It Is often said that the Jeep played a huge part in world war 2.It was very light, simple, rugged, could go offroad and simply indestructible.75 years later Jeep is still at it, producing cars that we love. From the tiny Compass to the giant Grand Cherokee and the ever beloved Wrangler. They simply dominate the market with cars that are perfect for their consumers. Pushing the boundaries and yet staying true to their heritage.
But there is a booming market where Jeep has not made any contribution, the electric car segment. While companies like Land Rover and Volvo realised that the whole industry is shifting towards electric, Jeep has somewhat been away from this scene. Thankfully they are here now, and they are here to rock the compact SUV segment.
The American giants have revealed their first electrified SUV, the Renegade 4xe PHEV and it looks pretty amazing. It is one of the many hybrid models lined up promised by Jeep, as a plug-in Compass and also the jolly good old Wrangler as they seek to become the “greenest, most sustainable SUV company in the world”
There will be three trims offered for the Renegade- Longitude, Limited and Trailhawk. Trailhawk will be the more hardcore version for going offroad whole the Longitude and Limited will be more suited to urban conditions.
Visually almost identical to other Renegade variants, the 4xe gains an electric motor mounted on a modified version of the 4WD Renegade’s rear subframe, plus a 1.3-litre four-cylinder turbo-petrol engine.
The powertrain will offer two outputs- the Longitude and the Limited will churn out 190 BHP, and the Trailhawk version will churn out a mindblowing 240 BHP. In all three, the petrol engine puts out 270Nm of torque, while the electric motor makes a maximum of 250Nm which is really impressive for a car with such a small engine.
Talking about the highlight, the battery will have an electric-only range of 50 km at speeds up to 130 kph under ideal conditions. It has been mounted in the floorpan’s centre tunnel and takes up some space under the rear seat. The fuel tank – also under the rear seat – has been reduced to a capacity of 39 litres.
All three versions will sprint from 0-100 kph in around 7.5 seconds and will have a top speed of 200 kph.
Coming to the offroad specs, perhaps the most important part of any Jeep. Every 4xe variant has 4 wheel drive, with the company claiming that the new Renegade will have the ” “best performance and driving dynamics of any Jeep SUV ever”.
Power is transmitted to all four wheels through a 6-speed automatic gearbox. Meanwhile, an updated Selec-Terrain rotary control with eAWD modes (4WD Lock, 4WD Low, Hill Descent Control) engages several different driving modes, including Auto, Snow, Mud and Sand, Rock and, new for the 4xe, Sport.
On the outside, the 4xe would be distinguishable from a regular Renegade by the blue highlights, blue badging and a charger port push cover.
Inside,a 7.0-inch TFT colour MID, an 8.0-inch touchscreen with Uconnect Nav system, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, and a DAB radio come as standard. Black accents trace the air vents, speakers and centre console bezels on the Longitude and Limited models, while the Trailhawk is distinguished by ruby red accents.
Former Jeep CEO and now Fiat Chrysler Automobiles chief Mike Manley said in 2018 that there would be four EVs in Jeep’s portfolio by 2022. However, as the executive team has been extensively reshuffled since Manley’s statement, this plan may have since been altered.
Sadly, India won’t get the Renegade, neither the diesel nor the hybrid. But there are some exciting projects going on. Jeep is working on a facelifted Compass to be launched in India, followed by a seven-seater version of them considering how much we love joint families and then a sub 4 metre SUV Kia Sonnet and Hyundai Venue rival. They are expected to arrive by next year