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Jeep Avenger 4xe debuts new hybrid all-wheel drive system

Clever new all-wheel drive model will be most capable Avenger yet, without forgetting about efficiency

Jeep has revealed a new version of the compact Avenger SUV called the 4xe (read: four-by-e), boasting a clever new powertrain design that uses electric motors to both improve efficiency and unlock all-wheel drive potential. 

Due to join the line-up later this year, the new Jeep Avenger 4xe will sit alongside the existing mild-hybrid and all-electric models, adding yet more powertrain variants to the range.

The 4xe powertrain works by combining a typical 1.2-litre turbocharged three-cylinder petrol engine with two electric motors, one mounted on each axle. Both of these motors assist the petrol engine, which predominantly drives the front wheels via a six-speed dual-clutch transmission. 

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The hybrid system has a small lithium-ion battery pack, and isn’t able to be charged from the mains. Instead it’s topped up via regenerative braking, and occasionally from the petrol engine itself. Jeep has yet to confirm official efficiency or CO2 figures, which will be announced closer to the car’s on-sale date. 

Power is rated at 134bhp from the petrol engine, with each of the motors capable of producing 28bhp and, thanks to some planetary gear wizardry on the rear axle, up to 1,900Nm of torque. However this figure is not equivalent to torque as usually rated from the crank of a normal combustion engine, but should still give the car plenty of shove at low speeds. Performance is marginally improved over the front-wheel drive version, taking 9.5 seconds to reach 62mph, and hitting 120mph flat out. 

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There’s no physical connection between the ICE engine at the front and the rear axle, but the system is fully variable using the e-motors depending on the speed and selected driver modes. Below 19mph electric drive is locked to a 50:50 split front to rear, turning into an active system between 19mph and 56mph between zero and 50 per cent. Above 56mph the rear motor switches off and decouples entirely to improve efficiency at motorway speeds.

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There’s also an extended range of ‘Selec-Terrain’ driver modes for the Avenger that are able to augment the powertrain to best suit the conditions. These range between Sand & Mud and Snow for off-road situations, as well as an Auto setting that prioritises efficiency. Finally, there’s a Sport mode that combines the various powertrain elements into their most potent combination. This also unlocks an E-Boost function that will set the e-motors to maximum power for short periods – useful for overtaking or when pulling away at busy junctions.

Due to the extra rear driveshafts, this is the first Avenger model to fit a more sophisticated multi-link rear axle design. This also has the added benefit of increasing suspension articulation and potentially improving overall ride quality, though confirmation will have to wait until we drive the car later this year. 

New 4xe models pick up a variety of styling changes including new bumpers front and rear that have improved approach and departure angles, as well as a 10mm increase in ride height to hammer home the added potential of the Avenger’s off-road ability. 

Jeep has also confirmed a 400mm wading depth, and inside there’s a range of waterproof fabrics and finishes for those who enjoy water sports and outdoor activities, or occasionally get stuck in the rain whilst retrieving groceries. 

We expect the 4xe to go on sale towards the end of 2024, priced on par with the pure-electric version of the Avenger. That should mean a starting price of around £35,000, with top-spec variants nudging £40k.

Click here for our list of the best hybrid SUVs...

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Senior staff writer

Senior staff writer at Auto Express, Jordan joined the team after six years at evo magazine where he specialised in news and reviews of cars at the high performance end of the car market. 

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