Earlier this year, we reported to you that Jeep will soon commence local assembly of the Wrangler and the Grand Cherokee in India. The American carmaker has now announced that the made-in-India Jeep Wrangler will be launched in the country on March 15, 2021. That means the Wrangler will now be sold in India as a Completely Knocked Down (CKD) unit instead of it coming in as a Completely Built Unit (CBU). The Wrangler will be assembled at Jeep's Ranjangaon facility, and to that effect, Jeep has announced an investment of INR 180 Crore for local assembly in India.
The current-gen Jeep Wrangler first debuted in India in August 2019, when the carmaker launched it in the country at a price of INR 63.94 lakh*. In 2020, Jeep followed it up with the launch of the Wrangler Rubicon variant for a price of INR 68.94 lakh*. The first batch of Wranglers was sold out last year itself. With local assembly of the SUV, prices are expected to go down by a considerable margin. The Wrangler rivals other hardcore off-roaders like the Mercedes-Benz G-Wagon and the Land Rover Defender in the Indian market, but it will now be significantly more affordable than them.
We do not expect any changes on the made-in-India Wrangler from the imported model that was already on sale. Under the hood, the Wrangler will be powered by a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine that makes 265hp and 400 Nm of peak torque. The engine will continue to come mated to an 8-speed automatic gearbox. Power is obviously sent to all four wheels via a four-wheel drive setup along with a low range transfer case. The Wrangler also comes equipped with electrically activated differential locks and a new 4WD Auto mode that brilliantly manages the SUV in tricky off-road conditions.
That said, the Wrangler will soon have an electric cousin. Yes, the Jeep Wrangler is going electric, as was teased by the American carmaker earlier this month. Details about the full-electric Wrangler are scarce at the moment. What we do know is that it will continue with a body-on-frame construction and it will obviously be a four-wheel drive SUV. The electric motor will draw its power from not one, but three battery modules. The Jeep Wrangler Electric will be one of a kind product, the first of off-road based electric SUVs in the world.
As mentioned before, Jeep will also be locally assembling the new generation Jeep Grand Cherokee in India. Earlier this year, Jeep took the wraps off the 2021 Grand Cherokee L in California. The full-size SUV will go on sale internationally later this year before it makes it to our shores in 2022, when it will also be locally assembled. In fact, Jeep intends to make its Ranjangaon facility in India a manufacturing hub for all right-hand drive markets of the world.
*Ex-showroom price, India