How the Electric Jeep Wrangler Magneto Concept Works With a Manual Transmission


For the sake of simplicity, the Jeep crew matched the Wrangler Magneto Concept’s power levels to that of the Pentastar V6 engine. That goes for both the horsepower (285 hp) and the torque (273 pound-feet), so there shouldn’t be any concern about snapping drivelines or input shafts. Most interestingly, though, it allows for the normal Wrangler’s six-speed manual to work without any real upgrades, and operation is more or less the same with a few quirks.

First off, since the electric motor doesn’t maintain any revs at idle, the Wrangler Magneto Concept can be shifted into first without a clutch. You don’t even have to worry about balancing the clutch and the accelerator because Jeep says it can’t stall. It’s a lot like an automatic, then; that’s good news for your buddy who says he can drive a stick but really can’t.

You do have to engage the clutch when shifting between gears, but Jeep has thought that out, too. If you’re in a tight spot and have to shift quickly, the Magneto engages regen to prevent rev hang, giving the driver precise control. Really, that’s the best part about the electric drivetrain.

As people are soon to find out with the oncoming wave of battery-powered off-roaders, you can’t match the wheel-speed control of an EV. The slightest throttle input translates to the tires, which, in the case of Jeep’s Magneto, is perfect for low-speed scenarios. It should be easier for this thing to crawl through a rock garden than just about anything else, except for those Toyota Tacomas with three transfer cases.

Right now, there’s no word if this manual-electric drivetrain combo will make it to production. Let’s be honest with ourselves and each other, though; there are plenty of factors to consider, and demand is front and center. Buyers who want a manual transmission likely aren’t the same as those who want an electric Wrangler, and that’s okay if a bit disappointing.

Then again, nobody thought Jeep would actually build an electric Wrangler concept with a stick-shift in the first place.

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