After giving us our, Jeep finally divulged all of the 2021 Wrangler 4xe plug-in hybrid details on Thursday and I am 100% here for it. Finally, an off-road vehicle that can really tread lightly with 25 miles of electric range — enough to do the Rubicon Trail — as well as gobs of torque and that open-air Jeep goodness.
The Wrangler 4xe is powered by Jeep’s 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine and a 17-kilowatt-hour battery. The turbo engine is good for 270 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque, while the eTorque starter-generator adds an additional 44 hp and 39 lb-ft. The electric motor is rated at 134 hp and 181 lb-ft and, all combined, Jeep says the Wrangler 4xe has a total system output of 375 hp and 470 lb-ft.
How’s that compare to the rest of the Jeep Wrangler’s engine options? Quite nicely. The 4xe is absolutely the most powerful engine of the bunch.
2021 Jeep Wrangler Engine Specs
|4xe PHEV||2.0-liter turbo I4||3.6-liter V6||3.0-liter turbodiesel V6|
|Power||375 hp||270 hp||285 hp||260 hp|
|Torque||470 lb-ft||295 lb-ft||260 lb-ft||442 lb-ft|
Other than its plug-in hybrid powertrain, the 4xe is just, you know, a Jeep. It will be available in base 4xe, Sahara 4xe and Rubicon 4xe models. The first two get the Selec-Trac transfer case that allows for full-time four-wheel drive with a 2.72:1 low-range gear ratio. The Rubicon will get the more robust Rock-Trac system with full-time four-wheel drive and a 4.0:1 low range. Go for the Rubicon if you want standard front and rear locking differentials and a 77.2:1 crawl ratio.
The 4xe can ford 30 inches of water and has excellent approach, breakover and departure angles, as well as great ground clearance. In fact, the Sahara 4xe gets a degree or so better approach and breakover angles than the non-hybrid model. The Rubicon’s approach and breakover angles remain largely the same. However, both models lose a bit in departure angle and the Rubicon takes a hit in ground clearance.
The one glaring issue, however, is weight. Depending on the model, the plug-in hybrid system adds anywhere from 694 to 804 pounds. That extra weight is sure to effect performance, especially in the soft sand. Prepare to air down those tires, folks!
2021 Jeep Wrangler Off-Road Specs
|Wrangler Base||Wrangler Sahara||Wrangler Rubicon||Wrangler 4xe Base / Sahara||Wrangler 4xe Rubicon|
|Approach angle||41.4 deg||41.8 deg||43.9 deg||42.2 deg||43.8 deg|
|Breakover angle||20.3 deg||21.0 deg||22.6 deg||22.0 deg||22.5 deg|
|Departure angle||36.1 deg||36.1 deg||37.0 deg||35.2 deg||35.6 deg|
|Ground clearance||9.7 in||10.0 in||10.8 in||10.1 in||10.8 in|
|Cargo space (seats up / down)||31.7 / 72.4 cu-ft||31.7 / 72.4 cu-ft||31.7 / 72.4 cu-ft||27.7 / 67.4 cu-ft||27.7 / 67.4 cu-ft|
|Curb weight||4,196 pounds||4,406 pounds||4,478 pounds||5,000 / 5,100 pounds||5,222 pounds|
Visually, the Wrangler 4xe distinguishes itself with cool Electric Blue highlights on the tow hooks and badges. Jeep even says select Easter eggs get the blue coloring, so keep your eyes peeled for those.
A number of Jeep performance parts will be available, including a 2-inch lift that’s compatible with the hybrid powertrain and owners will be able to get a 240-volt home charger from Amazon. There’s no word on how long the 4xe will take to charge, but my experience with plug-in hybrids says somewhere in the two- to three-hour range.
Pricing is also unavailable right now, but expect that to be revealed in the coming months. The 2021 Jeep Wrangler 4xe models should be in dealerships near the end of the year.