We have talked in-depth over the past several months about the new 2020 Jeep® Renegade and Compass 4xe models, and their importance in places like the European marketplace. While the Jeep brand teased details over the past six months about the new electrified compact SUVs, it wasn’t until late last month that the brand released all the details surround the new plug-in duo. Now, it seems that the gas/electric hybrids have started to arrive in dealers across Italy and people are finally taking home the first Jeeps to adorn the environmentally friendly 4xe nameplate.
The Jeep Renegade 4xe and Jeep Compass 4xe powertrain integrate two electric motors and an 11.4 kWh battery pack, with a fuel-efficient 1.3-liter turbocharged gasoline engine and 6-speed automatic transmission. This architecture provides two cars in one – a battery-electric vehicle featuring an electric motor and a high-voltage lithium-ion battery pack on the rear axle and a conventional vehicle with an internal combustion engine (ICE) fitted on the front axle. Two electric motors, one of which is located on the front axle and coupled to the ICE that, in addition to working in synergy with the engine, can act as a high-voltage generator, as it is necessary. The second motor is located on the rear axle and features reduction gear and integrated differential (also known as the “e-axle”). It delivers 60 horsepower and 250 Nm (or about 184 ft.-lb) of torque, generating traction and recovering energy while braking.
The 1.3-liter turbocharged gasoline engine that powers the Renegade and Compass 4xe belongs to the new Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) Global Small Engine or GSE family. This engine is currently found under the hood of certain models of the North American Jeep Renegade. The engine is based on a modular structure and is available for the 4xe versions of the two output levels (130 horsepower or 180 horsepower). The basic structure of the 1.3-liter turbo gasoline engine of the Renegade and Compass 4xe guarantees efficiency, modularity, and a considerable degree of standardization in terms of components and manufacturing process, flexibility, and potential for future development.
The 11.4 kWh, 400-volt lithium-ion battery pack uses cobalt-nickel manganese/graphite chemistry. It is located underneath the second row of seats, where it is protected from outside elements. Enclosed in a steel casing, the pack is fitted with a dedicated heating and cooling circuit to keep the battery at its optimum temperature for best performance. The 11.4 kWh battery pack allows the Renegade and Compass 4xe to travel an average range of 50 kilometers (or 31 miles) in full-electric, zero-emission mode. The hybrid system also includes a power inverter (PIM) housed inside the battery pack, which is also protected from damage.
The combination of an ICE and the electric units guarantees performance and maximum driving pleasure with acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h (0 to 62 mph) in around 7.5 seconds, a top speed of 130 km/h (or about 81 mph) in full-electric mode, and up to 200 km/h (or about 124 mph) in hybrid mode.
Legendary Jeep off-road capability is guaranteed by the Jeep Active Drive Low system, fitted on all Compass and Renegade 4xe trims. The new plug-in hybrid technology further enhances the off-road capability of both models, with the combination of the two propulsions resulting in more torque.
It is expected that the Renegade and Compass 4xe’s plug-in hybrid technology might show us elsewhere globally, like China and North America when the updated 2022 Jeep Compass arrives in late 2021.