Jeep has a winner in the 2021 Wrangler 4xe! This year, the eTorque technology took another step forward with the 400V plug-in hybrid system paired with the 2.0L twin-scroll turbocharged 4-cyl., which Jeep was named as the first honoree in the 2021 Wards 10 Best Engines & Propulsion Systems list. Honorees are revealed, in random, non-alphabetical order, with winner profiles posting daily until Sept. 24.
“I think this is the superior Wrangler, given I’ve never liked how gruff most Wranglers sound,” says judge Christie Schweinsberg, who appreciates the greatly enhanced observed fuel economy, which could resonate in this market.
The 4xe has a 17-kWh battery pack that works in tandem with the gasoline engine to produce 375 hp and 470 lb.-ft. (637 Nm) of torque with a range of up to 21 miles (34 km) in all-electric mode.
There’s a 44-hp engine-mounted motor generator and a 134-hp transmission-mounted motor generator integrated within the ZF 8-speed automatic. The EPA rates the Wrangler 4xe at 50 mpg-e, and it can sprint to 60 mph (97 km/h) in 6 seconds – truly fast for a Wrangler.
WardsAuto judges test-drove 39 vehicles with all-new or significantly improved powertrains, available in the U.S. Of those nominees, 18 are full hybrids or battery-electric. For the first time, and going forward, WardsAuto has eliminated its price cap, which last year was US$65,000, saying that even though that had risen from its original cap, it “failed to encompass some of the industry’s latest innovations.” However, the editors added that it isn’t expected to tilt the award toward exotics, as the goal is still to recognize “great powertrains” in “mainstream, affordable vehicles.”
A History of Winning
This is the 11th consecutive time a Stellantis product has made the list of Wards 10 Best Engines and Propulsion Systems. In the 28-year history of the award, 10 engines/systems produced by Stellantis and its predecessor companies have accounted for 21 winners, including (engine/latest vehicles tested/years listed) in reverse chronological order:
- 2.0-liter I-4 plug-in hybrid (Jeep Wrangler 4xe): 2021
- 3.6-liter Pentastar Upgrade with eTorque (Ram 1500): 2019-2020
- 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 hybrid (Chrysler Pacifica): 2017-2018
- 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V-6 (Ram 1500):2014-2016
- 6.2-liter Hellcat supercharged HEMI® V-8 (Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat): 2015
- 83-kW electric motor (Fiat 500e): 2014
- 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 (Dodge Avenger, Chrysler 300S, Ram 1500): 2011-2013
- 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 (Dodge Charger R/T, Chrysler 300C, Dodge Challenger R/T, Ram 1500): 2003-2007, 2009
- 5.9-liter Cummins turbodiesel I-6 (Ram HD): 2004
- 4.7-liter SOHC V-8 (Jeep® Grand Cherokee): 1999
Automakers representing the 39 nominees are Acura, Audi, BMW, Chevrolet, Ford, Genesis, Honda, Hyundai, Infiniti, Jeep, Land Rover, Lexus, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, Polestar, Porsche, Ram, Toyota, Volkswagen, and Volvo. Ten of the vehicles eligible for the 2021 award were named to the 10 Best list for 2020.
The full article can be found here.