It’s April 4th (4/4) or as many in the off-road community call it “4×4 Day” or “Jeep® Day”! While it may be a typical day for us working folk, Jeep Brazil is getting “amped” up’d over the introduction of the Jeep Compass 4xe plug-in hybrid (PHEV) which was introduced earlier today. It marks the first time that the Compass 4xe is going to be sold outside of Europe, and Jeep’s second-largest market is taking advantage of the electrified offering.
Unlike the European lineup which consists of five models (Night Eagle, Limited, Upland, Trailhawk, and S), the Brazilian market will only get one model (the luxury-oriented S).
The most capable electrified SUV in the segment debuts with even more performance, sophistication, and efficiency, elevating the attributes that made Jeep icons of the category to an unprecedented level. Its PHEV powertrain allows a combined power of 240 horsepower, with 0 to 100 km/h (0 to 62 mph) capability in 6.8 seconds, urban consumption of 25.4 km/l (or about 60 mpg), the possibility of driving almost 50 kilometers (31 miles) using 100% electric power, and a charging time in less than two hours.
The Compass 4xe is the first fruit of a series of electrified products that Jeep has in store for Brazil. It brings together all the brand’s expertise to deliver off-road capability that only a Jeep has with unique efficiency and performance, including the four-wheel-drive (4WD) system, with four driving modes, HDC (Electronic Descent Control), and 4WD Lock function. and 4WD Low. Among the standard equipment is a wide range of advanced driving assistance, such as Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB), Lane Departure Warning (LDW) with correction, and Automatic High Beam headlamps.
“With the new Compass 4xe, Jeep starts a new moment in Brazil, with a focus on electrification, but without giving up the performance and off-road capability that have always been part of our history. The use of plug-in hybrid technology gives our customers superior versatility, allowing, for example, to drive the car without spending a drop of fuel for up to 44 kilometers (27 miles). However, it can also use e-Save mode, recharging the battery while the heat engine works. Thus, it is possible to have the freedom to go much further with a Jeep and still enjoy all the sounds of nature in any adventure using the electric mode, with almost absolute silence of the vehicle. These are differentials for those who seek contact with nature and do not give up sustainability. It is also worth mentioning the fuel economy that the owner can have: it is possible to save more than 120 liters (31 gallons) of gasoline per month considering the use in electric mode within the maximum range and average consumption. With all this, the launch of the 4xe platform is an important step by Jeep for the brand to become a reference in premium eco-friendly technology”, commented Alexandre Aquino, Director of Brand Jeep for Latin America.
Since the Compass 4xe will only be offering the top-tier S trim, it does not offer any optional features nor does Jeep charge an additional price for the choice of the vehicle’s color. As of today, ordering for the Compass 4xe is now open at 40 dealerships across 5 regions of Brazil.
“The sales and after-sales of electrified models are unique and we work in partnership with our network so that the customer has extensive assistance from their first contact with the new Compass 4xe PHEV. Our customers will even be able to recharge their vehicles for free at dealerships. Our network has invested in training and equipment, complying with the strict legislation surrounding the maintenance of electrified vehicles. In addition to having a wide support network,” said Aquino.
The Compass 4xe presented a new challenge to the Jeep design team, as it is essential that it be easily identifiable, but without losing the striking features of the SUV that is the leader in its segment. To achieve this goal, the design studio chose four colors for the Brazilian market (Glacier Silver, Black, Alpine White, and Shade Blue), with a “bright blue” color outlining the “Jeep” and “Compass” badges on the hood, front doors, and hatch. On the back is also the “4xe” logo, which has the last letter also painted in blue to reinforce the presence of PHEV technology in the model.
Inside, the luxurious cabin of the Compass 4xe has unique contrasting stitching that helps adorn the dashboard with a 10.25-inch full digital instrument cluster and 10.1-inch Uconnect 5 multimedia system with Android Auto and wireless Apple CarPlay. Another difference in the interior is the presence of new controls around the driver, unique for tuning the Compass 4xe’s electrified powertrain.
The Compass 4xe has a “fuel” door cover, on the driver-side rear fender, intended for the charging connector. It is for the European Type 2 standard, the most common in Brazil, and has indicator lights for the battery charge level. The Compass S 4xe also includes standard 19-inch Gloss Black aluminum wheels, LED headlamps, and a panoramic CommandView sunroof.
Under the hood, it uses the already renowned 1.3-liter “Firefly” inline-four-cylinder internal combustion engine (ICE), also known as the “T270 turbo engine” in Brazil, which is powered by gasoline and reaches 180 horsepower and 200 lb.-ft. (270 Nm) of torque. It is coupled to a 6-speed automatic transmission and assisted by an electric motor, which also serves as a generator. This set generates traction on the front axle and also produces electricity for the batteries.
At the rear axle is the second electric motor, capable of generating 60 horsepower and 184 lb.-ft. (250 Nm) of torque – which is available at any rpm. This compact package connects directly to the rear axle, allowing the Compass 4xe to maintain 4WD while ditching the rear driveshaft. Electronic management ensures that the vehicle has 4WD whenever needed. If the battery is low, the front motor generates electrical energy to be sent to the rear assembly, which ensures maximum performance and grip under any circumstances.
Part of the space originally intended for the rear driveshaft is occupied by the high voltage battery, which is also located under the rear seats. This configuration made it possible to maintain comfort onboard the Compass. The battery has a voltage of 400-volts, independent cooling, and has an integrated current inverter. The set is housed in a metal casing that serves as protection against external elements, including immersion in water. The batteries have a total capacity of 11.4 kWh, enabling a 100% electric range of up to 44 kilometers (27 miles).
Through the Brazilian Vehicle Labeling Program (PBEV), the Compass 4xe achieves an urban consumption of 25.4 km/l (59.7 mpg), with a range of 927 kilometers (576 miles). On the highway, by the same standards, consumption is 24.2 km/l (56.9 mpg).
Drive Modes –
The system has three operating modes – Hybrid, Electric, and E-save. The desired mode can be activated using the selector switch located in front of the gear lever. In all driving modes, the regenerative braking system recovers energy during passive driving phases (such as deceleration or light braking). Additionally, Compass 4xe travels in hybrid mode when the battery reaches the minimum charge level regardless of the selected mode. More in detail:
- HYBRID is the default mode selected when the car is started. It is designed to manage and use the system in the most efficient way, optimizing power and minimizing fuel consumption. The ICE and electric motor work together according to the road type, with braking energy recovery phases. Initially, the system favors electric driving (so the power is supplied by the electric motor). When the battery reaches the minimum charge level (called “SOC”, State Of Charge), the ICE is used for propulsion. The system manages start-up and intervention through an optimization algorithm (Hybrid Control Processor or HCP) designed to maximize the system efficiency levels.
- ELECTRIC is the mode that provides a full-electric average range of 50 kilometers* at zero emissions. It is designed to maximize the electric driving experience through a different calibration of the HCP optimization algorithm. The car drives in the electric-only mode as long as there is sufficient charge in the battery. The system automatically switches to HYBRID mode when the battery is completely flat or when the driver kicks the kick-down. A top speed of up to 130 km/h (or 81 mph) can be reached. This is the ideal mode for traveling in city centers with traffic and emission restrictions.
- E-SAVE, on the other hand, is the mode for maintaining battery charge or for charging it while driving using the ICE. E-SAVE mode supports two secondary modes, called Battery Save (passive E-SAVE) and Battery Charge (active E-SAVE), both of which can be activated on the Uconnect system screen.
- Passive E-SAVE or Battery Save: maintains the state of charge of the battery through the predominant use of the ICE;
- E-SAVE active or Battery Charge: charges the battery up to 80% through the operation of the ICE on which the combined front electric generator acts.
In HYBRID mode – the optimization algorithm (HCP) guarantees system efficiency by modulating the joint intervention of electric motors and ICEs according to the charge level of the battery. The HCP algorithm automatically modulates the torque distribution between the electric motors and the ICE. The ICE intervenes whenever the required performance exceeds that of the electric motor alone. The HYBRID mode driving optimization algorithm is designed to manage the car in the most efficient configuration according to the following factors:
- Energy level (State Of Charge) of the battery pack
- Electric motor and ICE efficiency maps
- Requests for performance by the driver
- Travel and environmental situations (gradients, ambient temperatures, etc.)
Intelligent Regenerative Braking –
The intervention of the ICE while driving may depend on various combinations of these factors. When the battery charge level is low, the ICE is switched on to provide the required torque to the front wheels, making up for the lack of electric propulsion from the rear wheels.
The new ‘e-Coasting’ mode intervenes in place of the exhaust brake when the throttle is released, allowing energy recovery when slowing down even with the brake pedal released. It can be differentiated by a button on the central tunnel, located under the gear lever.
Regenerative braking is always active regardless of the driving mode (ICE or electric motor) to maximize energy recovery when the throttle and brake pedals are released. The e-Coasting mode can be activated on Compass 4xe when the transmission is in the “D” (Drive) position. By pressing the ‘e-Coasting’ button, the breaking intensity can be activated according to two different levels, more or less intense.
A warning light on the instrument panel display indicates activation through two different colors:
- White (“Normal”) if the “Intense” function is selected but not active (accelerator pedal not released);
- Green, if the “Intense” function is selected and active (accelerator pedal released).
After the more intense function has been activated by the driver, the regenerative braking calibration is bolder when coasting, that is when the driver is not pressing the accelerator pedal. This feature reduces the speed faster than standard regenerative braking and generates more electricity to be conveyed to the battery pack.
A dedicated message will appear on the instrument panel during the transition from the “Intense” to “Normal” function and vice versa.
One impressive thing is that thanks to its PHEV powertrain, the Compass 4xe has a towing capacity of 600 kg (1,322 lbs).
Onboard Technology & Safety –
In terms of safety, the new 4xe models come with the most advanced ADAS systems available on the market, including high-visibility Full LED headlights, standard Forward Collision Warning, Lane Departure Warning Plus, Intelligent Speed Assist, and Traffic Sign Recognition, and front and rear parking sensors. Available safety features include Blind Spot Detection, ParkView rear backup camera with dynamic gridlines, automatic Park Assist, and Keyless Go.
Imported from Italy, the new Jeep Compass S 4xe PHEV has suggested prices of R$349,990 (about $75,390 USD) for all of Brazil (except São Paulo) and R$360,887 (or about $77,740 USD) for the state of São Paulo.