Introduced on the current "JL" Wrangler for the 2018 model year, Jeep's eTorque mild hybrid system smooths acceleration, enhances fuel economy, and offers small bursts of torque when necessary off-road. Though it makes an ideal companion to the Wrangler's available 2.0-liter turbo engine, which produces 270 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque when paired, Jeep has scaled back this combination's availability, making it an option only on the Wrangler Sahara trim for the 2020 model year. And starting with the 2021 model, it'll reportedly be gone from the Wrangler entirely.
Citing "dealer connections," Mopar Insiders alleges that for the 2021 model year, the four-cylinder hybrid powertrain will become completely unavailable on the Wrangler, and that its eTorque system will be available only with the 3.6-liter Pentastar V6. The four-cylinder engine itself will reportedly continue to be available alongside the Wrangler's other drivetrain options, which include said V6 in a non-hybridized form—the only engine available with an increasingly rare manual transmission—and the 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V6 borrowed from the Ram 1500.
The supposed discontinuation of the hybrid four-cylinder Wrangler doesn't signify Jeep backing down from electrification. On the contrary, Jeep is expected to introduce plug-in hybrid (PHEV) "4xe" versions of the Compass, Renegade, and Wrangler, which will be capable of traveling short distances on electric power alone. "Electrified"—meaning hybrid or fully electric—versions of every single model in Jeep's portfolio are on the way, so given the Wrangler's close relationship with the Gladiator, it stands to reason that a Gladiator PHEV may at some point follow.
That is, if Jeep can hold on to its market share after Ford confronts it with the promising new 2021 Bronco.
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