• Jeep Enters the Electric Market with Renegade Plug-in Hybrid

Jeep’s first-ever hybrid can travel up to 31 miles on electric power alone

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It’s been less than a year since Jeep introduced a mid-cycle facelift for the Renegade and the mini SUV was updated once again at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show. This around though, upgrades aren’t about styling tweaks, but a brand-new hybrid drivetrain. Alongside the Compass, the Renegade is the first Jeep vehicle to boast electrification.

What’s under the shell

Jeep Enters the Electric Market with Renegade Plug-in Hybrid
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The gasoline-electric drivetrain generates between 190 and 240 horsepower

The Renegade plug-in hybrid pairs a small-displacement gasoline engine to an electric motor. The mill in question is a turbocharged, 1.3-liter four-cylinder. This unit is relatively new, as it was added to the lineup as part of the 2019-model-year facelift. Built in Poland, the 1.3 Turbo Multiair engine delivers either 148 or 177 horsepower in the regular Renegade.

Jeep didn’t say how much power it generates in the hybrid model, but did mention that the hybrid combo delivers between 190 to 240 horsepower. Given that Euro-spec models feature the 148-horsepower engine, the electric motor should crank out between 42 to 92 horsepower.

Jeep Enters the Electric Market with Renegade Plug-in Hybrid
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The 240-horsepower version is obviously the quickest. With both the gas engine and electric motor engaged, the Renegade needs around seven seconds to hit 62 mph from a standing start. Not bad for a hybrid.

Total range specs aren't yet available, but we know that the SUV can travel for up to 31 miles on electric power alone.

In this setup, top speed is limited to 81 mph. CO2 emissions drop from 144 g/kg for the 1.3-liter MultiAir model to only 50 g/kg for the hybrid powertrain.

Enhanced Off-road Capability

Jeep Enters the Electric Market with Renegade Plug-in Hybrid
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Jeep claims that electrification further improves the Renegade’s off-road capability. That’s most because the electric motor adds extra torque, but it’s also because the new drivetrain layout has the ability to transfer it with more precision. The new electric all-wheel-drive system (eAWD) also features a dedicated electric motor at the rear axle instead of a prop shaft, which allows the two axles to control torque in a more effective way than a mechanical system.

What Else is New?

Jeep Enters the Electric Market with Renegade Plug-in Hybrid
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The hybrid SUV features a unique instrument cluster and infotainment system that include information related to the hybrid drivetrain.

You can now monitor battery charge and electric and combined range, among other parameters. Design-wise, the Renegade hybrid looks identical to its gasoline and diesel siblings, save for the extra charging socket on the rear fender.

2018 Jeep Renegade - Drivetrain Specifications

Type and Description In-line four-cylinder, liquid-cooled, turbocharged In-line four-cylinder, 16-valve MultiAir with multiport fuel injection
Displacement 83.48 cu. in. (1,368 cu. cm) 144 cu. in. (2,360 cc)
Bore x Stroke 2.83 x 3.31 in. (72.0 x 84.0 mm) 88x97
Valve System Belt-driven, MultiAir, SOHC, 16 valves, hydraulic end-pivot roller rockers SOHC, four valves per cylinder
Fuel Injection Sequential, multiport, electronic, returnless Sequential, multiport, electronic, returnless
Construction Cast-iron block with aluminum-alloy head and aluminum-alloy bedplate Aluminum block, aluminum cylinder head
Compression Ratio 9.8:1 10:1
Power (SAE) 160 hp (119 kW) @ 5,500 rpm 184 hp (137 kW) @ 6,400 rpm
Torque (SAE) 170 lb.-ft. (230 N•m) @ 2,500-4,000 rpm 177 lb.-ft. (236 N•m) @ 4,400 rpm
Max. Engine Speed 6,500 rpm (electronically limited) 6,500 rpm
Fuel Requirement 87 octane (R+M)/2 acceptable
91 octane recommended
Unleaded regular, 87 octane
Oil Capacity 4.0 qt. (3.8 liter) with dry filter 5.5 qt. (5.2 liter) (total)
Coolant Capacity 5.5 qt. (5.2 liter) 6.8 qt. (6.45 liter)

Further reading

2015 Jeep Renegade High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2018 Jeep Renegade.

Ciprian Florea
Ciprian Florea
Senior Editor and Supercar Expert - ciprian@topspeed.com
Ciprian's passion for everything with four wheels (and more) started back when he was just a little boy, and the Lamborghini Countach was still the coolest car poster you could hang on your wall. Ciprian's career as a journalist began long before earning a Bachelor's degree, but it was only after graduating that his love for cars became a profession.  Read full bio
About the author

After setting a new global sales record in 2018, Jeep welcomes 2019 as the year of an evolution. Jeep has always been an automotive pioneer starting in 1941 with the Willys-Overland, the first 4x4 vehicle, followed in 1946 by the Willys Wagon, which first introduced the concept of the Sport Utility Vehicle. Its legendary reputation for off-road capability has lasted ever since. Today, Jeep is making another major evolutionary step by presenting its new plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) models. A no-compromise hybrid solution, which integrates the unmatched technical layout of each Jeep SUV, will power both the Jeep Renegade and Jeep Compass and turn them into vehicles that provide absolute freedom while taking their capability to the next level through eco-friendly technology.

New Renegade and Compass PHEV

Displayed at the Jeep stand in Geneva, these new plug-in hybrid models are rechargeable from an external power outlet and, as a consequence, can store more electric energy. This choice allows for the use of more powerful electric motors, which translate into a pure electric range of approximately 31miles and about 80mph full electric top speed for both Renegade and Compass.

The electric units work in synergy with the new 1.3-litre turbo petrol engine to increase efficiency and power overall. For the Renegade, the power sits in the 190hp and 240hp range resulting in outstanding on-road performance: zero to 62mph is reached in approximately seven seconds. The same figures – although still pending homologation – are achieved by the first plug-in hybrid Compass which is also the fastest example of the model ever. The Compass with the simultaneous action of the internal combustion engine (ICE) and the electric motor delivers up to 240hp. In addition, the new Jeep SUVs with plug-in hybrid technology are more fun to drive courtesy of improved acceleration and fast engine response. They also deliver CO2 emissions lower than 50g/km.

With electrification, the Jeep range further improves its legendary off-road capability thanks to the greater torque offered by the electric motor and the ability to adjust it with extreme precision while driving on the most challenging terrain, where a very low transmission ratio is needed. Thanks to the new electric all-wheel-drive technology (eAWD), 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.

Renegade and Compass PHEVs feature a dedicated instrument cluster and infotainment screen, updated to help the customer with information related to daily hybrid driving.

While being loyal to its mindset of overcoming any limit, the Jeep brand continues to evolve, to develop and to bring its SUVs to the next level in line with its core values of freedom, authenticity and passion. Today the brand is embracing a new challenge and setting new standards.

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