The Jeep Wrangler is sort of like the character of James Bond. It’s cool, it’s timeless — and one of the biggest secret to its success is subtly evolving with its fanbase as the decades go by. A hybrid Wrangler is due to arrive very soon. And, according to recent comments from a prominent Jeep exec, there’s no reason to fear an eventual full-electric one.
Jeep’s head of design Mark Allen recently spoke to the Australian website CarAdvice. He didn’t confirm Jeep plans to produce a full-electric version of the Wrangler. But he did note that, if Jeep were to deliver an EV Wrangler, they will go all-in — and create a better off-roader than the present model.
“I truly believe that if we do an electric Wrangler, sometime in the future, that would actually be a better Wrangler,” Allen told CarAdvice. “It would be more capable off-road. It has the ability to do things that we can’t do now.”
An eventual electric Wrangler makes a lot of sense. Electric vehicles translate well to off-roading, providing a ton of torque and a lower center of gravity than many gas-powered vehicles. Allen notes that an electric powertrain would give Jeep even greater control over individual wheels, improving off-road maneuverability and traction. Off-road EV startups like Rivian (when it finally begins production), could place further pressure on Jeep to both reduce emissions to zero and improve performance.
It’s also a change the Wrangler diehard will likely accept. The powertrain has never been essential to the Wrangler’s appeal; the standard engine is the 3.6-liter V6 Chrysler puts in pretty much every vehicle. Jeep enthusiasts accepted the four-door version with gusto; if an electric Wrangler looks like a Jeep and climbs rocks like a Jeep, expect enthusiasts (and cool parents) to arrive with their checkbooks open.
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