Jeep is taking big steps towards electrification. The Wrangler 4xe plug-in hybrid is already a reality, and a 4xe version of the new Grand Cherokee is coming. All of this is paving the way for Jeep's first fully electric production vehicle, and it could arrive sooner than you think. That's because a Wrangler EV concept is barely a month away.
If you caught Jeep's commercial during Super Bowl LV, you likely noticed a shout-out to a new Jeep website titled The Road Ahead. As the name suggests, it walks visitors through some of Jeep's forthcoming plans, including the launch of the reborn Grand Wagoneer, autonomous driving tech, online shopping, and the arrival of the aforementioned plug-in hybrids. However, nestled among all the infoboxes on the page was something hiding in plain sight – the first fully electric Wrangler.
Simply called the Wrangler BEV Concept, a short video morphs between a silhouetted Wrangler body (seen at the top of this article) and a cutaway showing an electric powertrain (below). No information is offered on the concept vehicle, other than it will be part of Jeep's concept lineup at the annual Easter Jeep Safari in Moab. For 2021, it's scheduled to run from 28 March through 3 April.
The zoomed-in screenshot gives us a taste of what's under the electric Wrangler's skin. We see what appears to be multiple battery packs connected to an electric motor in front, sending power through a traditional-looking transmission and transfer case. It's certainly a different approach compared to other electric vehicles that incorporate multiple motors for four-wheel-drive capability. This concept apparently adapts traditional off-road technology with electric propulsion; a novel approach that might appeal to four-wheeling purists unsure of electric power in such applications.
Gallery: 2021 Jeep Wrangler 4xe
Perhaps of greater interest here is the prospect of a production version. Jeep introduced the Wrangler 4xe hybrid concept in January 2020 and followed-up with a production version in September. As such, a fully electric Wrangler concept shown in late March could mean a production Wrangler EV might debut before the end of the year.