Jeep goes all-electric with rugged, Wrangler-like New Recon EV

Jeep is finally taking a real shot at the EV market, and the company has pulled out all the cues fans know and love along the way. Better late than never, right?

As electric car manufacturers like Tesla continue to drive the EV market forward, traditional car companies are catching up to bring some of their most recognizable models and designs to market with EV variations. Ford has the zippy Mach-E Mustang, Volkswagen turned its beloved microbus into an all-electric ID. Buzz, and now Jeep is putting an electric spin on its iconic Wrangler and Wagoneer lines.

Despite a showroom’s worth of concept vehicles, Jeep has been strangely slow to bring a full-fledged EV to market, instead adapting two of its signature lines to plug-in hybrids with the Wrangler 4xe and Grand Cherokee 4xe in recent years. But that’s all changing now with news of the Jeep Recon, the Wagneer “S,” the compact Jeep Avenger (which is only slated for release in Europe at the moment) and an unnamed fourth model apparently also in the works that will be announced in the coming years.

Details on range, battery capacity and price have not been released for most of these upcoming Jeep models, though they are expected to fall within the standard range of what owners can expect in all categories. Namely, solid capability and range, and premium pricing that likely starts in the $60,000 range, is commensurate with what Jeep fans would probably expect for one fresh off the assembly line. If you’re hoping to hit the road in one of these models anytime soon, you probably shouldn’t hold your breath, as the earliest they’re expected to be delivered is 2024 and into 2025 (as is often the case with electric cars, those dates can always slide).

The most exciting entry in Jeep’s first EV lineup is the Jeep Recon, a name that has been used in the past to distinguish some off-road-equipped Wrangler packages. There’s probably a good reason for that, as the Recon feels like the all-electric spiritual successor to Jeep’s beloved Wrangler.

The Recon borrows several design cues from the four-door wrangler, with the boxy design, exposed door hinges and the distinctive Jeep front grill. It’s arguably even boxier than the Wrangler itself, almost like an off-road, four-door Honda Element (except a lot cooler). It’s also modular like the Wrangler, with removable doors and roof panels that fold down to enjoy the outdoors. All off-road equipment is also included and accounted for, with towbars, undercarriage covers and everything else you’d reasonably expect on a Wrangler spec sheet.

It looks good, too, and this is clearly the rugged electric car that has the potential to become Jeep’s flagship proof of concept on the market. If the final product can match the off-road bona fides, it could prove to be a big step forward in getting EVs out on the trails a bit more.

Jeep Wagoneer S.jpg

At the premium end of the spectrum sits the Wagoner “S,” which is reportedly still just a codename at this point. It’s your more standard high-end SUV model, putting an all-electric spin on the proven Wagoneer range. It also has the elegant lines and streamlined design that you find on pretty much every other electric car from other manufacturers. According to The Verge, Jeep sees an advanced range of about 400 miles on a single charge, with a 600 hp engine capable of 0-60 mph in 3.5 seconds.

While it’s not currently slated for a U.S. release, Jeep is also lining up a nimble compact SUV with the Avenger, which is most easily compared to the smaller Jeep Renegade in size and scope. To fit the smaller EV vibe, the Renegade is reported to have a target range of around 248 miles per charge, which would put it in line with other comparable compact electric cars on the market. Renegade is slated for release in Europe, but hopefully it will eventually find its way to North American shores down the road.

It’s hard to overstate the significance of Jeep finally pulling the trigger on a full-fledged EV lineup. The company is one of the most iconic brands in the automotive market, and while there are some other SUVs available and in the works that may attempt to emulate the look and feel, they are not Jeep. It’s a line that has built brand loyalty for half a century and is one of the most instantly recognizable silhouettes on the road. Jeep finally offering what should be a capable, versatile lineup of EVs will open up the market to a whole new segment that just isn’t that interested in the Model 3 or smaller crossovers that dominate the sales chart.

Now they just need to start installing those solar chargers at the remote trailheads just to make sure no one runs out of juice on top of a mountain.

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