The Jeep Wagoneer S, the brand’s first full EV for America, starts at $71,995

Jeep, the rugged American brand known for popularizing the SUV, finally has its own electric model for America. Today, in New York City, the company unveiled the Wagoneer S, a premium two-row SUV with 300 miles of range and more. Interesting Design details. It includes a unique spoiler and a 45-inch digital display across the dashboard.

The only trim announced today is the Launch Edition, which goes on sale this fall with a starting price of $71,995. Other trims, including cheaper versions, will be announced later.

An estimated 300 miles of range and a lot of, shall we say, Interesting Design details

Of course, this isn’t the all-electric Wrangler that was originally promised, and many people’s first impression. (It would later become the Jeep Recon.) Yes, its premium price isn’t what many customers expected right now, with sluggish sales and sticker shock keeping many attached to their gas engines.

But Jeep is one of the most popular auto brands in America. Its hybrid models Very much popular. So people are going to be at least curious about the first battery-electric model.

If you’ve been paying close attention, you’ve probably already seen the Wagoneer S. It was previewed in 2022 as part of Jeep’s big “We’re Going Electric” event. Then, earlier in the year, Jeep accidentally leaked some photos. Finally, the company launched a pre-production model a few weeks ago against the Tesla Model Y in a drag race. (Guess who won.)

The Wagoneer S has the same specs as when it was first announced for 2022, with one notable exception: range. Jeep initially said the Wagoneer S would have a range of at least 400 miles, but now that estimate appears to have been 100 miles off. Other than that, the vehicle’s specs are nearly identical: a dual-motor all-wheel-drive powertrain capable of 600 horsepower and 617 pound-feet of torque, zero to 60 mph in about 3.4 seconds, and the iconic seven-pillar LED grille.

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Iconic seven-pillar grille lit by LEDs

Jeep has made its fans wait for a long time for the launch of the all-electric model. The company outlined a full lineup of EVs, including an electric Wrangler, by 2022. The Jeep Avenger, the company’s first BEV, went on sale in Europe last year. (More than 40,000 units have been booked Latest data.) And the company says it aims for EVs to account for 50 percent of sales in the U.S. and 100 percent of sales in Europe by 2030.

Meanwhile, several Jeep-like competitors have released their own models, including the Rivian R1T and R1S. SUV pioneer Scout, now owned by Volkswagen, has said it will launch its first rugged model later this year. Both Ford and GM have released their own electric trucks and several midsize SUVs.

But now it’s Jeep’s turn. The five-passenger Wagoneer S will have a 100.5kWh battery built on parent company Stellandis’ unibody STLA large vehicle platform, one of four platforms for all of the company’s EVs. (There is STLA Small, STLA Medium, STLA Large and STLA Frame.)

But unlike other STLA large platform vehicles that have an 800-volt configuration, the Wagoneer S will only have a 400-volt configuration, which should theoretically mean slightly slower DC fast charging. But Jeep insists it’s still quick enough to charge from 20 to 80 percent in 23 minutes.

The look of the Wagoneer S is definitely unique. The seven-pillar LED lights in the grille are certainly a conversation starter – if not outright controversial. And the cantilevered rear spoiler, while not Cybertruck-level weird, still takes some getting used to. Jeep fans are already buzzing Reddit threads and various message boards.

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By electrifying its premium SUV, Jeep isn’t exactly signaling that it will be an off-roader’s best EV. The words “off-road” don’t appear anywhere in Jeep’s six-page press release. (The company has saved the Trailhawk concept, which may or may not be built.) However, the Vaughan S will boast its own 4xe (pronounced “four by E”). Stellandis has been Pouring millions of dollars to develop its own electric drive modules (no, Not that kind of EDM) will power its future EVs at three different US plants.

Now those EDMs are used in the Wagoneer S, driving both the front and rear wheels separately. According to Jeep:

The Jeep Wagoneer S’s 3-in-1 EDMs integrate the electric motor, gear and power electronics into a powerful and efficient single, compact unit. The front EDM is equipped with wheel disconnects to reduce energy during travel and improve range.

To keep the ride as smooth and quiet as possible, Jeep’s engineers tweaked body torsional stiffness for a 35 percent improvement over other midsize Jeeps. The vehicle’s aerodynamics are optimized – typical for an EV – with a drag coefficient of 0.29. There are some hints of off-road capabilities with five distinct drive modes: Auto, Eco, Sport, Snow and Sand. (I was told that Jeep recommends choosing sand when driving in deep snow and snow when trying to avoid slipping.

In particular, Jeep is betting big on interior screen real estate. A large 45-inch glass display extends the width of the line, including a section for passengers – a first for Jeep. The 10.25-inch passenger display runs Stellandis’ Uconnect operating system and can “talk” to the main display, so passengers can share driving directions and other information.

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Both the instrument cluster and the central display run on Uconnect with a size of 12.3 inches. Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are available. While the price tag may turn some off, Jeep says the Vaughan S is likely to qualify for a $7,500 federal EV tax credit, which can be applied for directly at the dealership.

Wagoner S. Much is riding on Jeep CEO Antonio Filosa, who took over Christian Meunier’s role last year and has been slashing prices and revamping the brand’s marketing strategy. Reverse Flag US Sales. The Wagoneer S will be an important part of Filosa’s efforts to breathe new life into the company. (Look for my Q&A with Filosa tomorrow on the edge.)

Jeep’s approach is interesting. Fighting the Tesla Model Y in a drag race may seem like a no-brainer for some when the Tesla sells for $20,000 less. A better equal would probably have been the Rivian, but more people know Tesla as the clear leader in the EV race.

Jeep keeps its sights on the top dog. And think it can win.

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