In just about a month after going to market, Ford’s (F), electric-take on the American staple has been welcomed with open arms. Will this open the door for other American favorites as well?
Jeep certainly hopes so, as the American-based (FCAU) Fiat Chrysler Automobiles takes its cult-classic and longtime favorite off-road Jeep Wrangler into the next generation of retail cars.
According to a Morgan Stanley report, despite selling only 3,739 of its new Mustang Mach-E SUVs in February, Ford’s impact on the EV market has been significant in such a short time. Last month, Tesla’s (TSLA). share of the US electric-car market fell to 69%, which was also down from 81% in the prior year. The Mustang accounted for nearly all of Tesla’s market-share losses, the bank said. Quite a warm welcome for the next iteration of America’s favorite muscle car.
Well, on Monday, shooting to drum up the same kind of excitement as Ford, Jeep unveiled an all-electric version of its iconic Wrangler SUV. The only difference is, investors, analysts and consumers alike will all likely have to wait at least a few years to purchase one.
Dubbed the Jeep Wrangler “Magneto” the unveiled vehicle, is a concept, built by automakers to gauge customer interest or show the future direction of a vehicle or brand. The most unique feature of the Magneto has to be the SUV’s six-speed manual transmission, which electric vehicles don’t require because of their motors. Head of Jeep design, Mark Allen, expands, saying the vehicle “has the best characteristics” of an automatic transmission but the “direct-drive feel” of a manual transmission, which is a key draw for off-road enthusiasts.
The concept of the Magneto was inspired by the popular, two-door 2020 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon. To make it an EV, engineers swapped out its internal combustion engine and some supporting parts for electric components such as four batteries and an e-motor. The vehicle is capable of up to 273 foot-pounds of torque and 285 horsepower. The Magneto runs 0-60 mph in 6.8 seconds. The company did not release the electric range of the vehicle.
Regardless of the timeline for coming to market with a retail version of the new Wrangler, Jeep executives say Jeep moving forward will offer some form of electrification, but is not yet confirming a true, all-electric version of the Wrangler.