It was only just a rumor until now.
Now that the all-new 2018 Jeep Wrangler has been revealed, details about its production future are coming into focus. During the official reveal presentation, Jeep CEO Mike Manley casually made mention of something we only heard of before in rumors: a hybrid Wrangler. Yep. It's really going to happen. In 2020 the Wrangler plugin hybrid will debut. Manley offered no other details aside from that, so it's still way too early to know specifics such as which gasoline engine will be used. Fuel economy? Also a complete mystery right now.
Nevertheless, an electrified Jeep Wrangler will certainly be interesting, if not somewhat controversial for hardcore fans. But Jeep, or rather FCA, has little choice in the matter. Government-imposed fuel economy regulations are what's dictating the move. Fortunately for FCA, it has some experience in plug-in hybrid tech. The Chrysler Pacifica plug-in hybrid is offered with a 16 kWh battery and returns an equivalent of 84 mpg combined. But stuffing a battery in the Pacifica is a much easier task than it will be for the Wrangler. Think about it: the Pacifica has a lot more floor space, and space in general.
The Wrangler will be a challenge, but not an impossible one. But if you're anxious to get the most fuel efficient Wrangler without going for PHEV, then wait until 2019 when the 3.0-liter V6 diesel becomes available. It's expected to return about 30 mpg highway, which really isn't bad at all considering the Wrangler, at its core, is a true off-road SUV.