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The upcoming Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe plug-in hybrid has been spotted in prototype form alongside other two-row test vehicles that have recently hit the streets all over the country. A plug-in hybrid variant of the three-row Grand Cherokee L (dubbed 4xe, as in the Wrangler PHEV) has already been announced; these photos confirm that it won’t be reserved for the three-row.
While Stellantis has already confirmed plans to expand the 4xe range in Europe with some of its smaller models, the variant of that powertrain we’re getting in the Wrangler is certainly potent enough to be a V8 replacement, or at the very minimum, an acceptable alternative. The 4xe makes a combined 375 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque in the Wrangler, and while its accompanying battery pack will likely up its host’s curb weight by a decent amount, keep in mind that Mopar V8s are all iron-block (yes, even the SRTs); the jump from the DOHC 3.6L Pentastar to the OHV 5.7L Hemi in a current Grand Cherokee is about 265 pounds.
Jeep has not yet confirmed much about the two-row beyond the basics, but we expect much of its underpinnings to match the L’s. That would mean a 3.6-liter V6 making 290 horsepower and 257 pound-feet of torque would be standard, and a 5.7-liter V8 with 357 horsepower and 390 pound-feet of torque should be optional. However, we’ve been hearing rumors that Stellantis may be just about ready to introduce its next generation of gasoline ICEs, including a boosted inline-6 that may power some of the models that once housed Hemi V8s. A variant of the Wrangler’s 2.0-liter turbocharged engine is also reportedly being considered for the Grand Cherokee, likely only in the smaller two-row pictured here.
New Grand Cherokee prototypes have been popping up just about everywhere. A reader alerted us to a suspected Trailhawk model spotted in California in February, and the standard two-row model has been roaming the roads of Metro Detroit for the past week, hinting that Jeep is inching closer to showing us its redesigned SUV. If the rumors prove true, we should know more by mid-year.