Early this month, Ford Authority reported that The Blue Oval is benchmarking the Jeep Wrangler 4xe, which was an interesting development for a number of reasons. Most notably, the sixth-generation Ford Bronco was designed from the start to compete directly with the Wrangler, which has long had the benefit of being the only open-air off-road-focused SUV on the market. Thus far, that plan has worked splendidly, as the Wrangler continues to be the Bronco’s biggest conquest, even after receiving a refresh for the 2024 model year. However, there is one thing missing from the current Blue Oval lineup – a Bronco PHEV to compete with the Wrangler 4xe, though now, it seems as if FoMoCo may be considering such a combination, after all.
Ford Authority followed this particular Jeep Wrangler 4xe from an official Blue Oval facility, and interestingly, it was accompanied by a 2025 Ford Explorer – the refreshed version of the long-running crossover that just debuted earlier this month. The Wrangler seen here is also wearing manufacturer plates, meaning that by all accounts, Ford is using the plug-in hybrid SUV as a potential benchmark for the Bronco PHEV – a model that has long been rumored to be in development.
The Wrangler 4xe mates the turbocharged 2.0L I-4 gas engine with a pair of electric motors and a 17 kWh battery, with a combined output of 375 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque, providing owners with a short all-electric driving range, to boot. It’s unclear what sort of electrified powertrain a possible Bronco PHEV might utilize, but we don’t have to look far to find clues on that particular topic.
In fact, FoMoCo just revealed the all-new 2025 Ford Ranger PHEV a few months ago, which pairs the existing 2.3L I-4 EcoBoost gas engine with an electric motor and battery to offer customers 28 miles of electric-only driving range, though it won’t be sold in the U.S. – at least for now. Given the fact that the Ranger and Bronco share the same platform, that same engine in gas form, and are built alongside each other, it almost makes too much sense not to create a proper Jeep Wrangler 4xe rival – particularly given Ford’s commitment to hybrids in general.