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Jeep Magneto concept points way to EV future

New electric Jeep concept is based on two-door Jeep Wrangler Rubicon and has a manual gearbox

US off-road brand Jeep has revealed an all-electric concept car, called the Magneto.  It appears to confirm that the company is developing a Wrangler EV to sit alongside the forthcoming Wrangler 4xe plug-in hybrid in its range.

The Jeep Magneto features a solitary electric motor that generates 281bhp and 370Nm of torque, powered by a 70kWh battery. However, this battery capacity is split up into four separate units mounted around the vehicle’s body to keep weight balanced and help off-road performance.

This output should mean the Magneto can sprint from 0-60mph in 6.8 seconds, according to Jeep’s claims, and while the US brand hasn’t published a figure for the Magneto’s range, such a battery system should allow for around 210 miles between charges.

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Unusually for an EV, the Magneto features a six-speed manual gearbox. Jeep says the system is being set up for the motor to collect regenerated power as the driver eases off the accelerator when the clutch is engaged. However, the more likely scenario is that a potential production version of a Wrangler EV in the future (probably in the pipeline for a 2022 debut) could use a conventional single-speed transmission.

The Jeep Magneto was one of four concepts revealed ahead of the traditional Easter Jeep Safari in Moab, Utah, which starts on March 27 and runs until April 4. The other concepts are a mixture of modern and traditional.

The Jeep Gladiator Rubicon features a 256bhp 3.0-litre V6 diesel engine and eight-speed automatic transmission.

There’s also a  Jeepster Commando Beach, which is based on a 1968 C-101 and features a 335bhp 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbocharged engine. The interior contains red leather bucket seats and no carpet.

Finally, the Orange Peelz is based on a two-door Wrangler, and has no side or rear windows. It is powered by a 281bhp 3.6-litre V6, and its off-road ability is enhanced by a two-inch lift kit and Fox shock absorbers.

Check out what happened when we met a global expedition using a Jeep Wrangler...

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Sean’s been writing about cars since 2010, having worked for outlets as diverse as PistonHeads, MSN Cars, Which? Cars, Race Tech – a specialist motorsport publication – and most recently Auto Express and sister titles Carbuyer and DrivingElectric

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