Jeep won’t be killing the V8 engine just yet, but its global boss has confirmed what we already knew – it won’t live forever.
Currently, Jeep packs a bent-eight engine into its outgoing Grand Cherokee for Australian buyers, and offers a V8-powered Wrangler in the USA.
“To answer the question bluntly I love a V8, but I love electrification even more because it can give me more. More acceleration, more power, more torque, in a better package – without hurting the planet,” Jeep CEO Christian Meunier this week told Asia Pacific media.
“I think it’s a better solution longer-term,” Mr Meunier said,
So, does that mean the V8 is going the way of the Dodo?
“I think in the very long term it’s very obvious it will happen,” the Jeep boss said.
“In the mid-term, it’s clear that we want to protect the big V8, and the high-performance V8 as long as we can – especially in markets where there’s demand for it, and it makes sense.
“At the same time, it’s very clear that electrification gives us a chance to get even more performance in a better way, more acceleration than an [internal-combustion] engine,” he explained.
Mr Meunier also signalled a staggered end for diesel power in Jeep vehicles, as demand for the fuel dips in Europe.
Australia already misses out on the diesel Jeep Gladiator and Wrangler offered in the USA, and the incoming Grand Cherokee L will be petrol and hybrid-only. The outgoing Grand Cherokee is currently offered with a V6 turbo-diesel engine.
“Diesel in Europe is going to really disappear, and Europe was really the root of the diesel engines,” he said.
“It’s very clear that diesel volume is going to reduce significantly. Does that mean we are going to stop the diesel all at once? No. Once again, I think there will be a transition between now and 2030, and it will vary by market.”
The brand this week laid out its plans for an electrified future under the new Stellantis umbrella, promising to offer pure-electric cars across all its brands.
By 2025, it plans for 70 per cent of all its sales to be electrified vehicles, ranging from mild-hybrid to all-electric.
Jeep also used EV Day to preview features it may offer in the future, like vehicle-to-vehicle charging, drone pairing and biometric recognition, as well as something decidedly simpler: front seats that fold flat to form a bed.
It also suggested it could roll out autonomous off-road driving capability by 2030, as well as a function that could allow you to send your Jeep off while you tracked it remotely.