Jeep reveals all-electric off-roading concept featuring a manual transmission
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Jeep has shown just how wild its hardcore off-road machines can be at its annual Moab Easter Safari. The American brand uses this annual four-wheel drive event to showcase its performance parts with custom built rock-crawling concept cars.
Jim Morrison, the vice president of Jeep North America, says the Safari is partly organised to promote its performance parts but also serves as a testing ground for new four-wheel drive concepts.
That should have Jeep enthusiasts intrigued by the Jeep Magneto concept, a fully-electric Jeep Wrangler.
Jeep’s engineers have bolted together a zero-emissions four-wheel drive with go-anywhere potential.
The brand says the electric motor makes 212kW and 370Nm, which is more than the current V6 petrol version’s beefy 209kW and 347Nm.
In a world first Jeep has matched the electric motor to a six-speed manual transmission. Other electric vehicles use a single-speed transmission because electric motors don’t rev like internal combustion engines.
Jeep doesn’t explain how the manual transmission would change gears in an electric motor.
The concept also comes with 35-inch mud-terrain tyres, a two-inch lift kit, steel belly pan, winch and a custom roll cage.
Previously Jeep’s head of design, Mark Allen, has told News Corp Australia that an electrified Wrangler could be better than a diesel or petrol one in off-road scenarios.
“I don’t think electricity applied to something like a Wrangler is a detrimental thing, I think of it as an opportunity to make a better Jeep,” he said.
Off-road focused vehicles need to be able to vary power and traction between wheels and electric cars provide the ideal base for that.
With a motor powering each wheel, an electric off-roader can have individual power and traction controls for each tyre.
The American maker also showed off its Jeep Farout Concept aimed at campers.
Based on the Gladiator ute, the Farout adds a “recreational residence” which is 16-foot long and 7.5 feet high and can easily sleep four.
There are also heavy four-wheel drive features such as big 37-inch mud-terrain tyres, a two-inch lift kit and a steel bumper with a winch.
The Jeepster Beach is a retro-inspired concept paying homage to the old Jeepster of the 1960s.
Based on the Wrangler Rubicon it is made for beach cruising rather than super tough off-road trails.
It features a bright summer paint job and giant 35-inch tyres. The rear seats have been removed to make way for a four-point safety cage and Jeep has ditched the carpet to make cleaning out sand easy.