Jeep SUVs are plugging into the future of off-roading, with the introductions of the Compass and Renegade plug-in hybrid models at the Geneva International Motor Show, resplendent in 4x4e hood graphic.
Arguably, the compact SUVs are already more suited to the urban jungle than the forested wilderness, so the addition of electrification will make them even more desirable to cityscape adventurers. Although, Jeep is quick to point out that both will benefit from the added torque of the rear-mounted electric motor and the precision with which it is delivered, which theoretically should improve low-speed off-road performance.
The new crossovers will not have a driveshaft to the rear wheels, which will be fully propelled by the electric motor in a new system Jeep calls eAWD, for electric all-wheel drive. The workings of the system also necessitated the inclusion of new instrument cluster and instrument panel display to better inform drivers of the vehicle’s drive and charge status.
Both feature a battery pack to store electricity generated by the onboard 1.3-litre turbocharged 4-cylinder engine or from a outside source. It will grant either crossover an electric only range of 50 km and a top speed of 130 km/h on electric power.
The combined power outputs have yet to be confirmed but are reported in the 190 hp to 240 hp range, with the Compass at the top end of that range and the Renegade at the lower end. Both models currently top out at 180 hp, thanks to the 2.4-litre 4-cylinder engine.
Acceleration figures are still pending for Compass, but Renegade reportedly gets to 100 km/h in about seven seconds. Fiat Chrysler says Compass figures will be the same.
Figures will be firmed up and equipment levels laid out closer to the time the vehicles come to market, which FCA is putting at sometime in 2020.