Jeep isn't exactly synonymous with eco-friendly cars, but it's bent on changing that reputation. The 4x4 maker has unveiled plug-in hybrid versions of the 2020 Compass (below) and Renegade (above) crossover SUVs. Both meld a 1.3-liter conventional turbo engine with an electric motor to deliver both more power and, of course, a lower environmental footprint. They can pump out up to 240HP when both powerplants are engaged, hitting 62MPH in about 7 seconds, but they can also drive for up to 31 miles solely on electric power. You could commute emissions-free in the city while still having plenty of range and raw grunt for your off-road excursions.
They also take a different approach to all-wheel drive. Like the 2019 Prius, the new Jeeps are using an electric motor for AWD rather than a prop shaft. This lets Jeep control the torque independently at each axle in a more "effective" way than a conventional system.
Jeep hasn't talked about pricing or availability. We'd expect these to be 2020 model year vehicles, and they'll likely carry premiums over their gas-only counterparts. Whatever happens, they'll still be an important part of Fiat Chrysler's plan to electrify its lineup. The automaker vowed more than 30 hybrids and EVs by 2022, and that means introducing variants of models where electric motors simply weren't on the table before.
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