- Jeep on Monday unveiled a concept version of a fully electric Wrangler SUV dubbed the Magneto.
- The Magneto puts out 285 horsepower and 273 lb-ft of torque and has an unusual six-speed manual.
- Jeep hasn’t announced plans for an electric Wrangler, but it does sell a plug-in hybrid model.
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Jeep isn’t building an electric offroader just yet, but it showed off what one might look like on Monday.
The brand created a battery-powered version of the Wrangler SUV – called the Magneto – to display at this year’s Easter Jeep Safari, an annual gathering of Jeep fans in Moab, Utah. The Magneto is just a concept vehicle – meaning it’s more of a design exercise than anything Jeep plans to sell – but it very well could signal what Jeep has in store for a future electric SUV.
Jeep built the Magneto around a two-door 2020 Wrangler Rubicon, swapping out the gas engine for a custom electric motor under the hood. The motor puts out 273 lb-ft of torque and 285 horsepower, and, according to the brand, its power is indistinguishable from the 3.6-liter V6 found in some other Jeeps.
The Magneto can sprint to 60 mph in 6.8 seconds, Jeep says. It didn’t release the vehicle’s range, but said it’s powered by four battery packs placed throughout the SUV.
What sets the Magneto concept apart from EVs on the market today is its six-speed manual transmission. Barely any EVs have a multi-speed transmission at all, much less a manual one. The Porsche Taycan and its upcoming Audi sibling have a two-speed automatic that’s meant to help with acceleration and efficiency.
Jeep made sure that the Magneto’s electric drivetrain didn’t hinder its off-road performance. The company waterproofed the Magneto’s batteries and protected them with skid plates, giving the vehicle the ability to ford 30 inches of water or drive over rough terrain without damaging the batteries.
Jeep hasn’t officially announced that an electric Wrangler is on the way, but it has said that it will eventually offer an electrified (partially or fully electric) option for every model in its lineup. In September, the brand unveiled the 2021 Wrangler 4xe, a $50,000 plug-in hybrid model that’s available now.