Jeep Electrifies Easter Jeep Safari with ‘Magneto,’ a Wrangler EV Concept

As it does every year, Jeep has prepared a handful of concepts for the Easter Jeep Safari. This year, the iconic American off-road brand has taken a bit of a different approach, at least for one of its vehicles. For the first time ever, one of the Easter Jeep concepts is all-electric.

It’s called the Jeep Magneto. It’s powered by four battery packs that are rated at a combined 70 kiloWatt hours and 800 volts. They’re slung between the Wrangler’s frame rails and protected by a steel skid plate. The batteries are wired to a specially designed axial flux motor, which is mated to — get this — a manual transmission of all things.

The manual gearbox works like a traditional stick-shift with a clutch and manual shift lever, allowing the drive to row through the gears at their leisure. This, if you’re not aware, is distinctive in the battery-electric vehicle (BEV) segment. Virtually all others have no transmissions at all and are direct-drive.

The motor has been tuned to mimic the power output of the brand’s bread and butter gasoline V6, the 3.6-liter Pentastar. As a result, the Magneto is rated at 285 horsepower and 273 foot-pounds of torque. Again, this is different from most BEVs, which have humongous torque figures. The Hummer EV, for example, turns out a reported 11,500 ft-lbs. So, the Magneto’s 273 ft-lbs., though not nothing, is rather tiny by comparison. Nevertheless, the Magneto can rush from 0 to 60 miles per hour in 6.8 seconds. It can also wade through 30 inches of water thanks to its two-inch lift and 35-inch tires.

READ MORE: WHICH JEEP IS BEST FOR OVERLANDING?

Not one but two traditional 12-volt batteries power accessories on the Magneto, one for the infotainment unit and another for the lights and WARN winch. And a high-volt, 10-kiloWatt heater fills the cabin with warm air, keeping occupants comfortable. Remember, without an internal combustion engine onboard, heat has to come from somewhere.

Jeep did not specify how far Magneto can go on a single charge nor did it say how fast it can recharge. Even without these details, it’s exciting to see Jeep begin to play in the BEV category — especially with its most iconic vehicle, the Wrangler.

Jeep also debuted several other concepts, including the Jeepster Beach, based upon the Jeepster and the Jeep Red Bare that started life as a EcoDiesel-powered Gladiator Rubicon. Rounding out the pack is the two-door Wrangler based Jeep Orange Peelz. I doff my hat to the designers who picked plaid seat inserts for both Red Bare and Orange Peelz.

If you want to see them in person, Easter Jeep Safari will take place Sunday, March 28 to  Saturday, April 3.


Header image: Jeep

Photo by Brett Willhelm

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