Fiat Chrysler will retool the Toledo plant to accommodate a PHEV model.
Ever since Jeep debuted the new Wrangler at the 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show, we know a hybrid model is coming. Now, though, we may have some more clarity as to when the model will actually emerge. In a report accompanying FCA’s earnings call, Jeep will facilitate a market launch of the Jeep Wrangler Plug-in Hybrid in “early 2020.” On the earnings call, however, Fiat Chrysler mentioned a January 2020 on-sale date. To keep that schedule, production should start by late 2019.
To build the 2020 Jeep Wrangler Plug-in Hybrid, the company may retool the Toledo plant throughout the second quarter of 2019, according to sources familiar with the matter. Spokesperson Jodi Tinson could not provide any direct confirmation of timelines, other than the say there will be a PHEV model. The Toledo Assembly Complex’s north plant suspended its operations for a week in January for retooling, according to the Toledo Blade.
In an earlier release, Fiat Chrysler did state that a critical component — the Power Electronics module — would be manufactured at the Toledo Machining Plant. The unit consists of the power inverter and dual-charger module will provide the juice to the electric motor.
It’s not clear yet which powertrain the 2020 Jeep Wrangler Plug-in Hybrid is going to use. Reports at the time the hybrid model was announced suggested it may use the same 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 setup as the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid. For 2019, the Pacifica Hybrid manages 32 miles of all-electric range before reverting back to the engine. However, for even better fuel efficiency, it’s entirely possible the company may use the 2.0-liter turbo engine in the Wrangler Plug-in Hybrid variant as well.
At any rate, it looks like Jeep is still on track for a 2020 launch date. We’ll provide more updates as they’re available, including production and on-sale dates.