The automaker plans to launch a plug-in hybrid powertrain version in 2020, the division of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles said Wednesday at the Los Angeles Auto Show.
The plug-in Wrangler will feature a range-extending engine. No specifications were provided by the company.
“We have to make sure that the Wrangler has a long and healthy future,” Jeep head Mike Manley told Trucks.com.
To do that, Jeep needs to look ahead to future regulations that will govern fuel economy and CO2 emissions standards, Manley said. The brand will also need to remain competitive in the process.
“Electrification is therefore naturally part of the future lineup for Wrangler,” he said.
Jeep had previously announced that the new 2018 Wrangler will be available with a mild hybrid system called eTorque. It allows the turbocharged four-cylinder engine to shut down as the vehicle coasts to a stop. It can store energy through regenerative braking and use it to start the vehicle under electric power.
The eTorque system debuts a new 48-volt battery for FCA.
The plug-in hybrid powertrain will require an entirely different system. No vehicle as rugged as a Jeep Wrangler combines plug-in capability with a range extender. The most notable adopters include the Chevrolet Volt and BMW i3 sedans.