New off-roading benchmarks on cards with Jeep Recon electric SUV
Jeep unveiled its first electric SUV Avenger in October last year—also the company’s smallest vehicle to date.
Tuesday February 28, 2023,
3 min Read
Jeep is hailed for its legendary off-roading capabilities, thanks to its wide range of competent SUVs. With global mobility shifting to cleaner sources of emissions, a cloud of uncertainty gathers over the future of tough utilitarian off-roading vehicles, which currently run on fossil fuels.
The American brand plans to continue its rich legacy of tough off-roaders—in its fully electric avatars. Jeep has made its name in the plug-in hybrid space, with models like Renegade 4xe and Compass 4xe in European markets, which will be followed by the plug-in hybrid Grand Cherokee 4xe later this year.
However, with Stellantis shifting focus to fully electric models, all its subsidiary brands will have to follow suit. The most rugged electric vehicle (EV) of them all is called Recon, recently unveiled by Jeep on the 4xe Day. This battery-powered SUV is deemed a potential direct rival to the fully electric Land Rover Defender, currently under development.
While traditionally Jeep Wrangler is the direct rival to Defender, Recon is expected to sit below the fully-electric Wrangler in the company’s lineup. Also, the latter doesn’t have an estimated launch timeline yet. Meanwhile, Recon is slated to hit European markets by 2025.
Unlike the Wrangler—which flaunts an old-school, scaffolded design—Recon gets an evolutionary theme despite retaining Jeep’s rugged attributes. The brand has carried forward its signature highlights, such as the seven-slat front grille contoured by illuminated LED elements.
The slats are flanked by rectangular projector LED headlamps with integrated LED DRLs. Enhancing the car’s beefy appearance is a utilitarian front bumper and silver-coloured skid plate and tow hooks at either end, along with flared wheel arches on the sides. The SUV rolls on large star-pattern alloy wheels, wrapped in thick all-terrain tyres.
The ‘4xe’ badge with a blue-coloured bordering on the tailgate signifies the car runs on a renewable source of energy. Other elements, including its functional roof rails, tailgate-mounted spare wheel, and detachable doors, make this SUV a true lifestyle-oriented vehicle.
Jeep hasn’t revealed any official specifications or features of the upcoming electric SUV. In fact, the carmaker is yet to reveal Recon’s interiors, also expected to remain utilitarian with an added touch of modernity. However, images reveal that Recon will be offered plush leatherette seats, thus focusing on passenger comfort.
Based on Stellantis’ STLA Large modular platform, this architecture will also underpin the upcoming fully electric version of Grand Wagoneer. This unibody construction sits on independent front and rear suspension units, underlined by an extensive underbody system to protect the batteries from harsh terrains.
Although Jeep is tightlipped regarding the vehicle’s powertrain specs, it is already known that the STLA Large platform is capable of employing batteries over 100kW capacity. This should result in a range of around 640 km on a single charge. On top of this, Recon will boast of Jeep's Selec-Terrain traction management system and electronic locking differentials, making it a beast on uncharted terrains.
(Images courtesy: Jeep)
Edited by Suman Singh