Jeep to launch electric Land Rover Defender rival by 2025

1 year, 2 months ago - 27 February 2023, autocar
Jeep to launch electric Land Rover Defender rival by 2025
American brand's range will grow to seven models starting with Avenger ahead of 2030 EV-only target

Jeep’s UK range will swell to seven models by the middle of the decade in a line-up that will include an electric rival to the Land Rover Defender. 

The Stellantis-owned American brand revealed plans last year for a new range of electrified SUVs, starting with the Avenger this summer, ahead of its goal to go EV-only in Europe in 2030. 

After the electric Jeep Avenger, which will join the new Jeep Renegade 4xe and Jeep Compass 4xe plug-in hybrid models in UK showrooms, will come an all-new plug-in hybrid Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe later this year. 

By 2025, it will be joined by two new EVs: the Wagoneer S, a sporty large SUV, and the Defender-challenging Recon. Both of these will be based on Stellantis’s new STLA Large architecture. 

The Recon will sit alongside the Wrangler, confirmed Jeep’s European boss, Antonella Bruno, but the two cars will have slightly different sizes and positions in the range.

The Recon in Europe will be a white-space car,” said Bruno. “It’s a unique car, very boxy and very capable. It will sit in a lower part of the [market] segment to the Wrangler.

The Wrangler is offered outside of the UK as a plug-in hybrid, but Bruno said it wasn’t possible to engineer the current Wrangler 4xe in right-hand drive in this generation, so the off-roader will be the only Jeep not offered with an electrified drivetrain here by 2025.

At a global level, we want to be the 4x4 leader in electrification,” said Bruno. She noted that despite Jeep’s 4x4 heritage and positioning, it wasn’t targeting Land Rover as a rival in the UK and Europe, instead citing the likes of Volkswagen and Mini as brands from which it could conquer sales. 

Despite Jeep’s poor recent performance in the UK, Bruno believes the brand remains in good standing. 

“The brand is incredibly well known [in the UK],” she said. “The UK customer is ready to accept our new products with the Avenger. Starting with the Avenger and Grand Cherokee, we’re coming back to the UK with the right line-up. There’s confidence and expectation that we will change our presence in the UK.” 

Jeep took 7000 preorders for the Avenger in the UK before it went on sale in January, despite no customer test drives having taken place. Bruno said the Avenger recently being awarded the Car of the Year crown “will drive a lot of traction and be good for the entire Jeep line-up”.

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