Stellantis’s EV Day 2021 could perhaps go down in history as one of the biggest information dumps concerning green technology that we have seen in recent memory. Dodge and even Chrysler are getting into the EV race, and Jeep used its slice of the broader presentation to unveil not only the Grand Cherokee 4xe but also some of the bold plans and initiatives that it aims to introduce to consumers over the next few years.
Grand Cherokee 4xe Brings Electrification To Popular Family Model
Before we get into some of the more ambitious plans that Jeep laid out today, we might as well focus on a slice of familiarity with Jeep confirming the Grand Cherokee 4xe. The 4xe has been undergoing testing for a while now, and we have even had fleeting sightings of it on Chrysler’s home turf in Auburn Hills. With the larger three-row Grand Cherokee debuting an all-new styling language, it should come as no surprise that the changes here to the two-row model are very minimal. The shorter rear end is a prominent calling card of its shrunken proportions, while a slightly reworked front fascia helps enhance aerodynamics. Look for the interior to retain many traits with the three-row model, albeit with some minor tweaks to accommodate the 4xe’s equipment and readouts.
Performance for the Grand Cherokee 4xe is also a murky topic at the moment, with Stellantis and Jeep choosing to wait until the model is unveiled at the 2021 New York Auto Show. It’s known that the model will indeed be a plug-in with our own sightings confirming that the charging port will be located between the front fender and the driver’s door.
Jeep’s Broader Plans Add Augmented Technology And Even Drones
In addition to the Grand Cherokee 4xe, Jeep also used the occasion to talk about some of the other plans for its models. That includes the implementation of biometric recognition technology, which will make its production debut in 2025. The system would allow a Jeep vehicle to identify its owner using biological cues, and that would allow the vehicle to unlock the doors automatically and even start the engine.
While that piece of technology is reminiscent of the Predator movies, the next bit of news will undoubtedly please EV owners. Imagine that you are out and about in your Jeep product, and you’re low on range and are nowhere near a charging station. Jeep thinks it has a solution with peer-to-peer charging. To put it simply, this would allow owners to plug into another 4xe equipped model to help replenish some range from that vehicle’s battery pack. There’s even drone pairing in play here, too, with the application here helping to illuminate the road much further than what you would get in a traditional set of headlights.
Jeep claims that by 2030, fully autonomous off-roading will be possible with the SUV going down a trail by itself while the owner goes down a separate path. With this rather strange interaction, the idea here is for the SUV to trundle along the wilderness and then meet its human owners at a pre-determined point on the trail. It will be interesting to hear what the NHTSA will say about driverless hunks of metal going down the nearest trail, but Jeep is prepared to cross that bridge when the time comes.
While it will be interesting to see how Jeep proceeds with some of these novel ideas, the one thing that can’t be taken away from Jeep is how committed they are towards the future and doing what they can to evolve with an unpredictable marketplace. If you visualize a world where drones help light the way and the ability to charge your Jeep is as easy as hooking it up to a friend’s vehicle, we suggest you keep an eye on Jeep for future developments.
Carl Malek has been an automotive journalist for over 10 years. First starting out as a freelance photographer before making the transition to writing during college, his work has appeared on numerous automotive forums as well as websites such as Autoshopper.com.
Carl is also a big fan of British vehicles with the bulk of his devotion going to the Morgan Motor Company as well as offerings from Lotus, MG, and Caterham. When he is not writing about automobiles, Carl enjoys spending time with his family and friends in the Metro Detroit area, as well as spending time with his adorable pets.