Jeep Compass hybrid 2020: specs, details and on-sale date

The Jeep Compass 4xe plug-in hybrid (PHEV) pushed forward to September as factory reopens after coronavirus closure

Jeep Compass hybrid

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) is gradually reopening its facility in Melfi, Italy in order to finalise development on the plug-in hybrid Jeep Compass 4xe and its Renegade relative, reports say.

A union representative speaking to Auto News Europe said that while Italy is still under national lockdown, FCA's research and development is allowed to continue following consent from the authorities. It is expected that sales of the plug-in hybrid models will be pushed back to September as a result of the coronavirus closures, while a plug-in hybrid version of the Jeep Wrangler is also in the pipeline.

The news comes following the opening of order books for a special First Edition model in selected markets. In recent images, the American manufacturer has shown the Compass and its plug-in Renegade relative undertaking cold-weather testing in Sweden ahead of their release.

The Compass hybrid use the same petrol-electric drivetrain as the Jeep Renegade hybrid, with both badged '4xe' to designate their electrified status. The system consists of a 1.3-litre petrol engine driving the front wheels married to an electric motor drawing at the rear, with a maximum combined power output of 237bhp.

Jeep is promising a circa-30-mile range in fully electric mode for both the Compass and Renegade, along with sub-50g/km CO2 emissions and a charging time of just over an hour and a half from a 7.2kW wallbox. A 0-62mph acceleration time of around seven seconds is also expected.

According to Jeep brand boss Christian Meunier, the Compass hybrid and its Renegade sibling "pair unmatched 4x4 and all-terrain, all-weather capability with electrification for the first time, enhancing our core brand attributes, allowing greater torque control and improved crawl ratios. They’re more capable, more fun to drive, silent, refined and deliver fast acceleration."

Jeep Compass 4xe First Edition specifications

At launch, the Compass hybrid will initially be offered in First Edition specification, which can be ordered through a special web portal by customers in Italy, Spain, Germany, France, the UK, the Netherlands, Belgium and Austria until 9 March.

Depending on the market, either and 'Urban' (based on the regular S trim level) or 'Off-Road' (based on the regular Trailhawk trim level) will be available. Jeep says that both will include "comprehensive technological and driving assistance features as standard, along with a full package of home and public recharging solutions" and come with the most powerful 237bhp form of the Jeep PHEV drivetrain.

The Urban configuration will ride on 19-inch wheels, while the more off-road-orientated Trailhawk gets 17s. Standard equipment on either encompasses bi-xenon headlights, the Jeep 'Uconnect' navigation system, smartphone integration, an 8.4-inch infotainment touchscreen and driver-assistance features such as a rear-view camera, park assistance, parking sensors, powered door mirrors and keyless go.

Jeep describes the Urban as offering "a sporty look and a top-level trim in terms of elegance, content and technological equipment", while the Off-Road boasts the brand's trademark 'trail-rated' four-wheel-drive capability.

Speaking about the hybrid models' off-road prowess, Jeep's head of product marketing, Marco Pigozzi, has said that "The move from mechanical to electric all-wheel-drive is a massive improvement – it’s more capable than the conventionally powered Jeep. The enormous torque on offer from the electric motor allows [the car] to easily crawl over rocks and obstacles. And the fact that it’s mounted on the rear axle means [the car] is pushed up hills rather than pulled.”

Following the initial launch phase, a full range of Longitude, Limited, S and Trailhawk trim levels will be offered. Exact UK-market pricing and specifications for these have yet to be confirmed. Previously, Jeep has confirmed that it'll completely remove diesel engines from its range over the next few years, with hybrid and electric taking its place. In all, the company is going to invest almost £8 billion in electric and hybrid power in that period.