Jeep on Thursday unveiled another iteration of its Magneto electric Wrangler concept as it moves toward launching its first production EVs for the U.S.
Like the previous versions, the Jeep Magneto 3.0 concept was unveiled alongside several other concept vehicles at the annual Easter Jeep Safari in Moab, Utah. With the Wrangler-inspired Jeep Recon EV set to arrive in North America in 2024, alongside the electric Wagoneer S, the latest version of the Wrangler-based Magneto might preview elements of that production model.
Built from a shortened 2020 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon, the Magneto 1.0 concept debuted in 2021 as an exploration of Jeep’s EV identity, powered by a custom axial-flux motor connected to a 6-speed manual transmission. Initial output was 285 hp and 273 lb-ft of torque, but that increased to 625 hp and 850 lb-ft for the Magneto 2.0 concept that debuted in 2022.
Updates for the Magneto 3.0 version include a new, more efficient motor and updated programming that boosts usable energy and range by 20%, Jeep claims. Maximum output has also increased to 650 hp and 900 lb-ft, but the driver can dial that back to 285 hp and 273 lb-ft.
Also selectable is the level of regenerative braking. It can be switched off to allow the Magneto to drive like an internal-combustion vehicle, but can also produce significant regen when active, according to Jeep. A hill-descent mode allows for one-pedal driving while off-roading.
The Magneto 3.0 still sends power to its wheels through a mechanical four-wheel-drive system with low range, with Dynatrac 60 front and Dynatrac 80 rear axles, both with a 5.38:1 gearing ratio. They turn massive 40-inch tires mounted on 20-inch beadlock wheels. Carrying over from previous versions are the extreme proportions, including very short front and rear overhangs, wider door openings, a lowered roof, and a 3.0-inch lift.
A future electric Wrangler might adopt some of these styling features, but the production-bound Recon will likely have a more conventional shape, with four doors and an upright roof. Described by Jeep as a “brother” to the Wrangler, the Recon will also feature removable doors to tie it to that model.
A ground-up SUV based on the new STLA Large EV platform, the Recon won’t have the Magneto’s mechanical four-wheel drive or manual transmission, but some of the concept’s tech, such as its motor and regenerative braking system, might hint at the direction Jeep plans to go with the Recon.
Jeep unveiled a few other electrified concepts for this year’s Easter Safari, including one that marries the body of a 1978 Jeep Cherokee with the powertrain from a Wrangler 4xe plug-in hybrid. Another Wrangler 4xe is decked out in pink paint, with air suspension, 37-inch tires, and aftermarket front and rear bumpers, while the Wrangler 4xe Departure concept previews a number of potential new items from the Jeep Performance Parts catalog. These concepts show how, even in the plug-in era, Jeep will continue to appeal to Wrangler fans in all the expected ways.
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