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

Jeep, the rugged American brand known for popularizing the SUV, finally has its own electric model for the US. Today, in New York City, the company unveiled the Wagoneer S, a premium two-row SUV with an estimated 300 miles of range and a lot of, shall we say, interesting design details. That includes a unique spoiler and a massive 45-inch digital display across the dashboard.

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

An estimated 300 miles of range and a lot of, shall we say, interesting design details

Sure, it’s not the fully electric Wrangler that was initially promised and many thought would come first. (That’s coming later as the Jeep Recon.) And yeah, its premium pricing isn’t exactly what a lot of customers are looking for right now, with sluggish sales and sticker shock keeping many people tethered to their gas engines.

But Jeep is one of the most iconic auto brands in the US. Its hybrid models are very 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 likely already seen the Wagoneer S. It was previewed back in 2022 as part of Jeep’s big “we’re going electric” event. Then, at the beginning of the year, Jeep accidentally leaked a few photos. And finally, the company pitted a preproduction model against a Tesla Model Y in a drag race a few weeks ago. (Guess who won.)

The Wagoneer S is sporting a lot of the same specs that were first announced in 2022, with one notable exception: range. Jeep initially said the Wagoneer S would have at least 400 miles, but it now looks like that estimate was off by 100 miles. Other than that, the vehicle’s specifications are pretty much the same: dual-motor all-wheel drive powertrain capable of 600 horsepower and 617 pound-feet of torque, a zero to 60mph time of about 3.4 seconds, and the iconic seven-pillar grille lit by LEDs. 

The iconic seven-pillar grille lit by LEDs

Jeep has kept its fans waiting a long time for the release of an all-electric model. The company outlined a full lineup of EVs in 2022, including an electric Wrangler. The Jeep Avenger, the company’s first BEV, went on sale in Europe last year. (Over 40,000 units have been reserved, according to the most recent data.) And the company has said it’s aiming to have EVs comprise 50 percent of sales in the US and 100 percent of sales in Europe by 2030.

In the meantime, a number of Jeep-like competitors have released their own models, including the Rivian R1T and R1S. Scout, an SUV pioneer now owned by Volkswagen, has said it will reveal its first rugged model later this year. Ford and GM have both released their own electric trucks as well as 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 Stellantis’ unibody STLA Large vehicle platform, which is one of the four platforms for all the company’s EVs. (There’s STLA Small, STLA Medium, STLA Large, and STLA Frame.)

But unlike other STLA Large platform vehicles with 800-volt architectures, the Wagoneer S will only have a 400-volt architecture, which, theoretically, could mean slightly slower DC fast charging. But Jeep insists it will still be relatively quick, to the tune of charging 20 to 80 percent in 23 minutes.

The look of the Wagoneer S is certainly unique. The seven-pillar LED lights in the grille are sure to be 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 sounding off in Reddit threads and various message boards.

By electrifying its premium SUV, Jeep isn’t exactly signaling this will be an off-roader’s ideal EV. Tellingly, the words “off-road” don’t appear anywhere in Jeep’s six-page press release. (The company saved that for the Trailhawk concept that may or may not get built.) Still, the Wagoneer S will have its own 4xe (pronounced “four by E”) bona fides to boast of. Stellantis has been pouring millions of dollars into developing its own electric drive modules (no, not that kind of EDM) at three different US plants to power its future EVs.

And now those EDMs are being put to use in the Wagoneer S, powering both the front and rear wheels independently. According to Jeep:

The Jeep Wagoneer S’s 3-in-1 EDMs combine the electric motor, gearing and power electronics into a single, compact unit that is both powerful and efficient. The front EDM is equipped with wheel disconnects to reduce energy draw when cruising and to help optimize range. 

In order to make the ride as smooth and silent as possible, Jeep’s engineers tweaked the body torsion stiffness for a 35 percent improvement over other midsize Jeeps. The vehicle’s aerodynamics are also optimized — which is typical of an EV — with a drag coefficient of 0.29. And there is some indication of off-road capabilities, with five distinct drive modes: Auto, Eco, Sport, Snow, and Sand. (I’m told that Jeep recommends you select Sand when driving in deep snow and Snow when looking to avoid slippage. Makes sense!)

Most notably, Jeep is betting big on interior screen real estate. A massive 45-inch glass display stretches the width of the dash, including a segment just for passengers — a first for Jeep. The 10.25-inch passenger display also runs on Stellantis’ Uconnect operating system and can “talk” with the main display, so passengers can share driving directions and other information.

The instrument cluster and central display both measure 12.3 inches and also run on Uconnect. Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are available. And while the price tag may turn some people off, Jeep says the Wagoneer S is likely to qualify for the $7,500 federal EV tax credit, which can be applied directly at the dealership.

There’s a lot riding on the Wagoneer S. Jeep CEO Antonio Filosa, who assumed the role from Christian Meunier last year, has been slashing prices and reorienting the brand’s marketing strategy in a bid to reverse flagging US sales. The Wagoneer S will be a key component in Filosa’s effort to breathe new life into the company. (Look for my Q&A with Filosa tomorrow on The Verge.)

Jeep’s approach is interesting, to say the least. Picking a fight with a Tesla Model Y in a drag race, when the Tesla sells for $20,000 less, may strike some as a mismatched fight. A better equivalent would probably have been Rivian, but more people know Tesla, the clear leader in the EV race.

Jeep has its sights set on the top dog. And it thinks it can win.


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