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Jeep takes aim at Tesla with its first electric SUV, new Wrangler-like EV coming soon

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After launching its first global EV, the Wagoneer S, last week, Jeep believes it can compete with the best, including Tesla. With another Wrangler-like EV launching soon, the rugged SUV brand expects to steal “mainly Tesla” drivers, but they are not the only ones.

Meet the first all-electric Jeep

Although Jeep already launched the all-electric Avenger in Europe, the Wagoneer S is the brand’s first global EV.

Jeep officially unveiled the Wagoneer S last week, a luxury fully electric SUV. The Wagoneer S launch “marks a new chapter in the storied history of Jeep brand,” CEO Antonio Filosa said at the event.

The Wagoneer S is “distinctively a Jeep and 100% electric in every way.” You can immediately see the brand’s iconic design elements updated for the new era.

One of the most noticeable changes is the iconic seven-slot grille, which has been redesigned with ambient cast lighting. The grille is closed without the need to cool a massive engine.

Based on the STLA large platform, the Wagoneer S is expected to offer over 300 miles range. With 600 hp and 617 lb-ft of torque, the premium electric sedan can sprint from 0 to 60 mph in 3.4 secs.

Jeep Wagoneer S Launch Edition (Source: Jeep)

Although it’s based on the same platform as the Dodge Charger, Jeep designers and engineers tuned the Wagoneer S’s dimensions and powertrain configurations to fit the brand. Jeep included its signature Selec-Terrain and standard 4WD to tackle any terrain.

Inside, the Wagoneer S features a “best-in-class” screen featuring over 45″ of usable space. The system includes a 12.3″ center infotainment and a 10.25″ passenger screen.

Jeep Wagoneer S Launch Edition Radar Red interior (Source: Jeep)

Following the Wagoneer S, which is set to hit US dealerships this fall, Jeep will launch the Recon, a Wrangler-inspired electric SUV.

Jeep expects new Wagoneer S EV to attract Tesla drivers

Jeep’s CEO believes its first electric vehicles will help attract new buyers to the brand. Filosa told Automotive News, “Something like 100% will be conquested” for the Wagoneer S and Recon EVs.

“The brands we are targeting are mainly Tesla… but there are many others,” Filosa said. The comments come as Filosa, who took over as Jeep CEO last November, looks to revamp the brand.

Jeep Recon electric SUV (Source: Stellantis)

After sales quadrupled in 2018, nearly reaching the 1 million mark, Jeep has struggled to gain traction amid a five-year sales slump in the US. Jeep sold 642,924 vehicles in the US last year, down 6% from the 684,614 handed over in 2022.

Filosa said the brand can reach 1 million in the US with new models launching in key segments. However, Jeep won’t do so by offering exclusively electric options.

Bill Pefer, head of Jeep North America, said, “We’ve got a suite of different powertrain offerings,” including fully electric, range-extending electric, PHEV, and mild-hybrids.

Jeep Wagoneer S Launch Edition (Source: Jeep)

Meanwhile, new EVs will “give access to the Jeep brand to people who would never consider us before,” according to Pefer.

The Jeep Wagoneer S Launch Edition will hit dealerships in the US this fall with a starting price of $71,995. Will Jeep’s first EV attract Tesla drivers?

Jeep Wagoneer S Launch Edition (Source: Jeep)

The Tesla Model Y starts at $44,990, with up to 320 miles range. The AWD version starts at $47,990 while the Performance with a 0 to 60 mph in 3.5 secs starts at $51,490. And that’s before the $7,500 tax credit.

Tesla’s Model Y starts at just $37,490, with the tax credit included. The Model X starts at $77,990 with up to 335 miles range. With the tax credit, Model X prices start as low as $70,490.

Can Jeep’s new EV compete with Tesla? Let us know what you think in the comments below.

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