The original estimates were conservative.
Big changes are coming for Jeep. The 2021 Jeep Wrangler 4xe Hybrid became the first Wrangler to feature a plug-in hybrid drivetrain with a 17-kilowatt-hour battery pack providing 25 miles of electric-only range. With a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine mated to two electric motors, the 4xe delivers over 400 miles of total range with 375 horsepower and 470 lb-ft of torque, making it the most powerful Wrangler variant until the Hemi-powered Rubicon 392 model arrives. It's worth noting that these official output ratings exceed Jeep's original 350 hp and 442 lb-ft estimates.
Production of the Wrangler 4xe began this week at FCA's Toledo Assembly Complex. Despite its added complexity, the 4xe joins the existing Wrangler assembly line, which is operated by more than 3,200 UAW-represented employees working on two shifts.
Jeep is calling the 4xe the most technologically advanced Wrangler ever, with its battery pack providing the first emission-free on-road and off-road open-air driving experience. The battery pack weighs approximately 280 pounds and mounts behind the rear seats of the four-door Unlimited model in the floor pan.
Jeep published several pictures of the battery installation process, showing an assembly line employee using an ergo arm to drop the pack into the Wrangler. Aside from special blue exterior badging, the 4xe can also be distinguished by the high-voltage orange pipes leading from the engine bay to the battery.
Now that production is underway, the Wrangler 4xe is slated to arrive in showrooms starting in early 2021. No pricing information is available yet, but Jeep will offer the hybrid Wrangler in 4xe, Sahara 4xe, and Rubicon 4xe trim levels, all of which should qualify for a federal tax credit.
The Rubicon 392 model should arrive later in the spring, outgunning the 4xe with 470 hp and 470 lb-ft of torque but failing to match its fuel efficiency.