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Jeep details revised Wrangler line-up and 4xe

Jeep lowers Wrangler entry price by $7500 with addition of new Sport S

4 Sep 2020

 

JEEP Australia has given its local Wrangler line-up a serious overhaul for the 2021 model year, one that drops diesel power from the range completely as well as ushers in a few new nameplates to bring the rugged off-roader more into line with the rest of the brand’s offerings.

 

Down from six variants to five, the MY21 Wrangler range will be kicked off by the $51,950 (plus on-roads) two-door Sport S, slashing a not unnoticeable $7500 off the Wrangler’s entry-price.

 

Powered by the same 206kW/347Nm 3.6-litre V6 petrol engine as the rest of the range, the Sport S defies its more affordable price point – in relation to the MY20 range – by coming as standard with LED exterior lighting, keyless entry, fourth-generation UConnect 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, automatic headlamps, push-button start, 7.0-inch ‘driver information display cluster’ and dual-zone climate control as well as all the usual Wrangler off-road bits.

 

These include heavy-duty Dana front and rear axles, underbody skid plates, wash-out interior, Selectable Tyre Fill Alert (STFA) system, Selec-Speed Control and a low range transfer case.

 

Standard safety gear meanwhile consists of forward collision warning plus, adaptive cruise control with stop, blind spot monitor and rear cross path detection, all of which is shared with the rest of the range.

 

Slotting in as the new entry-level four-door Wrangler meanwhile is the Unlimited Night Eagle which brandishes all of the now familiar darkened trim associated with the Night Eagle nameplate.

 

Priced from $60,950, the Night Eagle undercuts the now mid-spec Overland by an even $5000, with the Overland itself seeing a price increase of $2000 (now $65,950).

 

Standard kit on the Night Eagle largely mirrors that of the Sport S but with a few extra additions including darkened interior and exterior trim, a bigger 8.4-inch infotainment system, nine-speaker Alpine premium audio system with subwoofer, deep tint windows and remote starting system.

 

The higher-spec Overland naturally steps things up with leather upholstery, heated front seats and steering wheel, Trail Rail Cargo Management System and 18-inch alloy wheels as well as body coloured fenders, chrome mirrors and grille trim and Three-Piece Freedom Hard Top.

 

The big news here however is the addition of the optional ‘Sky One-Touch Powertop’ power sliding roof.

 

Operable at up to 96km/h, the full-length open canvas roof can be retracted in “less than 20 seconds” with the whole thing controlled via a single button.

 

At the top of the range, the Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon has risen in price by $2000 to now cost $67,450.

 

In exchange for the extra outlay, Jeep has fitted its flagship off-roader with a new Off-Road+ drive mode which automatically engages Sand mode when in 4x4 high and Rock mode when in 4x4 low.

 

Jeep says the new drive mode takes a lot of the “guesswork out of 4x4 driving”, something which is helped further by the new availability of the Gladiator’s ‘Forward Facing TrailCam’ as an optional extra.

 

The other notable change to the line-up is the axing of the Unlimited Rubicon Diesel – the range’s only diesel offering.

 

Coincidentally, the move came just two days before FCA debuted and detailed the new Wrangler 4xe hybrid.

 

Despite the obvious parallels in timing, Jeep Australia would neither confirm nor deny the possibility of the Wrangler 4xe heading Down Under with managing director Kevin Flynn reiterating the brand was “monitoring the take up of electrification in Australia” and that it was excited about the “technical developments” being made.

 

“We will be ready to launch our PHEV strategy as soon as consumer appetite, regulations and infrastructure suggests the time is right,” he said.

 

Unlike the recently debuted Renegade and Compass 4xe twins, the hybrid Wrangler is powered by a bigger turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine paired with two electric motors (one on each axle) which are fed by a 400-volt, 17kWh lithium-ion, nickel manganese cobalt battery pack.

 

For reference, the Renegade and Compass twins rely on a smaller 1.3-litre turbo mill paired to with two electric motors and an 11.4kWh lithium-ion battery.

 

Whereas the compact twins generate up to 179kW of power, the Wrangler 4xe ups the ante and develops a much more potent 280kW and 637Nm of torque.

 

Jeep is claiming a combined fuel economy figure of around 4.7 litres per 100km and an all-electric driving range of up to 40km.

 

Just like the traditionally powered Wranglers, gear shifting duties in the 4xe come courtesy of an eight-speed automatic.

 

According to Jeep global president Christian Meunier, the brand is committed to becoming the greenest SUV brand in the world.

 

“Our Jeep 4xe vehicles will be the most efficient, responsible and capable that the brand has ever created,” he said.

 

“The electrification of the Jeep line-up will allow commuters to travel solely on electric power, delivering an efficient and fun on-road experience and offering an ability to enjoy even more Jeep capability off-road in nearly complete silence.”

 

So far this year ending August, Jeep Australia has sold 740 Wranglers, accounting for a slim 1.3 per cent of the sub-$70,000 large SUV segment.

 

This figure actually represents a sales increase of 2.5 per cent year-on-year with the Wrangler being one of the few models in the segment to experience sales growth rather than decline as the Covid-19 pandemic continues to cripple the industry.

 

2020 Jeep Wrangler pricing*

Sport S (a) $51,950
Overland (a) $61,450
Unlimited Night Eagle (a) $60,950
Unlimited Overland (a) $65,950
Unlimited Rubicon (a) $67,450

*Excludes on-road costs


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