The versatile Jeep Wrangler, known for tackling off-road terrain, is about to add another talent to its skill set: plug-in hybrid advocate.
A plug-in version of the rugged SUV is expected to arrive in 2020 alongside a good old-fashioned diesel model — the antithesis of an electrified Wrangler. While the diesel iteration has been demanded by Jeep loyalists, the hybrid could broaden the Wrangler's consumer base and build greater acceptance of electrified powertrains, said Jeremy Acevedo, senior manager of insights for Edmunds.
Acevedo believes "the essence of the brand will remain intact" with a plug-in Wrangler.
"I think it takes something like a Wrangler to take down some of these boundaries. In that way, you can be doing a huge service to the industry overall," Acevedo told Automotive News. "If the Wrangler, arguably the most iconic SUV on the road, can pull off a plug-in hybrid, I think that it does give credibility to this technology having some merit beyond efficiency if it is truly a great off-roader [and] if it does carry that torch well."