“Hybrid” and “off-road” are two words that don’t normally go together. Here in Los Angeles, Jeep is bucking that trend and will introduce a plug-in hybrid version of the iconic in 2020.
The powertrain joins the hotly anticipated 3.0-liter EcoDiesel engine that will appear in 2019, as well as the new 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbocharged engine that will be available when the Wrangler goes on sale in January. Purists need not fear, as the endlessly proven 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 engine is standard across all models.
We don’t know much about the plug-in hybrid, but we assume it will be influenced by the drivetrain in the Pacifica, which is good for 33 miles of electric driving on a full charge from a 16 kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack. That battery is paired with a 3.6-liter V6 and returned 32 miles per gallon overall in the Pacifica when we. When you take into account that the 2018 Wrangler with the same 3.6-liter V6 gets an EPA-rated 20 miles per gallon combined, it’s easy to see why a plug-in hybrid powertrain makes a bit of sense.
Whether off-road drivers will accept a hybrid Jeep remains to be seen. Still, the times, they are a-changing and some compromises must be made if Wrangler owners want to keep, you know, buying Wranglers in the future.