The hybrids are coming. Jeep teased its upcoming 4xe plug-in-hybrid vehicles at CES 2020 in January; the company announced that it planned to offer further information at the Geneva, New York and Beijing auto shows...which never happened, for obvious reasons.
But, despite the lack of follow-up info, the hybrid Wrangler appears to still be on track. An FCA investor relations presentation for Q2 has the Wrangler 4xe scheduled for a global reveal and production start in the fourth quarter of 2020.
The hybrid Wrangler is important, because it may be the best Wrangler we’ve ever seen. Increased torque and its immediate delivery via the electrified powertrain should make the Wrangler even more capable both on- and off-road. (Think even easier rock crawling and a 0-60 time in the six-second range.)
The Wrangler 4xe also addresses the Wrangler’s two biggest longterm threats: its lack of fuel-efficiency and the new Ford Bronco. A hybrid powerplant should dramatically improve Wrangler fuel economy; the Jeep's bulk and lack of aerodynamics mean it'll still be sucking down fuel rather than sipping it, but it could make the Wrangler competitive with at least some popular crossovers.
The Wrangler 4xe could end up being one of the cheaper versions of the SUV, as well. Assuming it delivers enough electric-only range to be eligible for the full $7,500 federal tax credit, Jeep could charge a premium for the powertrain and still wind up having it land at a lower base price than the Wrangler's current entry-level MSRP of $28,295.
As for the other big advantage: starting production in 2020 likely means the Wrangler 4xe will reach buyers ahead of the new Ford Bronco, which begins production in early 2021 and is expected to start delivers in the spring. There has been speculation that a hybrid Bronco should be incoming shortly, but it won’t be available at launch.
Also notable: the fact that Jeep is planning a global reveal for the hybrid Wrangler, which suggests it will be heading to Europe. The Bronco, at least for now, is not.