Last year, Jeep made a few changes to the powertrain options that appeared focused on encouraging greater adoption of the 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbo. Instead of charging for the four-cylinder engine option and the obligatory eight-speed automatic transmission on top of that, Jeep made the four-cylinder free and only charged for the gearbox. Along with the price drop, Jeep made the 2.0-liter mill supplemented by FCA’s 48-volt eTorque system available only on the Sahara trim, when it had been available across the range. For 2021, “dealer connections” told Mopar Insiders that Jeep will drop the 2.0-liter with eTorque from even the Sahara model for the 2021 model year.
That leave the 2.0-liter with stop/start (ESS), the 3.6-liter V6 with stop/start and the 3.6 V6 with eTorque in the gas engine lineup for 2021, and the 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V6. As is currently the case, the V6 with ESS remains the standard engine. It appears output won’t change from 285 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque, and the V6 ESS engine is the only one of the four that can be paired with the six-speed manual transmission. The other three engines require the automatic. The EcoDiesel will continue as an option for the four-door Unlimited trim only.
We still don’t know what powertrain lives under the skin of the Wrangler 4xe plug-in hybrid launching later this year. Some wonder if the 2.0-liter will return as the heart of a Wrangler plug-in for next year, or if the Jeep will borrow the PHEV mechanicals from the Chrysler Pacifica plug-in hybrid. The minivan pairs the same 3.6-liter V6 used in the Jeep to drive the front wheels with a battery-driven electric motor turning the rears, and Jeep execs have mentioned that eAWD system coming to the Jeep lineup.