Jeep is taking orders in Europe for the Renegade 4xe and Compass 4xe plug-in hybrids (earlier post)—the first electrified Jeep models in the EMEA Region. The Jeep 4xe models will debut in Jeep showrooms across Europe in September with three trim levels: ‘Limited’, ‘S’ and ‘Trailhawk’, two power levels—190 or 240 hp—a suite of technology and safety features, exclusive new e-driving functions, and public and home charging solutions with the easyWallbox.
The world première of the pioneering electrified Jeep SUVs took place during the 2019 Geneva International Motor Show. (Earlier post.) 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.
Both Jeep Renegade 4xe and Compass 4xe integrate two electric motors and an 11.4 kWh, 400V, NMC Li-ion battery pack, with a fuel-efficient 1.3-liter turbo gasoline engine and six-speed automatic transmission.
The 1.3-liter turbo 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 (Limited version) or 180 hp (Trailhawk and S).
The basic structure of the 1.3-liter turbo gasoline 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, FCA engineers chose a bedplate architecture 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.
One electric motor is located on the front axle and is coupled to the internal combustion engine so that, in addition to working in synergy with the engine, it can act as a high-voltage generator, as necessary.
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.
The second motor is located on the rear axle and features reduction gear and integrated differential ("e-axle"). Powered by the battery, it delivers 60 hp of power and 250 N·m of torque, generating traction and recovering energy while braking.
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 small size of the charging module placed in the trunk and the arrangement of the electric motor under the floor means that trunk 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 trunk 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 trunk on the 4xe versions of both models.
The battery 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.
In terms of torque, the electric motor produces 250 N·m, while the combustion engine delivers 270 N·m. The combination of an internal combustion engine and the electric units delivers acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h in around 7.5 seconds, a top speed of 130 km/h in full electric and up to 200 km/h in hybrid mode.
The plug-in hybrid electric technology in full-electric mode allows customers to travel with zero emissions and an average range of 50 km (31 miles).
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.
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, 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.
In HYBRID mode the optimization algorithm (HCP) guarantees system efficiency by modulating the joint intervention of electric motors and internal combustion engine according to the charge level of the battery. The HCP algorithm automatically modulates the torque distribution between the electric motors and the internal combustion engine. The internal combustion engine intervenes whenever the required performance exceeds that of the electric motor alone. The HYBRID mode driving optimization algorithm is designed to manage the car in the most efficient configuration according to the following factors:
Energy level (State Of Charge) of the battery pack
Electric motor and internal combustion engine efficiency maps
Requests for performance by the driver
Travel and environmental situations (gradients, ambient temperatures, etc.)
The intervention of the internal combustion engine while driving may depend on various combinations of these factors. When the battery charge level is low, the internal combustion engine is switched on to provide the required torque to the front wheels, making up for the lack of electric propulsion from the rear wheels.
e-Coasting 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.
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. For example, Trailhawk 4xe—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, with 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 to 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 appropriate driving mode:
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.
The Jeep Selec-Terrain traction control system manages the AWD system on Renegade and Compass 4xe by combining the five dynamic modes—Auto, Sport, Mud/Sand, Snow and Rock—to two different 4x4 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 4x4 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.