The 2021 Moab Easter Jeep® Safari is almost here, so this morning both the Jeep and Mopar brands showed off their new lineup of specialty-built concept vehicles for the annual event showcasing what both brands have to offer the Jeep community. The Moab Easter Jeep Safari is an annual event where Jeep enthusiasts from all over the world will gather from March 27th to April 4th in Moab for an extended holiday week of trail rides and technical off-roading on some of the most challenging and picturesque terrain.
With the Jeep and Mopar brands backing out of the event with the ongoing pandemic, we are seeing a couple of concept vehicles that were briefly shown off in press releases for the first time like the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon 392 Concept and the Jeep Gladiator Farout Concept. But Jeep and Mopar are showcasing four new concept vehicles that we haven’t seen before. Each one will be discussing throughout the week, but today we are going to talk about the Jeep Wrangler Magneto Concept.
Although it is wearing the Jeep brand’s electrified “4xe” badging, this is not the 2021 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited 4xe we have grown accustomed to over the past several months. The Jeep Wrangler Magneto Concept is a true two-door Wrangler, not like the four-door (Unlimited) only 4xe models. Instead of featuring a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) powertrain like the Wrangler Unlimited 4xe, the Magneto is a battery electric vehicle (BEV) that runs on entirely battery power.
Jeep engineers designed the Magneto Concept to be a stealthy, quiet, quick, and unmistakeable rock-crawling force on the trail. Both Jeep engineers and designers worked hard to create a zero-emission vehicle that maintains the Wrangler legendary 4×4 capability while providing new levels of efficiency, environmental responsibility, and performance both on and off-road.
Starting with a two-door 2020 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon as its basis, the Magneto Concept uses a custom-built axial flux electric motor that operates up to 6,000 rpm. The e-motor is connected to a 6-speed manual transmission (that’s right, no automatic here), creating a unique manual-electric powertrain with a clutch that operates as it would with an internal combustion engine (ICE). In quick-shift scenarios, the e-motor engages regen upon clutch engagement to prevent rev-hang.
The compact e-motor is tuned to deliver up to 285 horsepower and 273 lb.-ft. of torque. Those numbers are consistent with the Wrangler’s 3.6-liter Pentastar V6, which produces 285 horsepower and 260 lb.-ft. of torque. Intentional calibrations developed during testing help Magneto’s powertrain emulate the driving experience of the Pentastar. During moderate driving, the performance between the Pentastar and the e-motor/manual powertrain is “negligible” as Jeep says, except for near-silent operation.
The Magneto Concept is able to run a 0 to 60 mph time in just 6.8-seconds, thanks to the instant 273 lb.-ft. of torque on tap.
Providing power to Magneto’s e-motor are four battery packs with a combined power of 70 kWh, running an 800-volt system. For reference, the 2021 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited 4xe runs just one 400-volt, 17-kWh, 96-cell lithium-ion, nickel manganese cobalt battery pack. Magneto’s lithium-ion batteries are distributed around the Wrangler to balance weight on the four wheels. One pack replaces the Wrangler’s mid-ship fuel tank, another is mounted opposite the fuel tank location, the third pack sits atop the e-motor under the hood, and the fourth pack mounts in the space normally used for a rear storage compartment, also using space typically occupied by the exhaust muffler.
An inverter derived from race cars converts DC power to AC for the high-tech motor. The batteries, a vehicle interface box, and the battery control module all reside in waterproof enclosures to maintain the Wrangler’s 30-inch water-traversing capability in order to keep its iconic “Trail Rated” badge.
A 12-volt battery powers existing systems, such as the radio and lighting, while a second 12-volt battery serves as an auxiliary power unit (APU) for accessories, such as the winch. A DC-to-DC converter charges both 12-volt batteries, allowing long-term operation of accessories to power a campsite or an unexpectedly long winch operation. Unique mounts secure the battery packs for harsh driving and custom skid plates protect the packs from potential strikes to the undercarriage while traversing harsh terrain. A 10-kW high-voltage heater keeps the fully open-air passenger compartment comfortable.
As for the exterior design elements, Magneto features a Bright White exterior color with Surf Blue accents (the same found on all 4xe models). The Magneto Concept is also equipped with the performance hood with a center scoop from the Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon 392 featuring a unique custom decal, redesigned rear gate, and dramatic full-width forward lighting located inside the signature seven-slot grille.
Inside, there are a set of custom Royal Blue and Black leather seats with Sapphire-colored inserts and straps, Surf Blue truck bed liner, and Mopar slush mats that give Magneto’s interior design an electrifying appearance.
Mopar also dug deep into their Jeep Performance Parts (JPP) parts bin and equipped the Magneto with a JPP 2-inch lift kit, 17-inch Lights Out black metallic wheels with 35-inch mud-terrain tires, custom roll cage, Mopar Rock Rails, steel bumpers with a Warn winch, and a steel belly pan for added off-road capability.
Jeep has not yet said if it will indeed produce the Wrangler Magneto. But with how production-ready this thing looks, we think Jeep is strong testing the Jeep enthusiasts fan base for feedback on this one. We can’t wait to get a better look at this important concept soon.
What do you think of the Jeep Magneto Concept? Leave your comments below, or in the MoparInsiders.com forums.
2021 Jeep® Wrangler Magneto Concept Image Gallery: