Jeep Wrangler Willys 4xe Adds Retro Style To Futuristic Power

Special Editions / 2 Comments

The new trim is the most affordable Wrangler 4xe available.

  • Most affordable member of the Wrangler 4xe family at $53,995 MSRP
  • 2.0-liter turbocharged plug-in hybrid four-cylinder generates 375 horsepower/470 lb-ft of torque
  • Unique Willys badging and decals with Electric Blue highlights

Everyone's got a retro special edition these days. For off-roaders, it's big business. People lost their minds over Ford's retro Broncos, and now Jeep has hit back. Though saying "hit back" isn't wholly correct, as Jeep has had a Willys edition Wrangler for a while. These usually pay tribute to the whole reason the brand exists in the first place: the original Willys Jeep.

In essence, that's what this new model is. Dubbed the Jeep Wrangler Willys 4xe, it's a familiar mix of retro style and modern capability, just electrified. It's powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline four-cylinder alongside two electric motors. One sits in the bowels of the engine, while the other sits within the eight-speed automatic. Together, the gas and electric motors produce a combined output of 375 horsepower and 470 lb-ft of torque. It'll also do 49 MPGe. Of course, the "e" part of this new Wrangler is only a small part of what this car is about. Jeep has added plenty of retro nods to the special edition, just as it's done in years past.

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Happily, Jeep also adds in a load of standard options for these models, including LED lights, Alpine audio, all-weather mats, a rear limited-slip differential (LSD), rock rails, a black grille, and17-inch black-painted alloy wheels wearing LT255/75R17C mud-terrain tires. However, you'll have to shell out for the upgraded 8.4-inch touchscreen and powered canvas top.

Jeep has slightly updated the Willys badge on the hood, which now had the same Electric Blue accenting as other 4xe models. That color makes other appearances on the off-roader as well. You'll find it on the rear swing gate in the shape of an "Electric 4-Wheel Drive" decal and, as with the standard 4xe, the tow hooks and lower Jeep badging on the quarter panels are also trimmed in the hue.

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The Wrangler Willys 4xe's hybrid powertrain acts as a multifaceted element of the vehicle. While it'll do hybrid things, the Willys will also do EV things, like run on the car's 17 kWh battery alone. Jeep says this should be good for 21 miles of electric range. That should, in theory, be enough to accomplish most people's daily driving or venture into the wild in silence.

Now, a bit more detail on those motors mentioned above. The first, the one sitting on the motor, effectively replaces the alternator, which Jeep says results in "seamless" fuel-saving and start-stop procedures. The second motor is larger and much more powerful, sitting at the front of the transmission case. This is primarily the one that's in use when you're cruising around silently. The battery that feeds these motors rests under the rear seat, just the same as the regular 4xe.

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Three drive modes will be available to help owners both on and off-road. Hybrid will, predictably, force the car to act like a hybrid, using both motors in tandem. Electric is how you'll use the car's all-electric powertrain, so long as you've got the juice to do so. Finally, eSave switches you over to the gas motor to save as much of the Willys' battery as possible.

There are, of course, off-road upgrades as well. The Willys 4xe is equipped with a full-time 4WD system, front and rear heavy-duty Dana 44 axles, and a Selec-Trac two-speed transfer case with a 2.72:1 low-range gear ratio. In addition to those items, the aforementioned wheels and tires, as well as skid plates, are standard. The Willys 4xe boasts 10.2 inches of ground clearance - matching the Sahara 4xe, which means it likely inherits approach and departure angles of 42.2 and 35.2 degrees, respectively.

Jeep has said that the new Wrangler Willys 4xe will start at $53,995 MSRP before any tax incentives or destination charges, making it the most affordable member of the Wrangler 4xe family. Vehicles are available for order now and will be at dealers by Q4 2022.

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