Jeep puts electrification front and center at Easter Jeep Safari

Jeep puts electrification front and center at Easter Jeep Safari

Jeep puts electrification front and center at Easter Jeep Safari

When the Stellantis Jeep brand descended on Moab, Utah this week for its annual off-road and concept roadshow, electrification dominated the road.

The automaker this week showcased seven concepts – four of which are electrified – from the Jeep brand and Jeep Performance Parts (JPP) from Mopar ahead of the Easter Jeep Safari, an annual multi-day event hosted by Moab’s Red Rock 4-Wheelers . Jeep is not the organizer of the Easter Jeep Safari. However, the company uses the annual gathering to showcase a handful of concept vehicles to give the world (and the media) an idea of ​​what might be coming. TechCrunch was on hand to test them all in a controlled off-road environment.

While the concept vehicles came with a range of powertrains, it was hard to ignore the variety of plug-in hybrid and battery-electric configurations. (Although it was also hard to miss the Jeep Scrambler 392 concept equipped with a 6.4-liter HEMI V-8 engine inspired by the 1981 Jeep Scrambler (CJ-8), the brand’s first compact and convertible truck .)

Magneto 3.0

Jeep Wrangler Magneto 3.0 Concept Image credits: Jeep

The main electric star was the Magneto 3.0, the third version of a battery electric vehicle concept developed by the Jeep brand.

As a reminder, the Magneto 2.0, presented last year, was equipped with an electrical architecture of 800 volts and four packs of lithium-ion batteries – for a total of 70 kWh – located in the middle and at the rear to distribute the weight. An axial-flux electric motor, along with a race car-derived inverter that converts direct current to alternating current in the new motor, ran up to 5,250 rpm. The most remarkable feature in the Jeep Wrangler Magneto 2.0 concept was a six-speed manual transmission and a propulsion system capable of maintaining a peak amperage of 600 A for 10 seconds. The end result was a system capable of delivering 850 pound-feet (1,152 Nm) of torque to the wheels and going from 0 to 60 miles per hour in two seconds.

Jeep is making a number of improvements to the Magneto 3.0, including adding a more efficient motor that increases torque output. Above all, this manual transmission remains in this third version.

The Magneto 3.0 also has three new driver settings and the developers have tweaked the vehicle software to increase usable energy and range by 20%.

Drivers can choose between two power settings in the Magneto 3.0. The standard setting provides 285 horsepower and 273 lb-ft of torque or a maximum setting for 650 horsepower and 900 lb-ft. of torque. There is also a two-stage power function that allows drivers to enhance or decrease brake regeneration using the electric motor. Jeep has also added an Aggressive Descent Mode that can be selected in low range to provide “one-pedal” off-roading in serious crawling situations.

Jeep Wrangler Magneto 3.0 Concept EV

Picture credits: Jeep

Jeep designers also tweaked the proportions of the vehicle a bit as well as the exterior and interior touches.

The door opening is now moved back an additional six inches, and the B-pillar also moves rearward a bit to make room for a custom anti-roll bar. The windshield has been adjusted about 12 degrees to give a chopped roof feel without shortening the front glass, according to Jeep.

On the outside, designers stuck with the white and surf blue paint scheme and added more zip red accents. Inside, the color theme continues with blue and xxx leather trimmed front seats with red stitching to match the exterior.

To complete the look, the Jeep team gave the concept Dynatrac 60 front axles, Dynatrac 80 rear axles, 20-inch all-terrain beadlock wheels, 40-inch all-terrain tires and a custom 3-inch lift. .

Plug-in hybrid concepts

Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 4xe starter concept

image credit: Jeep

Jeep also showed three other electrified concepts – all plug-in hybrids under the 4xe label which has become a popular seller for the brand.

The company has developed a stunning chromatic magenta Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 4xe concept, a Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 4xe Departure concept that experiments with spare tire and tire carrier placement to push the limits of departure angles, and a Jeep Cherokee 4xe resto-modified. concept that pays homage to the 1978 two-door Jeep Cherokee SJ.

1978 Jeep Cherokee 4xe Concept

1978 Jeep Cherokee 4xe Concept image credit: Jeep

While all of these are concept items, there are some elements that will likely make it the floor of the showroom. Do we think a resto-modified SJ will hit the market? No.

But looking under the hood, so to speak, the ’78 Jeep Cherokee 4xe concept contains features that will — and do — exist. The powertrain combines two electric motors, a battery and a 2.0-liter turbocharged I-4 engine. That, combined with an eight-speed automatic transmission, mated to a 4:1 transfer case, offers plenty of power for on-road and off-road travel.

The same goes for the other 4xe concepts, which contain a number of elements that are available today or will be available soon. For example, look past the special paint and gloss black accents of the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 4xe concept and you’ll notice a seven-slot grille borrowed from the new Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 20.e Anniversary model.

Those tricked-out paint jobs and boundary-pushing exterior designs might not hit the market next year. But based on what Jeep is showing at Easter Jeep Safari 2023, there’s no doubt the brand will continue to put electrification at the center of its roadmap.


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