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Jeep Drops Prices, Prepares to Launch First EV — and Hints “Range-Extender” May Follow

by | February 23, 2024

He’s barely been on the job three months, but a lot has happened on his watch as Antonio Filosa, the new global CEO of the Jeep brand settles in. To start with, the off-road brand has cut prices on four of its bestselling model lines. But there’s more to come — soon — Filosa revealed during a media roundtable at the brand’s headquarters in Auburn Hills, Michigan on Friday. Among other things, Jeep is getting ready to launch production of its first EV, the Wagoneer S. And Filosa revealed that the automaker is looking at adding “range-extender” technology to future battery-electric models.

Jeep CEO Antonio Filosa

Jeep CEO Antonio Filosa has laid out a broad list of changes needed for the off-road brand.

Struggling to reverse an unexpected downturn in both its sales and market share last share, Jeep has launched a seven-part turnaround strategy that began late last year with the appointment of a new management team. Bill Peffer now runs the show in North America, with longtime Stellantis executive Antonio Filosa appointed global CEO.

During an hourlong media roundtable at Jeep’s corporate headquarters in Auburn Hills, Michigan Friday, Filosa outlined the rest of the program — and offered some hints at what may follow, notably on the brand’s expanding focus on electrification.

The most immediate move, however, comes with the price cuts Jeep is making on four of its most popular product lines.

More content, less money

Jeep Compass

With the new price cut, the 2024 Jeep Compass will start at less than $26,000.

As has been the case across the auto industry, Jeep prices have outpaced the rate of inflation over the past decade. Buyers will now get a break on some of the brand’s biggest sellers:

  • The midsize Gladiator pickup gets a $1,700 price cut, even as the automaker adds $3,000 in content;
  • The iconic Jeep Wrangler gets an additional $3,000 in content at no cost to consumers;
  • The midsize Grand Cherokee sees a $4,000 cut in its MSRP; and
  • The compact Jeep Compass gets a $2,500 price cut.

In the case of the Compass, the discount means the base model will now start at less than $26,000. That will position it as an alternative to the smaller, less well-equipped Jeep Renegade which the brand has dropped, Filosa said.

More Jeep News

Jeep goes all-electric

Jeep Recon

The all-electric Jeep Recon is expected to go into production around mid-year.

Among other things on the new executive’s To-Do list, Filosa will oversee the rollout of an array of new and updated products coming to market over the next several years. That includes an assortment of electrified models as Jeep moves forward on previously announced plans to have battery-based options across its entire lineup by 2025.

Two of the most important additions will go all-electric. That starts with the Jeep Wagoneer S which is set to go into production early in the second half of this year, Peffer told reporters on Friday. Initial deliveries should start before autumn.

During the roundtable presentation, officials noted the midsize EV will be “the fastest Jeep ever,” making 600 hp and capable of launching from 0 to 60 in “under 3.5 seconds.” It will be the first model using parent Stellantis’ STLA Large EV architecture, though it will soon reappear, underpinning the new Ram 1500 REV pickup.

Jeep will quickly follow with the Recon, essentially an all-electric take on the familiar Wrangler.

More electrified options

Jeep Wrangler charging port

The Jeep Wrangler 4xe is America’s best-selling plug-in hybrid.

A key part of the Jeep strategy will see it add more powertrain options, said Filosa, particularly those using electrified technology. Jeep’s Wrangler 4xe is already the bestselling plug-in hybrid in the U.S., followed by the Grand Cherokee 4xe.

Plans call for the addition of plug-in hybrid options for essentially all gas models. But Jeep has a potential alternative that may soon be added to its toolbox: a range extender. The two technologies are similar — but have key differences.

Plug-ins like the Wrangler 4xe pair up an internal combustion engine with one or more electric motors. At any given time, power can be sent directly to the wheels from the gas engine, the electric drive system — or both, operating simultaneously. With a range-extender, the wheels are always driven by one or more electric motor. If the battery side of the drivetrain runs low, the gas engine will fire up — but its sole purpose is to work as a generator, sending current to recharge the battery. It can never directly drive the wheels. By operating at a relatively steady speed, the gas engine is cleaner and more energy efficient.

Range-extender plans

Ram 1500 Ramcharger driving

Jeep may borrow the range-extender technology soon to debut on the Ram 1500 Ramcharger.

“I’m looking at a range extender because it’s very smart technology,” said Filosa, though he noted that no final decision has yet been made on whether to adopt the technology.

But if Jeep does so it will simply have to reach over to sibling brand Ram which already plans to use the technology on the Ramcharger, a version of the 100% electric Ram 1500 REV pickup going into production for the 2025 model year.

If Filosa signs off, he said it would “take around 18 to 24 months” to bring the first Jeep range-extender to market.

Turnaround plan

The turnaround plan contains several other components. Among other things, Jeep intends to address long-running quality issues suffered by some of its products.

And it will look for ways to cut costs. Those new price cuts don’t come cheap and Jeep, like the rest of the Stellantis family has to absorb the higher wages and benefits approved under the new contract negotiated with the United Auto Workers union last autumn.

Another change sees the automaker abandon plans to launch a separate sub-brand. While there’s a lot of “inherent value” in the Wagoneer name, said Peffer, it just hasn’t worked out trying to let Wagoneer models stand out on their own. Going forward, the Jeep name will appear on products such as the Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer — and, in a few months, the all-electric Jeep Wagoneer S.


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