Jeep missed the first electrification train.
But the iconic brand is determined to grab the next one. To achieve this, the off-road vehicle manufacturer knows it has to make a lot of noise.
Its main rivals have occupied the headlines for several months. More importantly, they have managed to establish themselves in the conversations of consumers who are wondering if their next vehicle purchase should be an electric vehicle.
For those who have decided, they have, for the moment, opted for Ford (F) – Get Ford Motor Company report, which should soon start production of the F-150 Lightning electric pickup, the ecological version of the best-selling F-150. The F-150 Lightning order book is already full.
Consumers can also refer to GM (GM) – Get General Motors company report GMC Hummer electric pickup or the next electric version of the Chevy Silverado.
The same consumers also have the choice of the R1T electric pickup from the young electric manufacturer Rivian (SHORE) – Get the Class A report from Rivian Automotive, Inc.whose biggest support is Amazon (AMZN) – Get the report from Amazon.com, Inc.. The e-commerce giant is both a shareholder of Rivian and has placed a huge order for vehicles.
Finally there is Tesla (TSLA) – Get the Tesla Inc report and his very futuristic Cybertruck. Elon Musk has just announced that Tesla will start production of the truck, which poses a real threat to incumbent manufacturers in the off-road segment.
Aware that the competition will be fierce, Jeep, whose parent company is Stellantis (STLA) – Get the Stellantis NV reportex-Fiat Chrysler, has just made announcements aimed at putting it in front of consumers who love and want electric vehicles.
Every year around Easter, Jeep hosts an event in the Moab desert, the Moab Easter Safari.
This is an opportunity for the American manufacturer to honor its models and its customers while rewarding them with extreme concept cars. This year will be no exception to the rule, with six concepts and a 2.0 version of its 100% electric Wrangler Magneto.
In 2021, Jeep unveiled a concept called Magneto, which is 100% electric and based on the three-door Wrangler convertible.
Jeep does it again, with a 2.0 iteration of Magneto in 2022. Compared to the initial concept, the look does not change but the performance takes a leap forward.
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The idea is the same: a six-speed manual gearbox, electric theme and blue / white. The Wrangler Magneto takes things up a notch this year to deliver the kind of performance that forces drivers to “buckle up and grab with both hands,” as Jeep puts it.
A 625 horsepower electric Wrangler
It retains its battery pack, divided into four elements for better weight distribution, and an unchanged capacity of 70 kWh.
That pushes its output to 625 horsepower and torque to 850 lb-ft. That’s more than triple what it was last year.
The new settings hold maximum amperage for 10 seconds and the result is 0-60 mph (97 km/h) acceleration in two seconds, according to the company.
The Rock-Trac four-wheel-drive system comes from the Wrangler Rubicon, the wheelbase is stretched 12 inches, the suspension is raised three inches, and 40-inch all-terrain tires are included under the carbon fiber fenders.
Note that the hood incorporates a transparent blue panel that reveals the engine underneath.
“The Jeep Wrangler Magneto 2.0 is amplified – literally – creating a terrain dominating off-roader that takes you far, far off the beaten path,” the company said in a press release.
Jeep clarified that the Magneto 2.0 is only in the laboratory, and that the future electric Wrangler, even if it takes up a few elements here and there, will be completely different.
Last month, Jeep revealed plans to sell its first full-battery electric vehicle in early 2023. The automaker will also market an off-road SUV from early 2024.
Jeep did not provide any details about these vehicles.
The news comes as Jeep announced it would stop selling combustion engines. It aims to position the brand on a virtuous environmental trajectory. However, thermal engines remain on the program in the hybrid versions.