What’s coming in big Jeeps in April: expect better acceleration without an mpg hit

The new Grand Cherokee and Wagoneer puzzled some observers, because the powertrain options were simply carryovers. Then the 4xe was announced for the Grand Cherokee; it should provide acceleration that rivals or beats the Hemi V8, albeit at a price. The Wagoneer, on the other hand, remains Hemi only.

Wagoneer and turbo six

What possible powertrain could augment the Hemi in a big SUV that starts at around $60,000? The GME T6 could do it—a turbocharged inline six-cylinder, to be made with and without a hefty electric motor for that right-off-the-line boost.

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The Wrangler 4xe has a 2-liter four-cylinder coupled with electric motors to run 0-60 times close to those of the big 392 Hemi, which displaces 6.4 liters—more than triple the displacement of the 4xe. The GME T6 has one and a half times the displacement of the 4xe’s 2.0 liter engine; assume the motors also scale up, it could conceivably outrun the 392 in the Grand Wagoneer. That could make it a Grand Wagoneer option, unless the performance characteristics are deemed to be insufficiently luxurious. Fuel economy would likely be just a little better than the standard Wagoneer’s 5.7 Hemi V8—perhaps more than a little better in city driving. Better city numbers tend to save more fuel for typical drivers, while better highway numbers make for good advertising. Regardless, the fuel-economy advantage is likely to be minimal while towing.

If the six-cylinder is used in the Grand Cherokee, it would be a reasonable replacement for the Hellcat, which is reportedly not going to survive past the 2023 model year.

The GME T6 is reportedly set to be revealed in either the Grand Cherokee or the Wagoneer at the New York International Auto Show in April.

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