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A close-up of the steering wheel in a 2024 Jeep Gladiator is shown.

The Jeep Gladiator 4xe Is Coming: What Does It Mean for Off-Roaders?

Ever since the 2021 Wrangler 4xe officially kicked off Jeep’s drive down an electric path, Gladiator lovers have been waiting for the day they can visit their local Jeep dealer and bring home a Jeep Gladiator 4xe. After all, the 4xe powertrain lets you stay on the road longer and tackle trails more aggressively. It seemed only natural that the Gladiator, which is built using the Wrangler platform, would eventually follow suit, but the wait was much longer than initially expected. Many speculated that a 4xe variant would be part of the 2024 model year Gladiator refresh, but it ultimately did not come to pass. However, the day is almost here, with recent confirmation the truck will be available in 2025, if not sooner.

Interestingly, the source of this news isn’t an official model announcement or a leak; it’s a labor agreement. Buried in the UAW Stellantis Hourly Agreement from November 2023, there were several notable pieces of information regarding future product investment. Among them was the news that the Jeep Gladiator and Jeep Wrangler will both receive a PHEV upgrade for 2025, with production happening at the Toledo Assembly Complex. Since the Wrangler already has an existing 4xe package, the clear implication is that not only will the existing system be overhauled, but it will finally be offered for the Jeep Gladiator. However, 2025 could mean the 2025 model year or the 2026 model year. We could see this going either way.

Regardless, now that we’re counting the days with renewed vigor, it’s time to look at what truck enthusiasts and off-roaders will be getting from the Gladiator 4xe’s arrival. In short, why should people be excited? Although Jeep has yet to make an official statement, the history of the 4xe lineup and the Gladiator gives us a reasonable idea of what to expect and why it’s a big deal.

What Is a Jeep 4xe?

We’ve written previously about the 4xe powertrain at CarLifeNation, but here’s a quick recap: The 4xe designation means that your Jeep is a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV). The 2021 Wrangler 4xe is credited as the first off-road PHEV, coming with a regular internal combustion engine and battery-powered electric motors. The vehicle can run on either or both systems, giving drivers more options whether they’re on the road or off it. Not surprisingly, the Wrangler 4xe has become the top-selling PHEV in the United States since its debut.

However, the Grand Cherokee is currently the only Jeep with a 4xe variant. Jeep previously stated that it intends for every production model to have a 4xe or fully electric option by 2025. This means the Gladiator is going to meet the self-imposed deadline. By extension, it implies other Jeep models, such as the Wagoneer and Compass, should also be due for electrification before too long.

For now, though, we’re focused on the Gladiator. Because it’s based on the Wrangler, it’s reasonable to expect the hybrid package and its performance effects will be similar. But what is that package, exactly? And if you already own a regular gas-powered Gladiator, is it worth springing for a Gladiator 4xe? We’re here to answer those questions.

What We Might Expect From the Gladiator 4xe

Again, the indications are that the first Jeep Gladiator 4xe will be an upgrade from the current Wrangler setup. Still, we can turn to the current Wrangler 4xe for guidance on just how much difference plug-in hybrid technology makes for off-roading. The combination of a 2.0L turbocharged engine and the electric motors produce 375 hp and 470 lb-ft of torque when used together in the default Hybrid mode. Suffice it to say that’s a huge increase over the 285 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque the Gladiator’s current 3.6L V6 power plant offers.

If you’ve been looking to bound over dunes or get the extra power needed for extreme rock crawling—all with the convenience of a truck bed and best-in-class towing and payload capabilities—the Gladiator 4xe should be right up your alley. The electric motors run directly through the four-wheel-drive system, so you’re not compromising performance if you’re in hybrid or electric-only mode.

Once you’re out there, we know you want to get as far out there as possible and stay there for a while. Let’s face it: what diehard off-roader looks forward to only going halfway up a mountain because that’s how far a full gas tank will get them? That’s another reason to look forward to the Jeep Gladiator 4xe. When you’re in Hybrid mode, the 2024 Wrangler 4xe gets 20 MPG combined. The most recent Gladiator gets 19 MPG, so it’s reasonable to expect a similar jump on the Gladiator 4xe for more hours of off-roading fun.

Further, the battery can be used as a backup generator. You’ll be able to run lights and appliances while camping or operate power tools while working. Once the battery is drained, the Gladiator 4xe will simply run like a normal internal combustion Gladiator until you charge it up again. If you know you’re going to need that battery power before you even start the trip, the available eSave mode will draw more power from the engine, so the battery is reserved.

But what if you switch to electric mode? You can drive an estimated 22 miles exclusively on battery power, which will get you to safety if you run out of gas—or at least to where you have cell service, depending on how far out there you went. It takes about two hours to fully charge the battery using a 240V charger, so as you’re picking up supplies for the next adventure, you can top it off and be ready to go. There’s also regenerative braking that gives the battery a little extra charge-up when you’re decelerating.

All this comes on top of everything people already love about the Jeep Gladiator. The 2024 model refresh we mentioned earlier adds things like improved crash test safety, power-adjustable seats, a larger infotainment touchscreen, and a navigation system with Jeep Badge of Honor trail maps and guides. Finally being able to enjoy plug-in hybrid performance on top of all of that would be a mighty big cherry on the sundae.

The Electric Future of Jeep

The 4xe powertrain is just the first step in Jeep’s move towards fully electric vehicles. The same Stellantis labor agreement that broke the news about the Gladiator 4xe also indicated the next-generation Wrangler—and likely, by extension, the next-gen Gladiator—will go into production in 2028. It’s expected to include an all-electric version and a version using the new “Range Electric Paradigm Breaker” powertrain that debuted with the Ram 1500 Ramcharger; this charges the battery as you drive using a gas engine at constant RPMs. Both have the potential to further transform how off-roading is done.

For now, though, we’re just looking forward to the Gladiator 4xe. By the time you read this, Jeep may have shed more light on what’s coming with its first plug-in hybrid pickup truck. In the meantime, we’ll be feeling electrified as we anticipate every scrap of information. It’s high time for a hybrid off-road Jeep pickup, and after waiting so long, the end of the wait is near.

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