Today, the Jeep brand is taking major evolutionary step towards respecting the environment and reducing the total cost of ownership by introducing the new Renegade 4xe and Compass 4xe plug-in hybrid electric vehicles.
A no-compromise hybrid solution, which integrates the unmatched technical content of each Jeep SUV, will power both the Jeep Renegade 4xe and Jeep Compass 4xe and turn them into vehicles that provide absolute freedom while taking their capability to the next level through some of the most advanced eco-friendly technology. It is ’The Jeep way‘ to electrification.
Each Jeep plug-in hybrid vehicle will carry a 4xe badge, centered around the pillars of efficiency, performance and responsibility. They will be the most fuel-efficient Jeep SUVs ever: the new 4xe technology will offer a zero-emission drive and a line-up of new plug-in hybrid electric models providing range and easy charging.
Efficiency is not achieved at the expense of performance. Each Jeep 4xe vehicle remains true to its all-terrain vocation while enhancing the driving experience on the road, with smooth response and acceleration.
The increased torque generated by the electric propulsion system and the ability to adjust it with extreme precision ensures even greater four-wheel-drive capability on any terrain, for challenging off-road adventures.
Finally, 4xe stands for responsibility and respect for the environment. Thanks to the plug-in hybrid electric technology, CO2 emissions are lower than 50 g/km in hybrid mode and the cost of ownership is reduced.
But the Jeep brand’s focus on sustainability runs deeper than this and starts even before these vehicles hit the road thanks to a manufacturing cycle designed to produce the lowest environmental impact.
The all-terrain evolution
The world première of the electrified Jeep SUVs took place during the 2019 Geneva International Motor Show. The prestigious stage was chosen for this very important reveal while the models’ development including set up of their production lines were underway. Jeep Renegade 4xe and Jeep Compass 4xe are built at the FCA Melfi Plant in Basilicata (Italy), where the Jeep Renegade has been in production since 2014. The Plant Academy, a breeding ground for ideas and experiments, and a “talent factory” for developing personnel potential was created in the Melfi factory the same year and has since made a significant contribution to FCA’s electrification strategy. Meanwhile, its example has inspired numerous other FCA factories to open their own Academy Plants. The industrial centre in Basilicata was a natural choice for producing the first plug-in hybrid Jeep models in the EMEA Region, which will write a new chapter in the brand’s history.
Although production of the Jeep 4xe SUVs is in Melfi, the first full-cycle Jeep factory outside North America, the development process culminated at the Arjeplog Proving Grounds in Swedish Lapland. Up to 3,800 kilometers of road tests were clocked up to reach Arjeplog from Turin and put the Jeep plug-in hybrid SUVs through their paces in all conditions that customers might need to tackle. A constant commitment and an array of complex activities were carried out to ensure quality, safety, reliability, and comfort in all conditions. The new plug-in hybrid electric technology elevates the capability of the Jeep SUVs. On the one hand, it further increases off-road prowess, on the other, it enhances the on-road performance in everyday driving. The models are not only at home on sand, mud, rocks, snow, or ice: their capability and driving pleasure also shines through in the city.
Tests continued in the winter of 2019 in Arjeplog and during the long-awaited Jeep Winter event in Champoluc (Val d’Aosta, Italy), where the brand provided a glimpse on the operation of the 4xe system through a cross section of a Jeep Renegade on display. The beginning of 2020 welcomed the launch of the “First Edition”, the exclusive launch editions for both Jeep Renegade 4xe and Jeep Compass 4xe. Customers who had pre-ordered them on the dedicated website were given the opportunity to confirm their order and be the first to drive a Jeep 4xe model (over one thousand orders were collected in eight markets with over a hundred thousand website visits). Order intake for the full Renegade 4xe and Compass 4xe line-up opened for customers across Europe in July.
This is an important step of the brand’s evolutionary process, which is oriented more than ever towards sustainability and electrification. An evolution in line with Jeep history, which is by tradition one of the brands more in touch with nature. Every Jeep SUV is created to take customers to places that are otherwise inaccessible – and from today on they can continue to do so at zero emissions, noise-free and in a mindful, responsible and sustainable way.
Leader in off-roading and eco-friendly technology
Electrification will take the Jeep brand into the future, as it strives to become the leader in eco-friendly premium technology. This commitment starts from Italy and Europe, where the Renegade and Compass plug-in hybrid models featuring Jeep 4xe technology are built.
Courtesy of the plug-in hybrid technology, the new 4xe models offer the best performance and driving dynamics of any Jeep Renegade and Compass ever. They are literally capable of ’going anywhere and doing anything’, to quote the brand’s well-known claim and feature legendary 4×4 capability improved in almost 80 years of history.
At the same time, they are ideal cars for everyday driving in the city, thanks to the plug-in hybrid electric technology that – in full-electric mode allows customers to travel with zero emissions and an average range of 50 km.
On longer hauls, with the internal combustion engine, CO2 emissions are less than 50 gr/km in hybrid mode, while in case of extended off-road driving the two electric motors featuring Powerloop, ensure that eAWD traction is always available to take on extreme adventures with zero worries. Jeep electric vehicles will be the most efficient and eco-responsible Jeep models ever and will embody a modern vision of capability, which provides the perfect balance between efficiency, driving fun, safety and respect of the environment.
‘Blue’ design cues mark the new Renegade and Compass 4xe
On the exterior, the new Jeep 4xe models maintain many of the same design cues as their internal combustion engine (ICE) versions but stand out thanks to striking Blue coloring on the front “Jeep” badge and the “4xe” and “Jeep” rear badges. Blue accents also adorn the side badges with Renegade and Compass naming, while the charge port features a push-open/push-close cover and is located at the rear on the vehicle’s left side.
Exclusive content makes the Jeep 4xe models the most high-tech Jeep SUVs ever. Inside the cabin, a 7-inch TFT color display and Uconnect NAV with 8.4″ touchscreen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and Radio DAB are offered (depending on the market). Both display specific information for electrified driving.
4xe models also feature a new six-speed automatic transmission selector, updated Selec-Terrain rotary control with eAWD modes (4WD Lock, 4WD Low, Hill Descent Control) to engage the different driving modes – Auto, Snow, Mud & Sand, and Rock – including the new Sport mode for enhanced throttle response and steering, exclusive to the Renegade and Compass 4xe models. Black wizard accents adorn the air vent, speaker, and center console bezels on the Limited and S trims, while the Trailhawk trim sports Ruby Red bezels.
Jeep Renegade and Jeep Compass 4xe, power and performance
Both Jeep Renegade 4xe and Compass 4xe pair a 1.3-liter turbo petrol engine with an electric motor located between the rear axle, which is powered by an 11.4 kWh battery that can be recharged while driving or through an external power outlet either at home with the domestic plug, using the efficient and practical easyWallbox or the more advanced Connected Wallbox, or from a public charge point. On its own, the efficient 1.3-liter turbo engine delivers a power output of 130 hp or 180 hp, plus the 60 hp produced by the electric motor, adding up to a total of 190 hp (Limited version) or 240 hp (Trailhawk and S). In terms of torque, the electric motor produces 250 Nm, while the combustion engine delivers 270 Nm. The combination of an internal combustion engine and the electric units guarantees performance and maximum driving pleasure: acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h in around 7.5 seconds, top speed of 130 km/h in full electric and up to 200 km/h in hybrid mode.
A full line-up
The new Jeep Renegade 4xe and Jeep Compass 4xe line-up includes three trim levels – Limited, S and Trailhawk, all featuring four-wheel-drive (eAWD) and six-speed automatic transmission – and, two power output levels: 190 or 240 hp.
A wide range of customization options are available, with up to 18 different exterior colors for the Renegade and 22 for the Compass. These include Alpine White, Glacier, Granite Crystal, Jetset Blue, Blue Shade, Sting Grey, Colorado Red, Carbon Black and Solid Black, plus 3 specific colors for the Renegade – Bikini and Omaha Orange (both on all trim levels except the S) and Matt Green (on the Trailhawk only). Additional three colors are exclusive to the Compass – Ivory Tri-Coat, Blue Italia and Techno Green. In addition, up to six specific wheels are available for the Renegade 4xe and seven for the Compass 4xe.
In terms of safety, the new 4xe models come with the most advanced ADAS systems available on the market, including high-visibility Full LED headlights (standard or optional on Renegade depending on the version), Bi-Xenon headlights (on Compass), standard Forward Collision Warning and Lane Departure Warning Plus, Intelligent Speed Assist and Traffic Sign Recognition (on the Renegade only) and front (optional on Compass) and rear parking sensors. Available safety features include Blind Spot Detection, ParkView rear backup camera with dynamic grid lines, automatic Park Assist and Keyless Go. Jeep Renegade 4xe also features as standard feature the new Drowsy Driver Detection system offered for the first time in a Jeep model.
Layout and operation of the Jeep 4xe hybrid powertrain
The Jeep Renegade 4xe and Jeep Compass 4xe powertrain integrates two electric motors and an 11.4 kWh battery pack, with a fuel-efficient 1.3-liter turbo petrol engine and six-speed automatic transmission. This architecture provides two cars in one: a battery electric vehicle featuring an electric motor and a high-voltage lithium-ion battery pack on the rear axle and a conventional vehicle with an internal combustion engine fitted on the front axle.
Key elements of the Renegade and Compass 4xe powertrain are:
- A 1.3-liter, four-cylinder, turbo petrol internal combustion engine delivering 130 or 180 hp and 270 Nm of torque.
- Two electric motors, one of which is located on the front axle and coupled to the internal combustion engine that, in addition to working in synergy with the engine, can act as a high-voltage generator, as necessary. The second one is located on the rear axle and features reduction gear and integrated differential (“e-axle”). It delivers 60 hp of power and 250 Nm of torque, generating traction and recovering energy while braking.
- An 11.4 kWh, 400 volt, lithium-ion, nickel-manganese-cobalt, battery pack powers the e-axle and is located in a secure position underneath the second row seat.
- An integrated module for controlling the charging of the high-voltage and conventional 12V batteries of the car which is compact in size and mounted in the trunk.
The combined power of the two power sources (electric and heat) is 190 hp or 240 hp.
The 1.3-liter turbo petrol engine that powers the Renegade and Compass 4xe belongs to the new FCA Global Small Engine family. It is based on a modular structure and is available for the 4xe versions in the four-cylinder configuration with two output levels: 130 or 180 hp. The basic structure of the 1.3-liter turbo petrol engine of the Renegade and Compass 4xe guarantees efficiency, modularity, and a considerable degree of standardization in terms of components and manufacturing process, flexibility, and potential for future development. It is entirely made of aluminum for lightness (it weighs 106 kilograms). The crankcase, developed in partnership with Teksid, is made of high-pressure die-cast aluminum alloy. After studying various crankcase designs, a bedplate architecture was chosen, to offer the best balance of weight, structural performance, noise, and vibrations. Like all turbocharged versions in the Global Small Engine family, it includes exclusive third-generation MultiAir technology that improves combustion efficiency by adjusting valve lift and timing, and further optimizes independent intake valve opening and closing.
By integrating the electric machine on the auxiliary belt it was possible to design a control logic that optimizes the dynamics and efficiency of the internal combustion engine and the downstream automatic transmission. The result is a front axle superior to any equivalent conventional powertrain capable of offering a lively, smooth, and efficient behavior.
Battery pack preserves trunk capacity and interior room
The 11.4 kWh, 400-volt lithium-ion battery pack uses cobalt-nickel manganese/graphite chemistry. It is located underneath the second-row of seats, where it is protected from outside elements. Enclosed in a steel casing, the pack is fitted with a dedicated heating and cooling circuit to keep the battery at its optimum temperature for best performance.
The 11.4 kWh battery pack allows the Renegade and Compass 4xe to travel an average range of 50 kilometers in full-electric, zero-emission mode. The hybrid system also includes a power inverter (PIM) housed inside the battery pack, which is also protected from damage.
An important observation concerning the layout of the Jeep 4xe models is that the small size of the charging module placed in the boot and the arrangement of the electric motor under the floor means that the boot capacity is practically the same as the conventional engine version (330 liters for Renegade and 420 liters for Compass – in the configuration with seats in upright position). At the same time, the dual function of the boot with a raised loading surface at the top and maximized loading capacity at the bottom was maintained. The layout means that a spare wheel can be housed under the boot on the 4xe versions of both models.
Electrified driving modes
Customers of the new Jeep Renegade and Compass 4xe can personalize their driving experience according to their specific needs and the type of journey, such as daily commutes in town, for which full-electric driving is ideal, or exciting off-road adventures on extreme trails in contact with nature in authentic Jeep style.
The system has three operating modes – Hybrid, Electric, and E-save. The desired mode can be activated using the selector switch located in front of the gear lever. In all driving modes, the regenerative braking system recovers energy during passive driving phases (such as deceleration or light braking). Additionally, Renegade and Compass 4xe travel in hybrid mode when the battery reaches the minimum charge level regardless of the selected mode. More in details:
- HYBRID is the default mode selected when the car is started. It is designed to manage and use the system in the most efficient way, optimizing power and minimizing fuel consumption. The internal combustion engine and electric motor work together according to the road type, with braking energy recovery phases. Initially, the system favors electric driving (so the power is supplied by the electric motor). When the battery reaches the minimum charge level (called “SOC”, State Of Charge), the internal combustion engine is used for propulsion. The system manages start-up and intervention through an optimization algorithm (Hybrid Control Processor – HCP) designed to maximize the system efficiency levels.
- ELECTRIC is the mode that provides a full-electric average range of 50 kilometers* at zero emissions. It is designed to maximize the electric driving experience through a different calibration of the HCP optimization algorithm. The car drives in electric-only mode as long as there is sufficient charge in the battery. The system automatically switches to HYBRID mode when the battery is completely flat or when the driver kicks the kick-down. A top speed of up to 130 km/h can be reached. This is the ideal mode for traveling in city centers with traffic and emission restrictions.
- E-SAVE , on the other hand, is the mode for maintaining battery charge or for charging it while driving using the internal combustion engine. E-SAVE mode supports two secondary modes, called Battery Save (passive E-SAVE) and Battery Charge (active E-SAVE), both of which can be activated on the Uconnect system screen.
- Passive E-SAVE or Battery Save: maintains the state of charge of the battery through the predominant use of the internal combustion engine;
- E-SAVE active or Battery Charge: charges the battery up to 80% through the operation of the internal combustion engine on which the combined front electric generator acts.
Regenerative braking is a fundamental element of the ecological nature of the Jeep 4xe models, allowing kinetic energy to be recovered during all deceleration or braking phases. The energy is stored in the battery pack instead of being dissipated as heat on the brake discs. The conventional brake system is used to stop the car in the event of emergency braking or when traveling at very low speeds.
This mode intervenes in place of the exhaust brake when the throttle is released, allowing energy recovery when slowing down even with the brake pedal released. It can be differentiated by a button on the central tunnel, located under the gear lever.
Regenerative braking is always active regardless of the driving mode (internal combustion engine or electric motor) to maximize energy recovery when the throttle and brake pedals are released. The e-Coasting mode can be activated on Renegade and Compass 4xe when the transmission is in the “D” (Drive) position.
By pressing the ‘e-Coasting’ button, the breaking intensity can be activated according to two different levels, more or less intense.
A warning light on the instrument panel display indicates activation through two different colors:
- White (“Normal”) if the “Intense” function is selected but not active (accelerator pedal not released);
- Green, if the “Intense” function is selected and active (accelerator pedal released).
After the more intense function has been activated by the driver, the regenerative braking calibration is bolder when coasting, that is when the driver is not pressing the accelerator pedal. This feature reduces the speed faster than standard regenerative braking and generates more electricity to be conveyed to the battery pack.
A dedicated message will appear on the instrument panel during the transition from the “Intense” to “Normal” function and vice versa.
Off-road capability and Jeep hybrid e-AWD system
Legendary Jeep off-road capability is guaranteed by the Jeep Active Drive Low system, fitted on all Compass and Renegade 4xe trims. The new plug-in hybrid technology further enhances the off-road capability of both models, with the combination of the two propulsions resulting in more torque. Trailhawk 4xe, for example, the specialist off-road trim with overall power of 240 hp – boasts an increase in torque output up to 50% versus the 170 hp diesel Trailhawk model. Furthermore, thanks to the new 4xe technology, traction to the rear axle is not provided by a prop shaft but through a dedicated electric motor. This allows the two axles to be separated and control the torque independently in a more effective way than a mechanical system, with traction being delivered to the rear wheels immediately when needed.
Jeep Active Drive Low is paired with the Jeep Selec-Terrain traction control system with up to five driving modes. Selec-Terrain includes Hill Descent Control for superior off-road capability. By using Selec-Terrain, the driver can choose the ideal driving mode to safely tackle any terrain:
- Auto: standard mode, ensures continuous traction management, suitable for on and off-road driving.
- Sport: uses both the electric motor and the internal combustion engine to deliver sporty driving performances. New on both Renegade and Compass, this dynamic driving mode makes the daily urban driving experience more enjoyable, by tightening up the steering, sharpening the throttle response and adjusting the behavior of the transmission via higher upshifts for full power and torque delivery.
- Snow: provides more grip in extreme conditions. It is designed to be used for driving on-road and off-road in the case of poor grip surfaces, such as roads covered by snow.
- Sand/Mud: Off-road driving mode for tackling surfaces with poor grip, such as muddy or sandy soils to provide maximum traction.
- Rock (Trailhawk versions only): This mode is only available when 4WD Low mode is engaged. The system configures the car to provide maximum levels of traction and steering capability on low-grip off-road surfaces. Besides, it provides benchmark off-road performance. It is used to climb over obstacles, such as large rocks.
Moreover, Jeep Selec-Terrain traction control system allows to manage the AWD system on Renegade and Compass 4xe by combining the five dynamic modes – Auto, Sport, Mud/Sand, Snow and Rock (the latter specific to the Trailhawk version) to two different 4×4 traction modes, depending on the situation the drivers need to tackle:
- 4WD Lock: This function permanently engages the four-wheel drive at speeds up to 15 km/h, keeping the rear electric motor (P4) constantly running to provide 4×4 traction at low speeds with a constant distribution of torque between the two axles (the distribution ratio varies depending on the selected Terrain mode). At speeds above 15 km/h, AWD becomes on-demand. Compared to a conventional mechanical AWD system, the response speed of the rear electric motor (P4) allows faster engagement. The full functionality of the 4xe four-wheel drive is guaranteed by the ’Powerlooping‘ function when the battery charge level is low. This ensures that the front electric motor, mechanically connected to the internal combustion engine, continuously generates high-voltage current to power the rear electric motor and deliver maximum traction regardless of the state of charge of the battery.
- 4WD Low: this is the mode for making the most of the performance and power of the vehicle to tackle particularly difficult terrain, such as sand or rocks. On the Trailhawk trims, the Rock mode of the Selec- Terrain system can be selected only in 4WD Low.
The result is the ability of the Jeep 4xe models to handle every situation in the most efficient, safe and best performing mode.
Charging the new Renegade and Compass 4xe is simple and user-friendly. Both offer seamless integration between smartphones and the Uconnect system 8.4-inch touchscreen, to manage charging according to the customers’ specific requirements and lifestyle, and directly from the car or remotely using the app.
The electric unit on the rear axle is powered by a battery that can be charged either while you drive (through the e-coasting mode, which charges the battery using the negative torque of the engine brake) or through an external power outlet: at home, with a domestic plug, and the cable supplied, or with a public charge point, using the specific cable (Mode 3, standard or optional depending on the market). To optimize charging times and to offer an additional, convenient home solution, the easyWallbox is available, which is connected to a normal domestic outlet and allows safe charging.
This system was developed by ENGIE EPS exclusively for FCA and is marketed by Mopar in Europe. It is a simple, accessible “plug&play” solution that can be managed easily via Bluetooth, allowing to recharge the Renegade or Compass 4xe at home with up to 2.3 kW of charging power in less than 5 hours (the time can vary according to the existing electrical system), with no need for any intervention by skilled personnel. Furthermore, the easyWallbox can be upgraded to 7.4 kW, providing a full charge at home in less than two hours (100 minutes).