Emissions-free off-roading may be a thing of the not-too-distant future. At least that’s the promise of the Jeep Magneto electric concept vehicle.
The Magneto is similar to a standard gas-fueled Wrangler Rubicon, albeit with an electric motor and four battery packs installed in place of the standard V6. Truly unique for an electric vehicle, a 6-speed manual transmission delivers power to the wheels. Jeep says the conventional clutch works as it would in a gasoline-powered vehicle. The design of the electric powertrain replicates the type of performance drivers would get from a V6.
The battery packs are mostly tucked out of sight, though one takes up some of the cargo area. The trade-off for that compromise is that the electric gear is sits high enough that the Magneto can ford 30 inches of water. Additionally, the electrical system powers the front bumper-mounted Warn winch to help extract the Magneto — or another stuck vehicle.
Jeep says the setup is good for a 0-60 mph sprint of just 6.8 seconds, though the more important figure for an adventure-oriented vehicle is its electric range. Jeep is keeping that figure close to heart, at least for now.
If you’re after an electrified Jeep Wrangler, worry not: Jeep dealers will soon sell the Wrangler 4xe, a plug-in hybrid version of the venerable off-roader that delivers over 20 miles of electric-only driving before the gas engine kicks on. The Wrangler 4xe costs about the same as the standard Wrangler, at least for shoppers who qualify for federal incentives.
This story originally ran on Autotrader.com.