Jeep toughens electric Avenger with rugged look

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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.

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