Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 4xe (hybrid)

Blind_Io

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@ninjacoco got her hands on one: https://www.thedrive.com/new-cars/4...ew-the-perfect-one-car-garage-for-off-roaders

I'm pretty excited about electrification making it's way to the off road market, although I think this was a fairly conventional approach from Jeep that is targeted more at in-town driving. The biggest drawbacks are likely going to be overall weight and managing battery charge - something that seems to be pretty hands-on in the 4xe. I believe that there's a lot of room for innovation in this segment, especially if a company wants to start with a clean sheet of paper. I think a pure EV isn't going to work well simply because of the stakes of getting out in the bush and going through charge much faster than you anticipated. Jeep's solar powered charging station is an interesting idea, but not practical - anyone who has been to Moab or Colorado knows how many vehicles pass through a trail head on typical day; there's no way that charger is going to keep them all topped up with just a solar panel.

I'd really like to see someone try to change the entire shape of the market - and the vehicles in it. I can imagine a very short hood covering a small ICE range extender, a skateboard of batteries sandwiched under the floor to lower the center of gravity, and independent front and rear electric motors. Hell, let's go nuts and make it a rear under-floor ICE range extender so you don't have to worry about a tunnel for exhaust or plumbing a rear fuel tank up front; balance the weight with batteries, and do four wheel independent motors. No more hood to have to see over, much like a forward-control Land Rover, FC Jeep, or Pinzgauer.

Finally, sell it with a House Battery Harness option that will allow owners to tap into the hybrid batteries for accessories like an on-board water heater, camp lighting, camera charging, etc. and maybe even a rooftop solar with DC to DC charger as another upgrade.

I think the Jeep is a good step in the right direction, I just wish they'd gone bigger with the possibilities. Maybe in the next couple years we will see some creative concepts from Ford, GM, Jeep, and Toyota. So far, I consider the Hummer to be the leader in unconventional thinking.

So Jeep, a message to your design team:

 

GRtak

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If the choice is between this and a Bronco, which would you buy?
 

Blind_Io

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If the choice is between this and a Bronco, which would you buy?
Hard call, the big problem with the Bronco is you can only get the manual with the 4 cyl turbo. The configuration I want is the V6 with the manual transmission - Ford is having major problems with that 10 speed auto and are already looking at a class action about from the Ranger.

Given the choice right now, I will keep the Xterra and hope that this Trailhunter thing from Toyota pans out as a competitor or get a 4Runner.
 
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