The 2021 model year is a pivotal one for the iconic Jeep® Wrangler. Not only does the Wrangler have direct competition for the first time in decades with the launch of the new 2021 Ford Bronco, but with the growing emissions requirements around the globe, the off-road brand is getting ready to release its most technologically advanced Wrangler yet, with the introduction of the 2021 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited 4xe lineup.
Jeep has teased us over the past year with the upcoming plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) version of the Wrangler and as we are getting closer and closer to its launch, we are finally getting to see more details about the upcoming lineup thanks to our most recent batch of spy shots. While we have already talked about what will be powering the upcoming Wrangler Unlimited 4xe lineup, we haven’t received much information about the lineup. Jeep has shown off the Rubicon version of the 4xe at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas earlier this year, as well as a few teaser shots of the Rubicon 4xe in a recent commercial. But what will the new electrified powertrain be available on?
These recent spy photos show us, that the new electrified powertrain will be available throughout the Wrangler Unlimited lineup, starting with the Sport model. These 2021 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sport S 4xe prototypes, shows us the plug-in charging box in front of the driver’s side of the windshield where the Wrangler Unlimited 4xe and thanks to our sources inside Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) will know that the plug-in hybrid Wrangler Unlimited will feature an 8-speed automatic hybrid transmission from ZF.
This new 8-speed hybrid transmission does not include the standard torque converter found on most transmissions but has an electric motor system instead. ZF states that the transmission can power a vehicle up to 31 miles (or 50 kilometers) or up to 74.5 mph (or 120 kph), depending on the size of the battery used in the vehicle. This could mean that the Wrangler Unlimited 4xe would meet a majority of owner’s daily driving needs without having to use gasoline. It also would put the Wrangler Unlimited 4xe in a similar electric performance territory as the other 4xe models.
The Sport S prototypes also feature a very handsome dual 5-spoke design of aluminum wheel wrapped in Bridgestone Dueler all-terrain tires.
We also now know that the popular Sahara trim will also feature the new 4xe powertrain. These models also feature the plug-in box in front of the driver but feature a very unique and classy multi-spoke wheel design, separating it from the standard 5-spoke aluminum wheel found on the standard Wrangler Sahara.
According to our sources, the new Wrangler Unlimited 4xe model will utilize the 2.0-liter turbocharged (GME-T4) inline-four-cylinder with the eTorque system, instead of the 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 like many people thought from the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid. Earlier this year, FCA announced that they were converting an unused section of their Kokomo Transmission Plant into a new engine plant to specifically built the 2.0-liter turbocharged engine for the Cherokee and Wrangler.
The third trim expected to carry the new 4xe badge for the Wrangler is, of course, the Rubicon. The rock-crawling model looks to be virtually identical to the conventional model. It still wears a set of 17-Inch x 7.5-Inch machined aluminum wheels, however, they feature a reverse scheme. Instead of featuring black pockets and a machined face, they feature a black face and are machined around the pockets.
The new Wrangler is expected to make the Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon even more capable than before, by offering instant 100% torque to the wheels. The Wrangler Unlimited 4xe models will be unveiled at a later date and should start arriving early 2021 in the North American market. It will join the award-winning 3.6-liter Pentastar V6, the eco-friendly 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-four, and the third-generation 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V6 in the lineup for 2021. A new Wrangler Unlimited V8 model is expected to arrive sometime in 2021 as well.
2021 Jeep® Wrangler Unlimited 4xe Lineup Image Gallery: