Jeep Recon (Jeep Wrangler-based Electric) could be America’s toughest off-roader

  • In 2024, the Recon will be the first or second Jeep EV in the U.S. market
  • It should have a range of 300-400 miles, with prices in the USD 50k-65k range
  • Peer-to-Peer Charging, Biometric Recognition, OTA updates & AR HUD expected
  • Jeep Recon will compete with the upcoming Ford Bronco EV

The Jeep brand is set to release four new electric vehicles by 2025, with the first/second model arriving in the United States being the Jeep Recon. It is targeted towards customers who seek something like a Jeep Wrangler electric.

Design

The Jeep Recon is a model designed from the ground up, but it has a resemblance to the Wrangler. Asked if it’s a Wrangler during its online reveal, Ralf Gilles, Chief Design Officer, Stellantis, said:

They’re brothers. It was absolutely inspired by the Wrangler, which is the king of our portfolio of vehicles and will always lead the charge.

Ralf Gilles, Chief Design Officer, Stellantis (2022 Jeep 4xe Day on September 8, 2022)

The Jeep Recon is a true SUV with its boxy, brutish style and proportions. While we prefer the Wrangler’s flat and slim roof to the Recon’s curvy and thick roof, the taller windshield and lower hood of the Recon would give it better visibility of the road or trail ahead.

The boxy headlights and small seven-slot grille remind us of the BAIC BJ40 and BAIC BJ60 Chinese SUVs, though the former, in turn, are undeniably inspired by the American SUV! A chunky bumper guard, round fog lamps, functional lower grille, exposed tow hooks, and an anti-glare decal on the hood are other highlights at the front.

Jeep Recon rear three quarter
The Jeep Recon pictured is an off-road-focused Moab grade. Image Source: Stellantis

On the sides, the rounded and horizontal mirrors put function over form. The wheel arches are sleek, which helps with aerodynamic efficiency. Some people may not like that the Wrangler’s fender flares are gone on the Recon. The door handles are almost fully tucked in, which makes them better for aerodynamics than the Wrangler’s classic handles. The flap of the charging port is on the rear left wing of the SUV.

At the rear, the squarish tail lamps stretch out a little to the sides, forming a wraparound effect and underlining the Recon’s wide stance. Side-opening tailgate with a spare wheel mounted on its center, a chunky bumper guard, an exposed tow hook, and an asymmetric license plate recess are some more visual highlights here. A badge on the right side of the tailgate shows that this particular Recon is in an off-road-focused Moab grade.

New-age features

The Jeep Recon will pack a host of new-age technologies to appeal to modern customers just as much as old-school off-road enthusiasts. These features may include Peer-to-Peer Charging, Remote Vehicle Tracking, Biometric Recognition, Jeep Drone Pairing, Jeep Trails, Group Ride, OTA updates, and AR HUD.

Peer-to-Peer Charging is a bi-directional charging application for a vehicle-to-vehicle charging function. Biometric Recognition may include a face recognition system that scans the customer’s face as they approach their vehicle and, on matching with the registered face, powers it on automatically.

Jeep Recon roof top view
Jeep is promising open-air freedom in the Recon right from the start, with a one-touch powertop and removable doors and glass. Image Source: Stellantis

Jeep Trails may include over 6,000 pre-loaded off-road trails, allowing new off-roaders to embark on their first adventures without any worries. Plus, Group Ride may allow locating and communicating with members of the customer’s Jeep community anywhere on or off the road. “Lost” will probably become a long-lost word, then!

With Vehicle-to-Vehicle communication capabilities, our Jeep brand community will stay connected, and share adventures from the most remote locations even without cellular connectivity.

Mamatha Chamarthi, SVP Software Business & Product, Stellantis, at the Stellantis Software Day 2021 on December 7, 2021

With Jeep Platooning, customers going together on a trip in multiple Recons or other Vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communication-enabled EVs from Stellantis would be able to stay in constant contact. This feature would make road trips interesting, especially for two or more facilities traveling together in different vehicles. It would be useful during off-roading, especially to alert following vehicles of any obstacles and guide them through the trail. Yves Bonnefont, Chief Software Officer, Stellantis, explains:

We enable communication between the different cars on the trail. This is obviously resonating very very well with our Jeep customers and their passion to go off track.

Yves Bonnefont, Chief Software Officer, Stellantis (Stellantis Software Day 2021 on December 7, 2021)

Stellantis plans to gradually deploy V2V communication features in several other brands, although available features may vary as per the need of each brand:

We’re going to use the exact same software modules to create the same service with a different flavor for our friends and family brands, say Chrysler or Citroen in Europe, where you will have communication capabilities with two or three cars going on the motorway on the weekends and they can now talk between each other, they can point their GPS navigation towards the car of their friends and stop together, they can maybe listen to the same music, streaming at the same time, so they feel together.

Yves Bonnefont, Chief Software Officer, Stellantis (Stellantis Software Day 2021 on December 7, 2021)

How electric helps Jeep

Jeep will launch an electric alternative to the Wrangler primarily because of stricter emission regulations, but there are many advantages customers will get from this move. An electric powertrain provides silent driving, which would make the Wrangler even more suitable for safari and other expeditions for animal/bird-watching. A front trunk’s extra storage space would make it more practical in urban and off-road situations. These benefits are in addition to the most basic advantage, which is instant torque. The company can also give each wheel a dedicated motor to further improve off-roading capability. A shorter hood could enhance the visibility of the road/trail ahead.

Submersible Jeep Wrangler electric underwater teaser with Christian Meunier
Jeep may eventually offer a submersible Recon that can drive underwater around 2030. Currently, the Wrangler Xtreme Recon provides 33.6 inches of water fording. Image Source: Stellantis

By the next decade, the Jeep Recon could gain the capability to drive underwater. At the virtual roundtable on July 13, 2021, Jeep teased a fully submersible Wrangler in a video. Meunier referred to that capability as “a wink to the future” and said it “could be a dream after 2030.” “Maybe not a dream, though,” Meunier quickly corrected, suggesting that the company wants to make that dream of off-road enthusiasts true next decade.

One of the other elements is clean air, we’re working on a vehicle right now in my shop, it’s a future vehicle we’re talking about, how we could open the back of the vehicle up somebody brought up, we’ll you’ll have exhaust fumes coming in the back, no not in an electric vehicle, it’s pure! Electricity is going to make not just a new Jeep, but a better Jeep in every way, and we’re very excited about that!

Mark Allen, Head of Jeep design, dwelling on the benefits an electric powertrain brings to a Jeep SUV, in July 2021

Specifications

The Jeep Recon has the Jeep Selec-Terrain traction management system, e-locker axle technology, under-body protection, aggressive off-road tires, and, as seen in the pictures above, tow hooks. Gilles speaks highly of its basic angles that matter the most during off-roading.

We worked with our friends in engineering to design the Jeep Recon with impressive approach, departure, and break-over angles providing an off-road performance worthy of the Jeep brand name.

Ralf Gilles, Chief Design Officer, Stellantis (2022 Jeep 4xe Day on September 8, 2022)

Platform

The Jeep Recon likely sits on the same platform that will underpin the the RAM 1500 EV, the STLA Frame. Meunier, CEO, Jeep says that the all-electric Recon can cross the whole Rubicon Trail on a full charge and still be left with enough charging to return to town and recharge.

Battery & Charging

Jeep may use battery packs with a gross (installed/embedded) energy storage capacity of 159-200+ kWh for the STLA Frame vehicles. The net (usable) energy storage capacity would be enough to cover a distance of up to 800 km (497 miles). The Recon will need batteries that hold their charge at high altitudes and in cold conditions, offering a range of 300-400 miles.

One of the main concerns among Jeep enthusiasts is the charging infrastructure during long camping trips, which Jeep seems dedicated to solving using new solar-powered charging stations, such as the ones at the Badge of Honor trails at Moab and Rubicon Trail in California.

The Recon’s battery packs are likely to come from the new U.S. production facility Stellantis and Samsung SDI plan to build with an investment of over USD 2.5 billion. Located in Kokomo in the State of Indiana, the factory will have an annual production capacity of 23 GWh when production commences in 2025. At a later stage, when there’s higher demand, that output will go up to 33 GWh.

Jeep Magneto concepts (Jeep Wrangler electric concepts)

We can build some expectations for the Recon based on the Jeep Wrangler Magneto concepts shown at the previous Easter Jeep Safaris. While the Magneto is not a direct preview of the Recon, many of its capabilities will trickle into the production electric off-roader.

Jeep Wrangler Magneto 2.0 Concept rear three quarter
The Magneto concepts were a testbed for the Jeep Recon. Image Source: Stellantis

Powertrain

The Magneto 2.0 uses a custom-built axial flux electric motor that operates at up to 5,250 rpm, in combination with four battery packs running an 800-volt system. The e-motor features a 6-speed MT with regen available during clutch engagement. Jeep has employed an inverter derived from race cars for the DC-AC conversion required for the motor.

The performance of the Magneto 2.0 is far superior to that of the 3.6-liter Pentastar V6. The e-motor is tuned to deliver up to 850 lb.-ft. of wheel torque (more than triple the 2021 Magneto’s torque output) and 625 horsepower. Jeep says the Magneto 2.0’s powertrain can hold the peak amperage of 600 amps (more than doubled) for up to 10 seconds, and during that time, a 0-60 mph sprint takes 2 seconds. A driver-selectable maximum regeneration function that makes a one-pedal driving experience possible is also new in the updated Wrangler electric concept.

Rock-Trac

The Magneto 2.0 features the Wrangler Rubicon’s Rock-Trac transfer case. Jeep changed the original concept’s 6-speed manual transmission for the updated version, tweaking the first gear ratio from 5.13 to 3.36. Together, these aspects give the new concept an “unequaled rock-crawling capability,” says Jeep.

The Rock-Track 4×4 system features Dynatrac 60 Pro-Rock front axle and a Pro-Rock Dynatrac 80 rear axle, with a 5.38 ratio and lockers. A custom driveshaft, an off-road suspension, a custom 3-inch lift kit, and 20-inch wheels wrapped in 40-inch off-road tires are also noteworthy off-roading hardware Jeep has used in the new concept.

Production & Release Date

The Jeep Recon will make its public debut in 2023 and enter production in 2024. Jeep says that, like the Wrangler, the Recon will be a model manufactured in North America, which makes it eligible for Clean Vehicle Credit, provided it meets all the other requirements of the scheme. The company will start taking Recon reservations in the U.S. in early 2023.

Stellantis wants to have a zero-emission, fully electric Jeep 4xe model in every SUV segment and convert 70% of its sales to electrified models by 2025.

Jeep electrification target 2025
Jeep expects to convert nearly a third of its sales to electrified models by 2025. It will have one fully-electric Jeep in every SUV segment by 2025. Image Source: Stellantis

Until the introduction of the Jeep Recon, environmentally conscious Jeep enthusiasts in the U.S. will have to contend with the Jeep Wrangler 4xe, the company’s first PHEV in North America, which starts at USD 55,260 (excl. USD 1,595 destination fee).

TopElectricSUV says

As the top-selling PHEV in America, the Wrangler 4xe is drawing inspiration from the company’s heritage to help the line-up go all-electric. While the Hummer EV SUV and the Rivian R1S are the first practical electric off-roaders in the market, the Jeep Recon and Ford Bronco EV are set to lower the entry point for hardcore off-roaders that are distinctly American.

Jeep Recon FAQs

What is the Jeep Recon release date?

The Recon enters production in 2024. Jeep will start taking reservations in the U.S. in early 2023.

What is the expected Jeep Recon price & range?

The Recon should do a range of 300-400 miles, with prices in the USD 50k-65k bracket.

Which are competitors to the Jeep Recon?

The upcoming Ford Bronco EV is the Recon’s main challenger.

Featured image: Stellantis