Jeep’s Wagoneer S Trailhawk concept teases a fully electric off-roader

In New York today, Jeep unveiled its first fully electric SUV for the North American market. And while all the focus was on the $71,995 Wagoneer S, the automaker had one more thing to show off: an off-road-capable Trailhawk concept of the same EV, sitting pretty on 31.5-inch tires.

The forest green SUV sports several features that distinguish it from the standard Wagoneer S, including an intimidating laser-cut roof rack, 3D-printed tow hooks, lifted suspension, wheel caps, and a host of other goodies for gearheads and boulder lovers alike.

Sitting pretty on 31.5-inch tires

Trailhawk is the trim name usually applied to Jeep’s most rugged off-road vehicles, complete with more durable equipment and materials. In addition, Trailhawk vehicles are often trail rated, meaning they’ve passed a battery of tests for maneuverability, articulation, and ground clearance. And with the Wagoneer S Trailhawk concept, Jeep is signaling its interest in extending those capabilities to its nascent battery-electric segment.

The Trailhawk concept boasts a lot of the same features as the Wagoneer S — while taking them a step further. In addition to those all-terrain 31.5-inch tires, the concept sits on a lifted suspension for better ground clearance. Tow hooks are embedded in the front and rear of the vehicle, and functional air extractors are intended for high-pressure environments. The hood decal is anti-glare, the badging is flush with the vehicle, and the panoramic sunroof is dual panel for letting in fresh air — or trail dust, as it were.

Jeep’s five driver modes for the Wagoneer S gain a sixth mode for the Trailhawk concept: Rock. The mode selector is emergency red in the center console for ease of switching. And the steering wheel is octagonal-shaped, with special grips at the 9 and 3 o’clock positions for those especially hairy moments.

Electric off-roading isn’t exactly a new thing. Ford, Chevy, GMC, and Rivian all market their electric trucks as just as capable on gravel as they are on pavement. And the annual King of the Hammers off-roading competition features a segment just for battery-powered rock crawlers. But Jeep is a brand that prides itself on its overpowered dirt spewers, so introducing a plug-in version would make total sense.

The company isn’t committing to putting the Trailhawk concept into production, but during today’s event, executives hinted heavily that the off-roader would indeed eventually become a real EV. Jeep CEO Antonio Filosa said that the Wagoneer S would feature several trims, with the fully loaded Launch Edition coming first.

Photography by Andrew J. Hawkins / The Verge


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