The 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL will spawn the first-ever Jeep model with a hybrid powertrain, Jeep brand boss Mike Manley revealed to Autoblog in a recent interview.
Manley’s words actually aren’t the first we’ve heard from a Fiat Chrysler exec in regards to the Wrangler hybrid. Last summer FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne revealed both diesel and hybrid versions of the Wrangler JL are planned, both of which are to be based on the four-door Wrangler Unlimtied model.
Unlike the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid, which is currently FCA’s only hybrid vehicle, the Wrangler hybrid will be a mild hybrid and won’t be capable of travelling under electric power alone. The electric drive system should aid in fuel economy and also provide extra torque lower in the rev range – two improvements we’re sure Jeep fans won’t be complaining about.
It’s not clear if the Wrangler hybrid will use FCA’s established 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 engine or the 2.0-liter turbocharged engine that is rumored to find its way into the Wrangler JL. We’re willing to bet the V6 will be used seeing as FCA has already developed a hybrid powertrain system utilizing its 3.6-liter engine, but only time will tell.
As for the Wrangler diesel – it could be doomed. FCA’s 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V6 engine is currently the subject of an EPA investigation. The environmental watchdog is accusing FCA of using a cheat device on the engine that would flip it into a less eco-conscious mode in certain driving scenarios. FCA denies the allegations and is looking to have them thrown out.
The Jeep Wrangler hybrid and Jeep Wrangler diesel (if it arrives) aren’t expected to debut until 2021 or beyond.