No word yet on whether firm will introduce the Wagoneer S in SA

Jeep reveals its first all-electric model

Wagoneer S is sleeker than the typical Jeep design character.
Wagoneer S is sleeker than the typical Jeep design character.
Image: Supplied

American sport-utility vehicle manufacturer Jeep has joined the electric revolution. The brand revealed its first battery electric vehicle (BEV); dubbed Wagoneer S.

Initial roll-out is for its domestic USA market during the second half of the year, in special Launch Edition guise, with other regions set to receive the model later. No word yet on whether Stellantis, parent company of Jeep, will introduce the Wagoneer S in South Africa.

Earlier this year Stellantis gave us a preview of forthcoming products which included the electrified Abarth and Fiat 500 models, which is a good indication that the brand is at least contemplating its electric path for Mzansi.

Visually the newcomer from Jeep has a much sleeker, more aerodynamic appearance than is usually associated with the marque. Of course, that is no coincidence – it needs to be able to cut through the air with less effort, in order to maximise efficiency and range.

According to Jeep, there are various design cues aimed at reducing drag and boosting airflow, such as underbody shields, three-dimensional shaped front tyre spats and a unique side-sill design. The drag coefficient of 0.29, which is the lowest ever for a Jeep and is said to be approximately 15% better than the average SUV.

From the front, it is still instantly recognisable as a Jeep, thanks to the retention of that famed seven-slot grille – which has been reimagined, with an enclosed design and illuminated inserts.

Digitised cockpit blended with traditional luxuries.
Digitised cockpit blended with traditional luxuries.
Image: Supplied

Power and torque outputs from the electric system are impressive: 447kW and 800Nm, facilitating a 0-100km/h sprint time under four seconds.

The model relies on a 100kWh battery pack with fast-charging compatibility that enables a juice-up from 20% to 80% in 23 minutes, plugged into a high-output DC charger.

All-wheel drive is part of the deal, with a system relying on electric modules that power each wheel individually. The front axle power supply decouples in coasting conditions to reduce energy consumption.

The new electric Jeep is expectedly road-biased, with none of the trail-rated bragging rights that the brand bestows upon its traditional off-roaders. But the Selec-Terrain traction management system is still included, with five driving modes, including snow and sand configurations.

On the inside, the model appears to boast all the trappings expected from an upmarket sport-utility vehicle.

Jeep is known for being generous with its cabin amenities and the Wagoneer is fully-loaded; including door-release mechanisms that require gentle thumb contact to initiate. It also packs a 19-speaker, 1,160-watt McIntosh audio system. The steering wheel introduces a new Cabo vinyl anti-microbial surface coating, making it easier to keep the vehicle clean.

Claimed driving range in excess of 480km.
Claimed driving range in excess of 480km.
Image: Supplied

A new black ceramic-coated aluminum with haptic applique has been used on many of the vehicle’s touch points. Featured prominently on the driver control center, the tactile pattern is said to be cool to the touch with a porcelain-like feel.

As you might expect, it is big on screen-time too. Jeep claims as much as 45 inches of high-definition sculpted screen space, including a 10.25-inch front interactive passenger display that talks directly to the main Uconnect 5 system.

The 12.3-inch central display promises new levels of clarity, improved responsiveness and better visibility than previous generations, specifically related to readability of maps, cameras and widgets.

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