Jeep which operates under Fiat Chrysler Automobiles(FCA) has revealed its first electrified SUV – a plug-in hybrid version of the Renegade. The Renegade 4xe is the first of the many electrified models in the pipeline of Jeep including a plug-in hybrid Compass and Wrangler that will also wear the 4xe badge.
The new 4xe models are part of the company’s green initiative as the Italian-American joint venture seeks to become the “greenest, most sustainable SUV company in the world”. The 4xe models will go into production at the FCA Melfi Plant in Basilicata, Italy – the same plant from where the company has been producing the Renegade since 2014.
Powertrain & Performance
Coming to the Renegade 4xe, the SUV will be available in three derivatives- Longitude, Limited and Trailhawk. The Trailhawk is more extreme off-road-oriented, while Limited and Longitude offer a setup more suited to urban driving. In terms of its power source, the electrified Renegade makes use of the 1.3-litre GSE turbo petrol engine with an electric motor located between the rear wheels.
These motors are accompanied by a set of 11.4 kWh batteries that can be recharged while driving or by using an external power outlet: at home with the domestic plug, using the efficient Wallbox, or with a public charge point. Recharging times can vary from an hour and a half to three hours depending on the type of outlet. The combined power output sits in the 190 and the 240 horsepower range, depending on the trim level. In all three, the petrol engine puts out 270Nm of torque, while the electric motor makes a maximum of 250Nm.
The combination of both the internal combustion engine and the electric motor delivers punchy performance and 0-100 kmph is reached in approximately 7.5 seconds, CO2 emissions are lower than 50g/km (NEDC2) and the full electric top speed is claimed to be around 200 kmph. The company adds that the pure electric range of the Renegade 4xe stands around 50 km with speeds of up to 130kmph in ideal conditions.
Enhanced Off-Road Capabilities
However, the highlight of the new electrified Renegade is its improved off-road capability courtesy of the greater torque offered by the combination between the two power sources, thanks to the new hybrid technology. Due to the addition of a new electric all-wheel-drive technology (eAWD), traction to the rear axle is not provided by a propeller shaft but through the dedicated electric motor. This allows the two axles to be separated and control the torque independently in a more effective way than a mechanical system.
Visually, the Renegade 4xe is nearly identical to the standard Renegade. On the outside, the 4xe is distinguished from its conventional petrol and diesel siblings by blue highlights, blue badging and a charging port push cover. At the interior, due to the mounting of the electric motor in the floor pan’s centre tunnel, it takes some space under the rear seat. The fuel tank – also under the rear seat – has been reduced to a capacity of 39 litres. The boot space is also lowered to 330 litres by almost ten per cent on the standard model.
As far as features are concerned, the dashboard boasts of the same 8.4-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Uconnect Nav system, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, and a DAB radio come as standard. The new infotainment system features new tabs such as power flow, driving history, charging times, eSave and the different charge settings. It also gets a new 7-inch TFT colour MID which displays new information such as the battery charge level, range in electric, combustion and combined modes, power percentage and recharge levels.
The new hybrid Jeeps are specially targeted for the EMEA – Europe, Middle East and Africa region but specifically for Europe markets. The Renegade- standard or electric, is highly unlikely to find its way to India. Instead, Jeep is planning to develop a sub-4 metre compact SUV rivalling the likes of Tata Nexon and Hyundai Venue. Jeep is currently focussed on developing the Compass facelift which has been spotted testing on the Indian roads and is scheduled to be launched sometime around next year.