Jeep Wrangler 2017 Could Be A Self Driving Car: Is An Electric Pickup Next?

The upcoming Jeep Wrangler 2017 model could be subject to the latest evolution in motor vehicles. It could be the first off-road self-driving hybrid car.

Technically, many auto enthusiasts have a tendency to believe that hybrids shouldn’t be off-road vehicles. This is because the power needed to climb things like rocks (or curbs if you live in more urban areas) could be a serious strain on the battery, defeating the purpose of an off-road vehicle. On that note, repairs could be astronomical with off-road parts being combined with the tech-heavy circuit-run norm among hybrids.

The news of the Jeep Wrangler 2017 came from brand boss Michael Manley (not to be confused with the former Prime Minister of Jamaica) at the Geneva Motor Show.

“We’re studying a hybrid Wrangler. Obviously [there are] loads of different hybrid methods. For me you need to strike the right balance. We’re not going to allow you to be stranded on a hill somewhere, so fully electric isn’t an option for me. The hybrid tech itself works really well with our brand, with the control that you get, but it’s still a little way out in terms of time.”

Michael does admit, according to Top Gear, that a fully electric vehicle really doesn’t work for off-roaders. One good bump could knock a circuit out of place and require an electrician to repair it before it’s going anywhere. Again, that would be a hefty repair bill, but for now with self-driving cars still not quite mainstream yet, you might need to be wealthy to even own one.

The self driving car is still years from going mainstream due to Big Oil.
The self driving car is still years from going mainstream due to Big Oil. [Image by betto rodrigues/Shutterstock

Manley did state that his brand won’t “allow you to be stranded,” which begs the question of how well the upcoming Wrangler will absorb shock. The engine could easily be sitting in a carbon fiber and foam case just to avoid damaging the components. He added that the fuel type will likely still be diesel, despite how it allegedly doesn’t go well with hybrid technology.

In today’s world of climate change and global warming, it’s a financial war between Big Oil and environmental lobbyists, and fossil fuel is right at the center of it. Lobbyists want to see fuel become obsolete to stop unnecessary pollution, but without diesel and jet fuel, much of the United States’ commerce would likely collapse. Current big rigs depend on the power of fuel to operate, for example. Michael Manley claims that with global regulations, electric cars are expected to become the end goal.

Another change expected in the coming years, according to Autocar, is that the supply of Jeep products is expected to increase. After many complaints to Manley from the United Kingdom, the production in Toledo is planned to increase by 50 percent, raising the number to 350,000 units a year.

This is coming at an investment of $700 million, due to the introduction of a crew-cab pickup coming in 2019, says Motor Authority.

Also coming soon from Jeep is a pickup truck.
Also coming soon from Jeep is a pickup truck. [Image by Ovu0ng/Shutterstock]

Also in the future for Jeep is a retooled Grand Cherokee, their full-size SUV model, but diesel fuel is still expected to be the norm in spite of pressure to go completely electric to comply with global regulations. As stated above, a fully electric vehicle is most likely to leave you stranded in off-road or heavy slope conditions, and Michael Manley won’t allow it.


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[Featured Image by HUANG Zheng/Shutterstock]