Jeep's smallest EV has been revealed for Europe only. Here's why you can't have it.
Earlier this year, Stellantis posted an image of the first-ever Jeep EV - concepts like the Magneto aside. It was clear from the picture that it was never meant to be a serious off-roader but rather a city-dwelling crossover for hip early adopters. Stellantis chose not to reveal the name, and we were kind of hoping for Jeepster.
Instead, Jeep went for Avenger. The Avenger might have another problem besides possible legal action from Marvel. It's too cute to strike fear into its enemies' hearts. It's essentially the automotive equivalent of Hawkeye, not bad, but a human among gods and superheroes.
But whether or not Marvel takes exception to the name, that battle will have to be settled elsewhere because the Jeep Avenger will not be sold in the USA. Instead, it will launch an assault on Europe, where the Jeep brand plans to be fully electric by 2030, as opposed to its US plans, where it's only aiming for 50% BEV by the same deadline.
So what is the Avenger - aside from the name of an old Dodge that was discontinued in America in 2014 - and why isn't it coming to America?
As part of its 4xe Day celebrations, Jeep did not reveal much about the Avenger, as it will only officially debut at the Paris Motor Show in October, with the first units hitting dealer floors in early 2023.
Thankfully, the Stellantis Group has already unveiled pretty much everything you want to know about its STLA platform, including battery sizes, power outputs, drivetrain layouts, and claimed ranges.
As the Avenger will slot in below the Jeep Renegade, it will be built on the STLA Small platform. Stellantis initially claimed a range of 300 miles for this platform, but Jeep's latest press release states that it's aiming for 250 miles for the Avenger. It's worth keeping in mind that the small platform can house battery sizes ranging from 37 kWh to 82 kWh.
STLA also allows driveline flexibility, which means the Avenger can be built in FWD, RWD, or AWD. Since Jeep specifically mentions "impressive ground clearance, breakover, and approach angles," we're guessing FWD and AWD are the most likely scenario. A 95-horsepower motor powers STLA Small models. With one on each axle, you're looking at roughly 200 hp, which is more than adequate for its intended purpose.
The best attribute of Stellantis' scalable architecture is arguably the charging system. The engineers designed one power inverter for all the drive modules, allowing up to 350 kW fast charging. Since many Europeans don't have the luxury of a garage and overnight charging, charging times matter.
So what about the elephant in the room; why isn't the Avenger coming to America?
Quite simply, it's too small. Jeep execs told us at a media briefing before the official reveal that it's smaller than the Renegade. While Europe makes a strong case for small vehicles - owing primarily due to the confined spaces of European cities - the segment simply hasn't caught on in America. In 2021, the Renegade was Jeep's slowest-selling model with a full sales year beneath its belt, shifting 47,137 units compared to the next closest model, the Compass, on 75,642 units. Small vehicles and America don't mix.
As for why it's perfect for Europe, in addition to its size, Europeans are more willing to adopt electrified vehicles, and the only pure ICE car that remains on sale across the pond is the Wrangler in the UK. Everywhere else, it's 4xe only, as are the Renegade, Compass, and Grand Cherokee.
Those who are sad that the Avenger will not come to the USA will be happy to learn that Jeep has confirmed the Recon electric off-roader and the Wagoneer S luxury SUV for the American market.