.

 

Jeep Plug-In Hybrids

Unfortunately, there are no details on these vehicles in the press release announcing their place at CES, but we do have details from the plug-in hybrid electrical vehicles in Geneva. If the system being featured on the American models wearing the 4xe badging, it is very unique from the majority of hybrid electric vehicles currently sold at dealerships around the country.

In most gas-electric hybrid vehicles, the electric motor works with the gasoline engine to send power through the transmission to the wheels. In other words, the gasoline engine and the electric motor work together to power the drive wheels. In the Renegade and Compass plug-in models that debuted in Geneva last year, the front wheels are driven by the gasoline engine and the rear wheels are driven by a dedicated electric motor system. The two systems work together, but they don’t work inline like most hybrid systems.

The basis of the European hybrid system is the 1.3-liter turbocharged four-cylinder mill that was introduced in the U.S. market Renegade for 2019. That engine offers 177 horsepower and 200 lb-ft of torque in the current Renegade, but at the hybrid debut in Geneva, we were told that total system output was expected to be in the range of 190 and 240 horsepower. However, we will likely have to wait until this year’s Geneva, New York and Beijing shows to get the full details on these 4xe models.

Wrangler VR

In addition to showing off the Wrangler, Compass and Renegade in 4xe form, CES attendees can also drive the hybrid Wrangler virtually in Moab, Utah. While sitting in an actual Wrangler, you wear VR goggles and drive the toughest off-road trail in the United States. The vehicle is perched on hydraulics that move the corners of the Jeep, creating a real-like feeling off driving offroad.

Patrick Rall was raised a Mopar boy, spending years racing a Dodge Mirada while working his way through college. After spending a few years post-college in the tax accounting field, Patrick made the jump to the world of journalism and his work has been published in magazines and websites around the world.

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