PARIS — The Jeep Avenger 4×4 Concept previewed an all-wheel-drive version of the brand’s new full-electric Avenger small crossover.
The concept points to how a future awd version will look, Jeep CEO Christian Meunier said at the unveiling of the car at the Paris auto show on Monday.
The Avenger 4×4 Concept differs from the standard Avenger by toughening up its appearance to indicate off-road capability.
Changes include a revised front bumper, a metallic surround to the lower grille, tow hooks, a wider track with beefier tires and thicker body cladding.
The car also features a light-weight rooftop luggage attachment system using straps rather than roofbars.
The production version of the Avenger 4×4 will mark the first time engineers have applied an electric motor to the rear axle as well the front to create all-wheel-drive capability. Jeep has not given an official launch date.
Jeep says the concept improves the Avenger’s off-road ability not just by adding an additional drive axle, but by also by increasing the ground clearance above the 200 mm on the standard two-wheel-drive Avenger.
Jeep has endeavored to give the standard Avenger some off-road ability despite it having only front-wheel drive.
A special ‘Selec-Terrain’ system offers six driving modes, three optimized to help traction in mud, sand or snow.
The number of small crossovers offering all-wheel drive is far smaller than the category itself, which this year overtook small cars to become Europe’s biggest.
The only electric all-wheel-drive small crossover currently available is the Smart #1 Brabus, focusing more on outright performance than off-road ability.
The Avenger 4×4’s electrified competitors will include Jeep’s own Renegade 4×4 plug-in hybrid, which is six inches longer than the Avenger.
The only other electrified all-wheel-drive small crossovers are the Toyota Yaris Cross hybrid and Mini Countryman plug-in hybrid.
The standard Avenger will be Jeep’s first full-electric model and go on sale in Europe in the spring. It will also be offered as a gasoline version in Spain and Italy but not with all-wheel drive.
The Avenger is built on a second-generation version of the Stellantis group’s eCMP electric platform that also underpins cars such as the Peugeot e-208, Opel/Vauxhall Mokka and Citroen e-C4.