Is this the first official image of the Jeepster EV?
Jeep's 4xe day officially kicks off tomorrow, which means it's time for another teaser. Earlier this week, Jeep uploaded a short video clip of a lightbulb, urging people to join the new era of electrification. Today, it posted a short 15-second clip on YouTube. This is a blatant attempt to get people speculating, and we're more than happy to play along.
As mentioned in our earlier article, there are several routes Jeep can take. We've already seen the unnamed Jeep EV, albeit in concept form. Earlier this year, our spy photographers also captured a near-production baby Jeep in action, but it could just as easily be a replacement for the aging Renegade. The American brand can also go the whole nine yards and electrify the Wagoneer, and there is some evidence in the video below to support this.
But first, let's talk about the very first frame in the video. It's there for less than a second and is soon covered in a smattering of images. It clearly shows the rear of an all-new model with a design heavily influenced by the Jeep Wrangler.
This could be a hint that the Magneto has been given the go-ahead, or it could point to an all-new small SUV named the Jeepster. Not the horrible early 2000s concept, but rather the production version of the unnamed SUV, but beefed up a little to compete with Volkswagen's new Scout SUV.
Our money is on an all-new model called the Jeepster. While the idea of an EV Wrangler is appealing, there are several things standing in the way. Charging in the middle of nowhere is problem number one. Secondly, you have a low-mounted battery pack at the mercy of sharp rocks. Finally, we would not want instant acceleration in something that still uses the same suspension setup as an ox cart.
You can also spot an illuminated version of the seven-slot grille, which looks suspiciously similar to the unit found at the front of the Wagoneer. This leads us to believe that it will be the next model to receive the plug-in treatment, but whether that's as a full EV or simply a plug-in hybrid remains uncertain.
The current 2.0-liter hybrid powertrain is likely not powerful enough to cope with the Wagoneer's hefty body. We know Jeep is currently retooling its Trenton engine plant, which is responsible for building the Pentastar V6. The significant changes needed on the assembly line point to a new plug-in variant of this engine.
This $24.7 Million investment would make sense, considering the Pentastar powers Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, and Ram models.
Another reason we're convinced it will be more than one model is Stellantis' sudden overhaul. The conglomerate was in danger of falling behind the EV curve, but it's currently working its way through all the major brands, announcing model upgrades, in-between models, brand-new models like the Dodge Hornet, and future products.
Dodge was the first to make a series of announcements, and now Jeep is getting its turn. Chrysler is up next and will make some kind of big announcement at the upcoming Detroit Motor Show.
As you read, we're busy preparing for the media briefing later today. While speculating is fun, we can't wait to see what Jeep actually has waiting behind the metaphorical curtains.