Jeep Wrangler Magneto: How Jeep Plans to Make the Wrangler All-Electric
Can an all-electric Wrangler really appeal to true Jeep loyalists?by Iulian Dnistran, on
Another year, another Easter Jeep Safari in Moab, and this time around, America’s off-road car brand is going electric. And it’s really quite interesting, so keep reading to find out how Jeep plans to electrify the good old Wrangler.
As with every other Easter Safari in recent years, Jeep went all out and came up with four one-off concept cars that are actually driveable. But for this article, I want to focus on the Wrangler Magneto Concept, because it shows how serious Jeep is with all this electrification mumbo jumbo. And I’ll start by saying that I really like how it all came together. Based on a two-door Wrangler, the Magneto is an all-electric off-roader that ditched the 3.6-liter V6 in favor of a custom-built axial flux electric motor that tops out at just 6,000 rpm.
And yes, that isn’t a lot for an electric power unit, but there’s a catch - the Magneto comes with a clutch pedal and a six-speed manual transmission, so you can shift through gears to use the full potential of the motor. WIth a total output of 285 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque, the axial-flux unit matches the V6 it replaces in terms of power and torque, but as we all know, electric motors can deliver instantaneous torque when needed, so put your foot down, and you can get to 60 miles per hour in 6.8 seconds.
|Engine||3.6-liter, V-6 Pentastar|
|0 to 60 mph||6.8 seconds|
If you’re not into speed, the difference between the motor’s power curve and its gasoline-fueled alternative is, quote “negligible, except for near-silent operation”. So basically the electronics in the car sense if you want to drive at normal pace or if you want the full beans. And with the ultra low gearing of the Rubicon’s 4:1 transfer case, coupled with the fact that you can shift your own gears, it means you can silently tackle obstacles at ridiculously low speeds.
Juice is provided by four lithium-ion battery packs scattered around the underside of the body, that are encased in a waterproof aluminum enclosure and offer a total of 70 kilowatt-hours, but Jeep isn’t quoting any range or charging time estimates. There’s also a pair of 12-volt batteries that power the rest of the Magneto’s stock Wrangler electrical pieces, as well as the front-mounted Warn winch. And if the weather gets a little too cold, there’s an electric heater that can warm up the cabin.
Other modifications include a two-inch lift, 35-inch tires and unique exterior lighting, but that’s something you could always fit on any other Wrangler. The batteries and electric motor? Not so much. But Jeep is planning to go to Moab with the Magneto Wrangler for three straight Safaris to figure out how its electric prototype can handle real off-road conditions. During this time, the engineering team will continue to fine tune the components, and presumably come up with a reasonable answer to those who are seeking an all-electric series production Wrangler.
What are your thoughts on Jeep’s attempt at making an EV Wrangler? Let me know in the comments below.