During Thursday's Jeep 4xe Day event, the SUV brand outlined its plans to over the next few years. That means new plug-in hybrid models for its existing portfolio, but the highlight of the event was the announcement of two new fully electric SUVs coming in 2024: the speedy and this boxy beauty, the all-new Jeep Recon, which is essentially an all-electric Wrangler, but not quite.
The Wrangler 4xe is "by far the No. 1 selling PHEV in America," according to Christian Meunier, CEO for the Jeep brand. On one hand, there's not much serious competition in that segment, with many automakers leapfrogging straight to full EVs. But on the other hand, it proves that Wrangler customers have an appetite for electrification and that a fully electric, off-road-capable SUV is the next logical step. Rather than slap a bigger battery in the current Wrangler 4xe, Jeep went back to the drawing board for the new Recon.
According to Stellantis' chief design officer, Ralph Gilles, the EV was penned in the same design studio as the Wrangler and is similar in size and proportion. However, its packaging is a bit different, being built on thethat also underpins the Wagoneer S. The Recon inherits the Wrangler's large tires, long-travel suspension and extreme approach, departure and breakover angles, as well as the signature two-box silhouette.
However, the Recon's design features a lower beltline -- likely necessitated by the flat, underfloor battery pack -- and less pronounced fenders. Between the massaged proportions and upright roof and windshield, the Recon boasts the most greenhouse glass the brand has ever used in a vehicle, according to Gilles. If that's not enough of an airy cabin feel, the SUV also features a one-touch power-sliding roof and Wrangler-esque removable doors with exposed hinges.
Without an engine up front, the designers were able to make room under the hood for a frunk storage space for gear and luggage. The front end also features bright blue tow hooks -- like those of other 4xe models -- and a very different take on Jeep's seven-slat grille with LED illumination around each rectangular element, and square, rather than circular, headlamp signatures. Meanwhile, thein the dashboard features detailed travel guides for the most notable off-road trails.
Jeep tells us that the Recon will be a "true Jeep" with the high level of off-road capability expected from the brand thanks to Selec-Terrain traction management and electronically locking axles. However, the automaker is tight-lipped about most other specifics regarding the electric powertrain, saving those details until closer to launch. We don't know if it'll be powered by one motor or two, what size battery will be offered or how much range it'll have per charge.
"The all-new, all-electric Jeep Recon has the capability to cross the mighty Rubicon Trail, one of the most challenging off-road trails in the US, and reach the end of the trail with enough range to drive back to town and recharge," according to Meunier. So more than 22 miles of range, we guess.
Jeep executives also stressed that the Wrangler is and will continue to be the brand's alpha off-roader and that the Recon is not meant to replace its most iconic model. "To make it clear," Meunier reiterated, "the Wrangler stays the Wrangler, the icon of the brand. That's very clear. The best of the best of the best is the Wrangler; it's the most capable."
Along with the Wagoneer S, the Jeep Recon will be one of the first two all-new electric SUVs that will launch in North America with reservations opening in 2023 and the first deliveries expected in 2024. Pricing, like range, will be announced closer to launch. Both SUVs will be built in the US, which should make them eligible for the. By 2025, Jeep will add another yet-unannounced fully electric model to its North American lineup, and will also sell the abroad.