But remain scant on the specifics.
American SUV marque Jeep have confirmed that its smallest family member, the Renegade, will receive a plug-in hybrid powertrain come 2020, in line with Fiat-Chrysler’s goal to offer an electrified powertrain in each of its models by 2021. The Renegade, being one of Jeep’s stronger-sellers (especially in Europe) will play a significant role in achieving this goal, and an electrified powertrain will extend its appeal further than its chunky styling and Tonka-toy proportions.
The Renegade will continue to be built in the Melfi plant in southern Italy, alongside its sibling, the Fiat 500X. That plant is now undergoing upgrades to bring it up to code to manufacture the complex powertrain, with production slated to begin in late 2019.
FCA has been tight-lipped on the details of the new powertrain, only going as far as to say that it’s cost them some €200-million (or about $324-million) to develop the drivetrain, upgrade Melfi, and up-train its existing workforce. However, the PHEV powertrain will likely find its way onto a variety of FCA models very soon after the Renegade debuts it, as is the way with FCA and other conglomerate automotive corporations.
Jeep’s Renegade is a tough-looking, pint-sized, and somewhat-capable off-roader that certainly has fans across the globe. With tightening emissions regulations and ever-increasing fuel prices, a plug-in hybrid Renegade might just have what it takes to move itself into the mainstream, but only if it sorts out some of the issues we took with it when we reviewed it last year.