Back in November 2017, FCA CEO Mike Manley (then Jeep and Ram brand CEO) walked onto the stage of the L.A. Auto Show to introduce the all-new 2018 Jeep® Wrangler (JL). At that time he announced that unlike the vehicle it was replacing the Wrangler would be offered with an array of powertrain options. These options included the 3.6-liter Pentastar V6, the all-new 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-four, the upcoming 2nd generation 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V6, and a hybrid version due out in the 2020 model year. Now we are starting to see prototypes of these 2020 Jeep Wrangler PHEV (plug-in hybrid electric vehicle) out on public roads.
Our spy photographers have caught this prototype, based on the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon. The camouflage strap that runs over the hood and down to the vents that sit behind the front wheels. The camouflage is expected to be hiding a new plug-in door on the driver side of the vehicle to provide power to the battery pack. The 2020 Jeep Wrangler PHEV is expected to only be offered in Unlimited (four-door) configuration.
As part of the Capital Markets Day presentation in June of last year, FCA committed to expanding its electrified propulsion systems in global architectures spanning the full range of vehicle segments. The brand has already shown other vehicles in its electrified lineup which includes the Commander PHEV, Renegade PHEV, and Compass PHEV.
Thanks to FCA documents released to the public during last year’s Captial Markets Day presentation, the Wrangler PHEV will be using FCA’s P1P2 RWD/4WD electrified system. What that means is that the Wrangler PHEV will have an electric motor connected to the engine’s crankshaft, the electric motor is linked directly to the primary input shaft of the transmission which can be decoupled from the transmission. We expect that the powertrain might use the 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder as a main source of power.
Back in August, FCA announced that their Toledo Machining Plant would be producing the Power Electronics module for the Jeep Wrangler PHEV. The Power Electronics module for the Wrangler houses two key electrified powertrain components – the Power Inverter Module and the Integrated Dual Charger Module, which consists of the On-Board Charger and the DC/DC Converter. The Power Electronics module is packaged in a protective structure under the vehicle between the exhaust and the prop shaft. Toledo Machining will assemble the sub-systems for the module, upload the application software for the Power Inverter Module, and also conduct final testing on the coolant and electrical systems.
The most important part of the Wrangler PHEV is not to sacrifice the off-road capability of the Wrangler, but to add additional protection for the electrical system. This includes the Wrangler’s ability to water ford.
The 2020 Jeep Wrangler PHEV production should start late this year. The vehicle is scheduled for launch in January 2020. We expect to see the vehicle make its debut sometime later this year, more than likely at the L.A. Auto Show (where both the Wrangler (JL) and Gladiator (JT) were launched).