Everyone’s going with turbochargers these days, Fiat Chrysler being no exception after it recently announced the Pentastar V-6 would be paired up with a snail shell for increased power and improved fuel economy. Because of that development, it really should be little surprise that there is a strong possibility the Jeep Wrangler will be available with a forced induction setup.
Taking things a step further is a report from Auto Express that the next generation of the Jeep Wrangler will offer a hybrid powertrain as an option. Such news likely has the Jeep faithful in a fit of rage, because slapping even one electric motor in the beloved Wrangler is an inexcusable act of blasphemy, like offering the vehicle with air conditioning or heated leather seats.
During an interview with Auto Express, Mike Manley, the CEO of Jeep, simply said there was a “potential” for a hybrid version of the Wrangler. Lest you think such a move would be made only to satisfy CAFE fuel economy requirements, Manley stated that a hybrid powertrain could be ideal for off-roading. Why? Instantaneously available low-end torque would come in handy when slowly traversing over particularly rough terrain.
Hybrid powertrains have been proven to be useful in vehicles other than the Toyota Prius. For example, they have been used quite effectively in supercars made by Ferrari, McLaren and Porsche, demonstrating that they can even make a vehicle more enjoyable to drive.
Reportedly, there are other ideas being worked over to make the Jeep Wrangler more efficient, because increasing government fuel economy standards is a point of concern. One is the possibility of a turbo engine, while others involve using lightweight materials such as high-strength steel, aluminum and even carbon fiber. Despite rumors about the solid axles going away, it seems highly unlikely Jeep would change that.
Everyone will have to wait until 2017 or so to see the new Wrangler, so speculation will likely continue to run high.