Even an off-road-oriented brand such as Jeep can’t be immune to the much-needed electrification push the automotive industry must implement for a cleaner environment. Jeep was fashionably late to the hybrid bandwagon, but it’s making up for lost time with its “4xe” lineup consisting of PHEV models. For the time being, there’s the Renegade 4xe and Compass 4xe in Europe along with the Wrangler 4xe in North America and the Commander / Grand Commander plug-in hybrid in China.
The US-bound 2022 Grand Cherokee 4xe has already been announced, and it seems at least one more electrified Jeep is in the making. Jeep global president Christian Meunier told Australian magazine GoAuto that a Gladiator 4xe is in the pipeline. That shouldn’t come as a surprise seeing as how the pickup is heavily based on the Wrangler, which has already gained a charging port.
When asked whether there will be a Gladiator 4xe, Meunier had a straightforward answer – “for sure.” He went on to say plug-in hybrid powertrains are gradually replacing diesels, which are further impacted by the increasingly stringent emissions regulations. Going hybrid means installing an electric motor, which offers instant torque to compensate for the low-end torque typically appreciated in a conventional diesel engine.
Meunier didn’t go into details about the Gladiator 4xe, but it wouldn’t be far-fetched to assume it will inherit the powertrain from the Wrangler 4xe. The electrified off-roader combines a turbocharged 2.0-liter gasoline engine with a pair of electric motors and a 17-kWh lithium-ion battery pack mounted underneath the rear seats. It offers a healthy combined output of 375 horsepower and 470 pound-feet (637 Newton-meters) of torque.
With more torque than the Wrangler Diesel, the decision to go for the 4xe version becomes a no-brainer, especially since choosing the hybrid brings dividends in terms of fuel efficiency. The Gladiator 4xe should remain faithful to these specifications, which also include up to 25 miles (40 kilometers) of pure electric range for the Wrangler 4xe.
As to when the Gladiator 4xe will be launched, Jeep’s global president didn’t say, but it’s clear the electrified truck is in the works.