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Jim Morrison, foreground, Head of Jeep Brand North America, introduces the audience to the 2023 Wrangler Willys 4XE at the North American International Auto Show, on Sept. 14, 2022, in Detroit.Jose Juarez/The Associated Press

The Willys, Jeep’s retro-Wrangler with styling that hearkens back to its Second World War roots, is getting a hybrid boost.

The Wrangler Willys 4xe was one of two new plug-in hybrid Jeeps revealed by parent company Stellantis Wednesday at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. The other is an electrified 30th anniversary edition of the Grand Cherokee.

Stellantis claims the 2023 Jeep Wrangler Willys 4xe will achieve average fuel consumption as good as 4.8 litres equivalent (Le) per 100 kilometres and up to 35 kilometres of all-electric range. Paired by a turbocharged four-cylinder engine, it produces 375 horsepower and 470 lb.-ft of torque.

The Willys 4xe also comes with the brand’s Selec-Trac full-time four-wheel-drive system, heavy-duty Dana 44 axles and mud-terrain tires. With a factory suspension lift, the Willys achieves 25.6 centimetres of ground clearance, enabling it to ford up to 76 centimetres of water.

The Jeep Wrangler Willys 4xe features standard LED headlamps and fog lamps, Alpine nine-speaker premium audio, all-weather floor mats, rear limited-slip differential, rock rails, a black grille and 17-inch black-painted alloy wheels wearing LT255/75R17C mud-terrain tires. Stellantis added blue highlights to the Willys hood decal and tail gate decal to identify it as a 4xe plug-in hybrid.

“Jeep Wrangler 4xe customers looking for the ultimate combination of capability and electrification, with a vintage twist, can now have it in the 2023 Jeep Wrangler Willys 4xe,” said Jim Morrison, senior vice president and head of Jeep brand North America.

Morrison said the biggest challenge bringing its plug-in hybrid vehicles to market during the COVID-19 pandemic was ensuring the vehicles met quality goals. “It took us a bit long to come to market, but it’s well accepted because it’s a really good Jeep,” he said.

Built in Toledo, Ohio, the Willys 4xe is expected to be available in Canada in the fourth quarter of 2022.

The 2023 Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe 30th Anniversary special edition, meanwhile, is the first in the vehicle’s 30-year history to offer a plug-in hybrid variant.

It delivers up to 42 kilometres of all-electric range and Stellantis claims a combined efficiency rating as good as 4.2 litres equivalent (Le) per 100 kilometres from a hybrid system that delivers 375 horsepower, 470 lb.-ft of torque and max towing of 2,721 kilograms (6,000 pounds).

Stellantis says the interior will include black Capri leather seats, ventilated front seats, wireless charging pad, dual pane sunroof, nine-speaker Alpine audio system and Uconnect 5 with a 10.1-inch touch screen, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, plus navigation with 3D graphics. Other standard features include front/rear park assist, Intersection Collision Assist, passive entry, rain-sensing windshield wipers, digital rear view mirror and 360-degree surround view camera system.

The 4xe Grand Cherokee is being built at the Detroit Assembly Complex, and will be available in Canada in late 2022.

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