Jeep bets on electric SUVs starting with the Wrangler-esque Recon

Jeep will launch four new all-electric SUVs in North America and Europe by the end of 2025 as part of a broader strategy to have electric vehicles make up 50% of sales in the United States and 100% in Europe by 2030.

Jeep, which is owned by Stellantis, showed the first images of two all-electric SUVs – the all-new Wrangler-inspired Jeep Recon and a new electric Wagoneer, named Wagoneer S. Both models are expected to arrive in North America and other regions by 2024. The automaker will also launch a compact electric SUV, the Jeep Avenger, in Europe early next year.

Major details, such as battery capacity, trim levels and price, are still being kept under wraps. (“Stay tuned,” said Christian Meunier, CEO of Jeep.) And the fourth model will also be unveiled later. But Jeep said it would “electrify” all its models in the USA, including a Wagoneer 4xe hybrid vehicle. The automaker aspires to become the world’s leading seller of electric SUVs.

“The BEV’s acceleration is running full throttle,” Meunier said during a briefing with reporters.

It’s a bold plan from a brand that’s seen as lagging behind the rest of the auto industry in terms of electrification. Most major automakers have electric SUVs and trucks in the pipeline, and many have reported this off road and adventure vehicles – which are Jeep’s bread and butter – are top of the list for electrification.

Meanwhile, Jeep has released plug-in hybrid versions of its Cowboy and Grand Cherokee SUV — although the latter was delayed in reaching customers – and plans an off-road version of the Grand Cherokee, the Trailhawk, which also comes with a hybrid engine. The automaker does not currently sell any battery-electric models, although it has published several concepts.

But that will change, starting next year with the European-only Jeep Avenger. It makes sense that the automaker is targeting the European market first; Europe has a more mature electric vehicle charging network than the United States, and electric vehicles are outselling gasoline models in many European countries, including Norway.

jeep avenger

Image: Stellantis

Image: Stellantis

Image: Stellantis

The Jeep Avenger will have a target range of 400 kilometers (248 miles) and slot into the compact SUV market below the Jeep Renegade. Jeep didn’t provide any major details for the Avenger; the compact SUV will be unveiled at the Paris Auto Show on October 17.

But he noted that while it won’t be available in the US, it will go on sale in parts of Asia, including Japan and South Korea. The electric vehicle will go into production at the automaker’s plant in Tychy, Poland.

Jeep reconnaissance

Image: Stellantis

Image: Stellantis

Image: Stellantis

Recon was previously the name given to an option package for the Wrangler and other models that included a lifted-suspension vehicle body to accommodate larger tires. That’s now the name of one of Jeep’s new electric vehicles, which the company says will only be offered as a battery-electric vehicle.

Like the Wrangler, the Recon will be highly customizable, including removable doors and roof panels. Buyers will be able to “see a bit of Wrangler DNA infecting the Recon’s design, and it’s not by accident,” said Jeep design director Ralph Gilles. For example, the Recon will have exposed door hinges like the Wrangler – bucking the trend of sleek, aerodynamic body types for most EVs.

The Recon will be another in a long list of rugged outdoor vehicles with the distinctive “seven-element” grille up front. The electric vehicle will feature Jeep’s Selec-Terrain traction management system, as well as e-locker axle technology, underbody protection, tow hooks and all-terrain tires.

It will also feature the latest generation of Stellantis Uconnect Softwarewhich will include detailed travel guides to notable off-road trails.

The Recon will arrive in North America in 2024, although interested buyers can reserve one from early 2023. Jeep says the electric SUV will be sold in major markets around the world, including Europe.

Jeep Wagoner S

Image: Stellantis

Image: Stellantis

Image: Stellantis

Image: Stellantis

The last EV to be revealed was the Wagoneer S – although that’s just a code name for now. (Gilles said the “S stands for speed, punch and sexy.”) Tying into the premium SUV segment, the Wagoneer S will likely have a really big battery: Jeep says it’s aiming for a range of 400 miles on a single charge, 600 hp, and a 0-60 mph time of around 3.5 seconds.

The Wagoneer S will be unveiled next year, but from the teaser images it looks slightly less imposing than its gas-powered namesake. Gilles said the interior space will be similar to the traditional Wagoneer, but the dimensions will be slightly smaller, with two rows instead of three. The Wagoneer S will also feature an LED grille, a growing trend in the EV market.

Jeep executives didn’t answer any questions about the price of its future EVs, but if the Wrangler 4xe window sticker is any indication, they won’t be cheap. The 2021 Wrangler 4xe Sahara starts at $52,520, the Rubicon at $56,220 and the High Altitude at $58,340.

The automaker has been silent on the price of the Grand Cherokee 4xe, though experts predict it will start at around $60,000. Executives also did not respond to questions about whether the new lineup will be eligible for the new U.S. electric vehicle tax credit, which has strict requirements for assembly and source of materials. battery.

Stellantis recently chose Kokomo, Indiana as the site for its $2.5 billion electric vehicle battery factory. The plant will be built in partnership with South Korea’s Samsung SDI, a leading manufacturer of batteries for electric vehicles.

There will obviously be failures and obstacles; the automaker is already facing delays in rolling out its Grand Cherokee 4xe hybrid, but Meunier said they should reach dealerships now. He also pointed to Jeep’s ties to its parent company, Stellantis, which is the world’s fourth-largest automaker.

“Leveraging the global scale of Stellantis is key,” he said, “because it allows us to leverage all the resources we need while focusing on Jeep DNA and creating the best Jeep we can build today.”

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