There’s a new Magneto coming to Easter Jeep Safari this year, and it’s not the one played by Sir Ian McKellan. It’s not Michael Fassbender, either. Last year Jeep showed off a battery-electric Wrangler with a 285 horsepower motor from Webasto and 70 kWh of battery shoved wherever it would fit. Interestingly, it still featured its factory manual gearbox and selectable range with available 2WD, 4-high, and 4-low. That’s unorthodox, because unlike typical four-wheel drive BEVs, it wasn’t accomplished with a motor at each end, but rather a transfer case and traditional axles.
On Thursday Jeep teased a Magneto 2.0 ahead of EJS this year, presumably meaning the company would be bringing a second version of the model. There’s no telling exactly how this one will be powered, but I’d jump to the easy conclusion that this will be a more well-rounded BEV that takes full advantage of electric propulsion. I’d expect something with more power output, and more motors. Whether that is accomplished with one motor at each axle, or one motor at each wheel as Rivian does, we can’t be sure until the vehicle is unveiled.
The teaser image, above, seems to show carbon fiber flat fenders, and a massive power bulge on the hood. It’s possible that this will be a more power-and-acceleration-oriented electric Wrangler. Trucks like the Rivian R1T and GMC Hummer are trying to claim proper electric off-road chops, as well as quick on-road acceleration, so if Jeep were to bring out something that was lighter, quicker, and more trail-rated than either of those, it could be a massive step in the EV direction that Stellantis has set out for its brands.
Surely such a Wrangler would not be cheap to produce for public consumption, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be made as a one-off for EJS fairly easily to drum up excitement and gauge consumer sentiment toward an electric Wrangler.
I, for one, already love the idea.