Like many, if not all, manufacturers, Jeep’s future is electrified. But that’s no reason to wipe the slate clean. Indeed, the American brand has just presented a new version of its Wrangler, a version that makes the link between the past, the present and perhaps even the future of the manufacturer.
Although aesthetically its style has constantly evolved over time, it has never really strayed from the iconic Willys employed by the United States Army during World War II.
To celebrate this bond, Jeep has just introduced the special Willys version of its Wrangler, a version that will only be available in the United States and only on the 4xe plug-in hybrid version from the end of 2022.
Follow all the news on the Detroit Motor Show
Ready for adventure
The Willys version is clearly recognizable thanks to a sticker affixed to the hood (combining black and blue, the color that identifies the 4xe hybrid models at Jeep) and the black grille with the characteristic seven slots. The bumpers and wheel arches are anthracite and the 17-inch black rims are shod with LT 255/75 R17C all-terrain tires.
At the rear, we find the ubiquitous spare wheel and the inscription “Electric 4-Wheel Drive”, which refers to the powertrain hidden under the hood.
On board, the Jeep Wrangler Willys 4xe is equipped with a UConnect 4C NAV infotainment system with an 8.4-inch screen, black leather seats and specific rubber floor mats.
Hybrid, but still all-terrain at heart
The Wrangler 4xe combines a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo engine and a rear-mounted electric motor for a combined output of 380 hp and 637 Nm.
The 17 kWh battery is located under the rear seats and is protected from weather and dust. Although the Wrangler is sold exclusively as a hybrid now (at least in Europe), it hasn’t given up its off-road spirit yet.
Overall, we find everything that made the success of the Wrangler in terms of crossing, starting with its chassis with side members and its permanent all-wheel drive, with close ratios and lockable front and rear differentials.
The immediate torque sent by the electric motor even makes it easier to overcome certain obstacles, while the Hill-Ascent and Hill-Descent functions allow the driver to negotiate the steepest climbs and descents without any problem.
The Willys version is also fitted with blue underbody guards and tow hooks. Its high ground clearance of 33 cm allows it to cross watercourses with a maximum height of 76 cm. Also, like all Wranglers, this special finish can be customized with any accessory in the Mopar range.