Jeep’s take on the plug-in hybrid guarantees a sustainable vehicle with no loss to its off-road cred
After wowing enthusiasts with the Wrangler 4xe, Jeep has unveiled the Renegade 4xe, touted as the most fuel-efficient Jeep SUV ever, with the new 4xe tech offering zero tailpipe emissions in full electric mode and CO2 emissions lower than 50g/km in hybrid mode. That said, the Jeep Renegade 4xe remains true to its all-terrain vocation. The increased torque generated by the electric motor ensures unaffected four-wheel-drive capability on any terrain, for extreme off-road adventures.
The Jeep Renegade 4xe is built at the FCA Melfi Plant in Basilicata (Italy), where the Jeep Renegade has been in production since 2014. The development process, however, culminated at the Arjeplog Proving Grounds in Swedish Lapland. Up to 3800km of road tests were clocked up to put the Jeep Renegade 4xe through its paces in all conditions that customers might need to tackle.
At the same time, it is ideal for everyday driving in the city, thanks to the plug-in hybrid system allowing it to travel with zero tailpipe emissions for a range of up to 42km in electric-only mode. On longer jaunts, combined with the internal combustion engine, CO2 emissions are less than 50g/km in hybrid mode. In case of extended off-road driving, two electric motors featuring Powerloop ensure the eAWD traction (electric all-wheel drive, which does not depend on a prop shaft from the front axle) is always available.
The new Jeep Renegade 4xe stands out from its internal combustion engine (ICE) counterparts thanks to the striking blue Jeep, Renegade and 4xe badges. An additional push cover on the vehicle’s left side, towards the rear, covers the charging port and is unique to the 4xe model.
Where the magic happens
The Jeep Renegade 4XE pairs a 1.3-litre turbo-petrol engine making 128bhp (Longitude and Limited variants) or 178bhp (Trailhawk variant) with a 59bhp electric motor located ahead of the rear axle for a combined output of 187 or 237bhp (depending on the trim) and a massive 520Nm.
The combination of an internal combustion engine and the electric units means a 0 to 100kmph time of around 7.5 seconds and a top speed of 130kmph in full electric and up to 200kmph in hybrid mode. And, the 11.4 kWh 400 Volt lithium-ion Nickel-manganese-cobalt battery pack can be recharged while driving or through an external power outlet with a domestic plug and the cable supplied, or from a public charge point using the specific cable. To optimise charging times and to offer an additional, convenient home solution, the easy Wallbox is available, which is connected to a normal domestic outlet and allows safe charging.
This system was developed by Engie EPS exclusively for FCA and is marketed by Mopar in Europe. It is a simple plug and play solution that can be managed easily via Bluetooth, allowing the Renegade 4xe to recharge at home with up to 2.3 kW of charging power in less than five hours, with no need for professional installation.
The Renegade 4xe also feature a new six-speed automatic transmission selector, updated Selec-Terrain rotary control with eAWD modes (4WD Lock, 4WD Low, Hill Descent Control) to engage the different driving modes – Auto (for daily driving within the city), Snow, Mud & Sand, and Rock – and the new Sport mode for enhanced throttle response, and slick gearshifts and steering.
Inside the cabin
As is the current norm, there’s a TFT colour display (7 inches, in this case), and Uconnect NAV with 8.4-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and DAB radio are offered as standard. Black accents adorn the air vents, speakers, and centre console bezels on the Longitude and Limited trims, while the Trailhawk trim sports Ruby red accents.
The Jeep Renegade 4xe comes with a suite of advanced ADAS systems including high-visibility full LED headlights, Forward Collision Warning and Lane Departure Warning Plus, Intelligent Speed Assist and Traffic Sign Recognition and front and rear parking sensors. Jeep Renegade 4xe also features the new Drowsy Driver Detection system, offered for the first time in a Jeep model. Additional safety features include Blind Spot Detection, ParkView rear backup camera with dynamic grid lines, automatic Park Assist and Keyless Go can also be specified.
The Jeep Renegade 4xe goes on sale in the UK shortly. However, since the conventional ICE-equipped Renegade hasn’t made its way here, the chances of the Renegade 4xe coming to our shores is almost non-existent. Nevertheless, seeing the attention an off-road focussed brand like Jeep taking is taking into refining its products from the Wrangler, to the Compass and now the Renegade, for the electrified future means it is simultaneously thumbing its nose at the naysayers who scoff at electrification.
EVs are here to stay, folks, get used to it!