2022 Jeep Wrangler 4xe: How Does the Plug-In Hybrid System Work?
The Jeep Wrangler 4xe is the first vehicle in the brand’s lineup to feature a fully electrified powertrain and follows the eTorque variant which uses a mild-hybrid 48-volt starter generator with torque fill capability. Unlike some hybrid systems found in other brands, the Wrangler’s is a plug-in hybrid with a sizable battery, a turbocharged engine, a powerful electric motor, and a conventional automatic transmission. So how does it work? Let’s find out.
At the heart of the Jeep Wrangler 4xe’s powertrain is Stellantis’ 2.0-liter turbo-four. Just like in the rest of the Wrangler lineup, this mill makes 270 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. In this application, it gets an electric starter motor-generator rated at 44 hp and 39 lb-ft, an electric air conditioning compressor, and an electric heater unit. A 181-hp electric motor is mounted within the casing of the eight-speed automatic gearbox sourced from ZF.
Unlike other vehicles using this gearbox, this version is specifically tuned for Jeep to meet the requirements for the Wrangler and its off-road-oriented mission. That powerful electric motor also deletes the torque converter and adds a multi-plate clutch instead, allowing it to charge the battery while in motion. At a stop, the small starter motor-generator is the one that charges the battery and is responsible for starting the engine. This little motor also helps reduce shock in. vehicles without a secondary motor in the front, minimizing abrupt transitions as the powertrain operates in EV, hybrid, and gas mode. Between the turbocharged engine and the electric motor, the Jeep Wrangler 4xe makes 375 hp and 470 lb-ft combined.
Everything else behind the transmission is the same as the other Wrangler models. You can choose between two different types of two-speed transfer cases depending on the trim that you get and standard 4WD. Dana 44 axles are also used as you’d expect out of an off-road-oriented vehicle. The electronic drive control components like the DC to DC converter are mounted in the rear and are protected by an extra skid plate. As a result, the Wrangler 4xe has the water fording capabilities as its non-electrified siblings.
Right above the electronic drive control components is a 17.3-kWh lithium-ion battery that’s actively heated and cooled. Charging the battery can be done using a level 2 or 240-volt charger that’s capable of 7.2 kW, bringing the battery back up from 0 to 100 percent in just 2.5 hours. A level 1 charger or simply plugging into your home outlet will likely require plugging the Wrangler 4xe overnight to get it back to a full charge from empty.
Depending on your commute and access to charging infrastructure, the Jeep Wrangler 4xe could be your next ultimate adventure vehicle that can double as a daily driver. The ability to drive solely in EV mode should help make this a viable option, especially if you’re looking for a taste of electrification but can’t fully commit to a battery-electric vehicle. Additionally, the Wrangler 4xe’s more conventional powertrain layout should make it more approachable to consumers who are new to electrification because it’s going to feel just like a conventional model powered by an internal combustion engine.
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