This year’s Auto Show in Detroit is notably light on introductions compared to its heyday in the ‘90s and 2000s when Cobo Hall was packed with announcements and bombastic reveals. Still, some hometown players are showing off new wares – including Ford with the Mustang later tonight – and Jeep with the pair of machines shown here.
Starting with the Wrangler Willys 4xe, we find an electrified off-roader with a more approachable price point than the Jeep offerings to date. In case you’re not up on yer Jeep trim walk, remember that Willys occupies the lower (but not entry-level) end of the Wrangler spectrum, including upmarket-ish like LED lighting and a 9-speaker Alpine audio system but also packing kit like a limited-slip rear diff and mud-terrain tires.
Under the hood (and, these days, under the floor) are the same guts found in other Wrangler 4xe trims. The plug-in hybrid powertrain is a tag team of Jeep’s 2.0-liter turbo four and a pair of electric motors. This, combined with a 17-kWh battery, is good for 375 horsepower and 470 lb-ft of torque. Up to 21 miles of all-electric range is possible if you’re light on the accelerator. Willys benefits from a factory lift, 10.1 inches of ground clearance, and 30 inches of water fording. It will start at $53,995 before destination fees which is just over $1,200 less expensive than the next-rung Sahara. Top shelf Rubicon and High Altitude trims are $58,990 and $60,935 respectively.
In the other corner, we find a rig that marks the 30th anniversary of Grand Cherokee. Like most special editions of this ilk, it has been layered on whatever trim is the topic-du-jour; in this case, that’s the (you guessed it) electrified 4xe. This GC’s powertrain virtually mirrors that of the one just described in the Wrangler 4xe, right down to power outputs, though the Grandest of Cherokees can eke out approximately 25 miles of all-electric driving thanks largely to cutting a smoother shape through the wind.
And take a moment to appreciate the white ’93 they trotted out for this occasion. This author feels, that even after all these years, it is a good-looking machine.
Other differences on this 30th Anniversary trim are the type you’d expect for such a homage, generally held to the likes of unique badging and a smattering of black-hued details. Inside you’ll find the brand’s new 10.1-inch infotainment system, a digital rearview mirror, and ventilated front seats as part of this $4,700 package. Jeep claims it will be ‘limited’, which likely means limited to exactly the number they can produce during this model year. Look for them in early 2023.
[Images Jeep, © 2022 Tim Healey/TTAC]
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