Will America be next?
There was a reality Stellantis had to acknowledge that forced a tough decision. The two-door Jeep Wrangler is being discontinued in Europe after the current model year, according to Automotive News Europe. A company spokesperson confirmed the decision. The four-door body style will remain but only sold as the 4xe plug-in hybrid variant. The UK, however, will continue to get gas-powered four-door Wranglers but the two-door is finished there as well.
Why is this happening? Because Stellantis aims to lower its overall fleet C02 emissions. European governments are imposing some of the strictest emissions standards in the world and the two-door Wrangler, which doesn't offer a PHEV version, no longer fits the mold. How will European Jeep customers react to this? Probably not very well.
The short wheelbase Wrangler consists of about 30 percent of all European Wrangler sales. Convincing those customers to spend more for the four-door may not be easy, but they'll at least get the added benefit of a plug-in that's more fuel-efficient and impressively powerful.
Its powertrain consists of a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine with 279 horsepower. The addition of two electric motors increases output to 380 hp. To compare, the gas-engined Wrangler also has a turbo 2.0-liter, only with 272 hp. Jeep has no plans to build a two-door Wrangler 4xe because the rear seat isn't big enough to contain the 17-kWh battery pack beneath it.
The Toledo, Ohio-built Wrangler lineup will remain in place for North America, so everyone can breathe a sigh of relief together. Jeep's quest to offer more fuel-efficient models began last year when PHEV versions of the Compass and Renegade hit the market. While neither are currently available stateside, this is expected to change in the not too distant future.
It's a shame to see the Wrangler two-door go out before its time in a market where a certain other short-wheelbase SUV rival has just arrived: the Land Rover Defender. This mother of all SUV off-road competitions will now be left to the four-door versions.