Who: America’s famous off-road brand
What: Jeep Recon, Avenger and Wagoneer S EVs
When: From 2023
Why: Because even off-roading needs to get greener
Jeep is renowned for its rugged off-roaders, but soon the brand could also be known for its electric vehicles. That’s the plan for the American brand, which has revealed the first look and details of its first all-electric models – the all-new Avenger, Recon and the Wagoneer S.
Now under the leadership of multinational conglomerate Stellantis, Jeep is forging ahead with a plan to introduce a range of all-electric models in both the US and Europe. It’s part of the transition from 4×4 to 4xe – its branding for both fully electric and hybrid models.
This new plan has set a target for half of all Jeep sales in the US to be all-electric by 2030 and 100 per cent in Europe by the same time.
There’s no official word on what the new plan means for Australia yet, but given the wide-reaching nature of the plan it seems inevitable several 4xe models will make it to Australia by the end of the decade.
Jeep brand CEO, Christian Meunier, made it clear that electrification under the 4xe banner is the future of the American off-road firm.
“Driven by the success of our electrified 4xe portfolio in North America and Europe, we are designing and developing the most capable and sustainable Jeep SUVs to date, on our path to becoming the leading zero-emission SUV brand in the world,” Meunier said. “This is a forward-thinking strategy to help ensure millions of Jeep fans around the world continue to have a planet to explore, embrace and protect. Electrification is great for our brand, making it even more capable, exciting, sustainable and fun.”
To show how serious it is about this new future, Jeep announced details of not one but three all-electric 4xe models – the Recon, Wagoneer S and Avenger. Here’s what Jeep had to say about each.
Perhaps the most likely contender for an Australian launch in the near-future, the Avenger will be a sub-compact all-electric SUV aimed at the European market. While focused on Europe and built in Poland, crucially, Jeep confirmed this new model will also be introduced in “other markets” including Japan – which is right-hand drive like Australia.
Jeep showed off several images of the new car but is keeping any technical details under wraps until its formal unveiling at the Paris Motor Show in October.
“This modern, fun and emotional SUV will appeal to a growing set of customers who are looking for a capable, compact, modern and all-electric Jeep brand alternative to the current players,” said Antonella Bruno, head of Jeep Europe.
While Europe gets the Avenger, the US will be offered the Recon. This is an all-new model in the Jeep range and will only be offered with an electric powertrain.
Despite this major change it will stay true to Jeep’s roots with trademark features including four-wheel drive, “e-locker axle technology”, underbody protection and removable doors.
The Recon is set to go on sale in North America in 2024 with other markets to follow, including Europe. This could open the door for right-hand drive production for the UK, thus making it an option for Jeep Australia eventually.
The final member of this new 4xe trio is an electric version of the company’s Range Rover rivalling flagship, the Wagoneer. Codenamed the Wagoneer S for now, this new full-size SUV will enter showrooms by 2024. Based on the preview images released, it appears like this new addition to the Wagoneer family could be a slightly smaller and sleeker design that would more directly target the new Range Rover Sport.
Jeep has also teased what we can expect performance-wise, with a targeted range of more than 600km, 447kW of power and a 0-60mph (0-96km/h) time of just 3.5 seconds.
“We’ll delight our customers with a premium, highly efficient SUV that is loaded with technology and high quality craftsmanship, offering 4×4 capability, high performance, rapid acceleration and a target range of 400 miles on a single charge,” said Meunier.