Both Jeep® and the Mopar brands have dropped yet another sketch of a new concept vehicle for the annual Moab Easter Jeep Safari. Usually, both brands will release a plethora of teaser images of their intended concept vehicles for the event in the red rock region. However, this year they have decided to release an image every couple of days, building up excitement leading to the event.
In the latest sketch, Jeep gives us a sneak peek at a follow-up vehicle that broke headlines last year: the Jeep Wrangler Magneto. Painted in what appears to be Surf Blue (B5 Blue), the “Magneto” hood graphic is followed by the number “2.0”, meaning it is the second version of the Magneto.
It also appears this version will feature lots of carbon fiber as seen in the textures of the sketch.
Last year’s Magneto Concept, was a fully-capable battery-electric vehicle (BEV) that was stealthy, quiet, quick, and an unmistakable rock-crawling force. Jeep engineers and designers created a zero-emission vehicle with Jeep 4×4 capability that provided new levels of efficiency, environmental responsibility, and performance both on- and off-road.
Based on a two-door Wrangler Rubicon, the Magneto used a custom-built axial flux electric motor that operated up to 6,000 rpm. The e-motor was connected to a 6-speed manual transmission, creating a unique manual-electric powertrain with a clutch that operated as it would with an internal combustion engine (ICE). In quick-shift scenarios, the e-motor would engage regen upon clutch engagement to prevent rev-hang.
Comparable to the 3.6-liter Pentastar V6, the compact e-motor was tuned to deliver up to 273 lb.-ft. of torque and 285 horsepower. Intentional calibrations developed during testing helped the Magneto’s powertrain emulate the driving experience of the Pentastar ICE, matching not only torque but also horsepower. During moderate driving, the performance difference between the Pentastar and the Magneto’s unique manual-electric powertrain was negligible except for near-silent operation.
The electrified powertrain could propel the Magneto from 0 to 60 mph in 6.8 seconds.
Powering the Magneto’s e-motor were four battery packs with a combined power of 70 kWh, running an 800-volt system. The lithium-ion batteries were distributed around the Wrangler to balance the vehicle’s weight on each of the four wheels. One pack replaced the Wrangler’s mid-ship fuel tank, another was mounted opposite the fuel tank location, the third pack sat atop the e-motor under the hood, while a fourth pack was mounted 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 converted DC power to AC for the high-tech motor. The batteries, a vehicle interface box, and the battery control module all resided in waterproof enclosures to maintain the Wrangler’s 30-inch water-traversing capability. A 12-volt battery-powered existing system, such as the radio and lighting. A second 12-volt battery served as an auxiliary power unit (APU) for accessories, such as the winch. A DC-to-DC converter charged both 12-volt batteries, allowing long-term operation of accessories to power a campsite or an unexpectedly long winch operation. Unique mounts secured the battery packs for harsh driving and custom skid plates protected the packs from potential strikes to the undercarriage while traversing harsh terrain.
A 10 kW high-voltage heater kept the fully open-air passenger compartment comfortable in colder elements.
Of course, the exterior of the Magneto featured a beautiful Bright White color with Surf Blue accents, along with a heavy-duty performance hood with center scoop and custom decal, redesigned rear gate, and dramatic full-width forward lighting. Custom Royal Blue and Black leather seats with Sapphire-colored inserts and straps, Surf Blue truck bed liner, and Mopar slush mats gave the Magneto’s interior design an electrifying appearance.
The Magneto then was equipped with a Jeep Performance Parts (JPP) 2-inch lift kit, 17-inch “Lights Out” Black metallic wheels wrapped in 35-inch mud-terrain tires, a custom roll cage, Mopar Rock Rails, steel bumpers with a WARN winch, and a steel belly pan helped to add to the added off-road capability concept.
We can’t wait to see the final product. Hopefully, it will show the next direction of the Wrangler electrification path in the near future.