The debut is only a matter of time.
With the merger of FCA and the PSA Groupe now completed, the newly formed and world's fourth-largest automaker, Stellantis, is wasting no time moving ahead with plans for the highly profitable Jeep brand. The transition towards all-electric vehicles is high on the company's to-do list and an all-electric Jeep will happen eventually.
For now, there's the new 2021 Jeep Wrangler 4xe plug-in hybrid whose powertrain consists of a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine paired to two electric motors and a 17-kWh battery pack for a combined output of 375 horsepower and 470 lb-ft of torque. But why stop there with the powertrain setup?
Speaking to Australia's Go Auto, Jeep Global President Christian Meunier said that "for sure" an electrified Jeep Gladiator will happen. Since the Gladiator is so similar to the Wrangler, it only makes sense for the 4xe trim to be carried over.
At present, the Gladiator is only offered with the base 3.6-liter V6 with 285 hp and 260 lb-ft but we expect the 3.0-liter diesel V6, also sourced from the Wrangler, to arrive sometime later this year. Will there be a Gladiator 392? The topic wasn't brought up with Meunier but, again, it's something we shouldn't rule out.
Meunier did confirm there are no plans for a diesel-powered Grand Cherokee and Grand Cherokee L; the next-generation SUV will stick with gasoline and electrified powertrains only, at least in the US. Meunier's confidence in the 4xe system is so great that he claimed it's "as competent as a V8." Bear in mind, the 4xe setup produces the same amount of torque as the Wrangler 392's 6.4-liter Hemi.
Only a few years ago, the idea of electrified SUVs and trucks seemed a bit far-fetched but now it's commonplace. Aside from the upcoming Tesla Cybertruck and Rivian R1T, the all-electric Ford F-150, supposedly to be called E-150, is set for a 2022 debut.