Off Road Capable with 31-Mile Electric Driving Range
Last October, Fiat Chrysler Automotive (FCA) stated that the Jeep Renegade plug-in hybrid (PHEV) would arrive in early 2020. In proof of that statement, Jeep unveiled a plug-in version of the Renegade on Tuesday at the Geneva Motor Show plus a surprise; a Jeep Compass PHEV.
Both models will employ the same powertrain set up and a new all-wheel drive technology that Jeep calls eAWD. The system combines a turbocharged 1.3-liter gasoline engine with the electric motor for a total output of 240 horsepower. Combined, Jeep claims, they provide enough output to scoot the Renegade to 60 mph in less than seven seconds. The numbers also apply to the Compass PHEV, which is still pending certification. Emissions are claimed to be lower than 50 grams/kilometer by EU measuring standards, well below the proposed 2021 EU target of 95 g/km.
Thanks to a dedicated rear motor that powers the rear wheels, a traditional prop shaft is not required. The PHEV Jeeps are not the first vehicle to employ this setup—various Toyotas also use this technology—and Jeep notes that it allows for more accurate proportioning of the torque split for more control. Combined with the constant torque properties of an electric motor, it provides more precision and control for maneuvering in rugged terrain, where a very low transmission ratio is needed.
When fully charged, the battery has enough electrons to provide 31 miles of electric-only driving range based on the European drive cycle and an electric-only top speed of 81 mph for both the Renegade and the Compass. Both Jeep SUVs feature batteries that can be recharged by the internal combustion engine or by the charging cable plug-in.
Inside, the major change is a dedicated instrument cluster and infotainment screen, updated in order to help the customer with information related to daily PHEV driving.
While the two Jeeps are destined for Europe, Pietro Gorlier, FCA’s European chief, told trade publication Automotive News that the Renegade and Compass plug-in hybrids could be exported to the U.S. if there is sufficient demand. Our response to that is, you won’t know what the response in the U.S. is unless you bring them here, but given a Jeep Wrangler PHEV is planned for the U.S., the answer should be forthcoming next year.