Essentially, these are two familiar small SUVs with totally new powertrains. They're a big deal considering parent automaker Fiat Chrysler has been pretty slow to adopt electrification across its basket of brands, save for a few areas.
The design is pretty similar, save for some blue badge highlights, as is the interior, but that's alright because there's a lot going on to create both theand 4xe's powertrains. First of all, yes, they are all-wheel drive, and Jeep promises they still have off-road chops. Buyers will have three trim choices in the Limited, S and Trailhawk -- the latter being the most off-road-ready trim.
No matter which trim, there's a 1.3-liter turbo-four engine under the hood that makes 130 horsepower for Limited models and 180 hp for the S and Trailhawk. There are two electric motors onboard to electrify things, however, and with juice from an 11.3 kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery, a total of 190 hp for the Limited or 240 hp for the S and Trailhawk trims is on tap. There's 200 pound-feet of torque regardless of trim.
As for the two electric motors, one lives up front and works with the engine to transform into a generator when needed, and the second lives in the rear to create an e-axle. This motor also handles regenerative braking duties when called upon. Jeep says the battery provides enough juice for 31 miles of electric range, though that's on the older New European Driving Cycle. It's pretty generous with regards to range estimates, so an EPA cycle would likely rate it lower.
Drivers can select how to manage the powertrain via three modes: Hybrid, Electric or E-Save. The first uses both the engine and e-motors to create the most efficient mix possible while driving. Electric keeps things, well, all-electric. E-Save bottles the battery's energy for a later point in time and can either maintain range with the engine, or it can tell the engine to act as a generator to charge it up to 80% full. Drivers can also plug both SUVs in to charge at home or at a charging station, too. For even more customization, the Compass and Renegade 4xe models let drivers choose how intense the regenerative braking system works.
Since all Jeeps are trail-rated, the typical slew of off-road functions remains. Four Selec-Train modes are available (one additional mode for Trailhawk models) and a 4WD lock and 4WD low are selectable. The two should be pretty grunty off the beaten path with plenty of instant torque from the e-motors.
We'll likely learn more about the two electrified Jeeps and their US versions very soon. The brand already showed both the Compass 4xe and Renegade 4xe at CES 2020 back in January, so we know they're coming. There's also a 4xe on the way, too. We tried to nab a little information on the upcoming plug-in Jeeps for the US, but the brand declined to comment.