Earlier this week, Jeep rattled the automotive world by announcing that they are considering going green. GREEN???? Tree hugging, climate control thumping green???????
In an interview with Auto Express, Jeep boss Mike Manley said that he hopes to incorporate hybrid powertrains into future Jeeps, claiming that fuel economy is not their only motivation.
Manley says, “With an electric motor you have the most torque available and with the right combination of transmission and gear ratios you can create incredible crawl ratios.” This is possible because conventional hybrids operate on electric power alone while at low speeds and gentle throttle usage. This, of course, makes it ideal for the slow, grinding off-road trails that Jeeps naturally churn through.
One problem, though, is the fact that the electric battery packs in the powertrain would drain fairly quickly under the taxing circumstances, meaning that the actual hybrid option could only be used at certain points.
Manley says, “If you are eight hours and four miles into a trail, there is not a hybrid that we could do which could provide the battery support. The way that combination is calibrated would be more unique for a Wrangler than it would, for example, a Grand Cherokee.”
The hybrid powertrain isn’t the only “green,” efficient option being pursued, either. Jeep is also considering a switch in their body design, hoping to use a mixture of aluminum, high-strength steel, and also carbon fiber.
Even with all of these changes, Jeep fans should not worry; Manley says that Jeep is 100% dedicated to maintaining their beloved image. He says, ““From a styling point of view we have to be very careful – if we styled a Wrangler that didn’t look like a Wrangler, I would have to have eight security guards!”