Jeep Wrangler Magneto 2.0 pounds Moab with a fierce electric storm

Jeep has gone all out on its annual lineup of Easter Jeep Safari concepts this year, dazzling the Moab 4×4 crowd with what it defines as its most impressive line-up of Safari concepts ever. Its “Zero Emissions Freedom” tagline helps shape the concept, which is headlined by a violent evolution of last year’s Wrangler Magneto. The Magneto 2.0 stands as an absolute off-road tour de force, developing up to 625 hp and 850 lb-ft of torque for everything from slow-motion, high-impact rock crawling to furious two-second 0-60 mph sprints.

Last year’s Magneto concept was an exciting piece of kit, with an 800-V electrical system driving the wheels via a 275-hp (205-kW) engine and six-speed manual transmission. Jeep has retained the six-speed manual but more than doubled the peak amperage of the propulsion system to 600A, available for 10 seconds in what Jeep likens to an electronic nitrous boost. That allows the Magneto 2.0’s purpose-built axial-flow motor to deliver a massive 850 lb-ft (1,152 Nm) of torque instantly, enabling unparalleled rock-crawling confidence. The selectable “max regen” mode helps one-pedal crawling, while the Rubicon Rock-Trac transfer case distributes torque to the front and rear axles.

As slow, steady bouldering opens up to flat, smooth desert sprints, the Magneto uses its considerable electric power to rip from 0 to 60 mph (96.5 km/h) in two seconds flat. The 40-inch all-terrain tires aren’t the best set of shoes for that kind of running, but they work with 3 inches (76 mm) of suspension lift to let the Magneto 2.0 clear any obstacles and bumps that might otherwise slow you down.

With massive 40-inch tires on 20-inch wheels, 850 lb-ft of instant torque, and a 3-inch lift, the Magneto 2.0 is not just an electric vehicle, but an all-terrain vehicle.

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As in last year’s Magneto, the 70 kWh battery is divided into four packs spread around the chassis for more even weight distribution. Helping to accommodate the packages and other electrical bits needed to make the Magneto 2.0 hum, Jeep has stretched the wheelbase by a full foot (30.5cm) compared to a standard two-door Wrangler, giving it proportions that are comparable to a 2004-06 LJ Wrangler Unlimited. Jeep also added a custom driveshaft and off-road suspension when running a Dynatrac 60 Pro-Rock axle up front and beefy Dynatrac 80 rears. Both axles include differential locks.

Jeep has worked to offset some weight gain with custom lightweight front and rear bumpers, carbon fenders, a custom carbon hood with windows for the e-machinery below, and custom carbon B-pillar. Approach and departure angle benefit from the new bumpers. A generous dousing of “Surf Blue” paint throughout and a custom soft-top give the 2.0 a look similar but different from the original Magneto.

While the Wrangler has served as a loyal mannequin for Jeep’s initial exploration of BEV technology and other futuristic endeavors, it won’t serve as the subject of Jeep’s first all-electric model. In March, the company showed off the first images of that vehicle, and it’s a much less rugged pint-sized crossover that’s sure to see a lot more highway miles than off-road. Jeep plans to launch that model early next year.

Jeep's first production BEV won't be a Wrangler without this little crossover
Jeep’s first production BEV won’t be a Wrangler without this little crossover

Jeep

The Magneto 2.0 is joined in Moab by a number of 4xe plug-in hybrid Jeeps, including the Grand Cherokee Trailhawk PHEV Concept. Here, Jeep explores an expansion of the upcoming Grand Cherokee 4xe lineup, putting the 4xe’s 2.0-liter turbo four, dual electric motors, and 400-V battery pack to work in the most rugged, off-road Grand Cherokee model. Jeep says the Trailhawk PHEV concept has already taken on the Rubicon trails in all-electric mode, relying on a new sway bar disconnect for better suspension travel on big, punishing rocks. It also has a Quadra-Lift air suspension.

In addition to combining Trailhawk and 4xe specs, Jeep's Grand Cherokee Trailhawk PHEV Concept adds a custom roof rack, hard black Rhino Liner roof
In addition to bringing together Trailhawk and 4xe specs, Jeep’s Grand Cherokee Trailhawk PHEV Concept adds a custom roof rack, durable black Rhino Liner roof, protective vinyl side graphics and Mopar rock rails

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Jeep isn’t mentioning any production plans for the Grand Cherokee Trailhawk PHEV, but it certainly seems like a much more realistic proposition than the average Easter Safari concept.

Dive into the photo gallery to take a look at the other eight all-new and previously shown concepts with which Jeep and Mopar kicked off this year’s Safari. The event officially began on Saturday and runs through Easter Sunday, April 17.

Source: Jeep

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