Electric vehicles (EV) are taking off after years of promises, and more traditional car manufactures are promising them than ever. Jeep is already on board, but it’s latest concept Wrangler, the Magneto, makes a few unusual choices. Like including a six-speed manual transmission.
Most EVs don’t need a manual transmission, that’s typically something you’ll only find in an Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) vehicle. But Jeep’s inclusion here points to how different the Wrangler Magneto is from other EVs. Most EVs look pretty different from an ICE vehicle, and you can spot one right away.
But on the outside the Wrangler Magneto looks nearly identical to any other Jeep Wrangler. Take that Hummer EV. But the similarities don’t end there. Rather that rework the entire innards to accommodate electric motors on the axles, Jeep put its motor in the hood—like an ICE vehicle.
That motor powers a regular Wrangler drive train, along with a few upgrades like a two-speed transfer case and six-speed manual transmission. The Wrangler Magneto’s motor delivers roughly the same horsepower and torque as the Pentastar V6 engine, which in theory should give it a familiar feel.
It’s a little slower off the starting line, managing 0 to 60 MPHs at 6.8 seconds, but that’s somewhat understandable given its 5,750 weight. Since this is an EV, you don’t have to use the clutch to get going, there’s no engine idle here. But you’ll still use the clutch to shift gears.
For now, the Wrangler Magneto is a concept, alas you can’t buy it. But Jeep says this isn’t a “one and done” scenario. It’ll use the Magneto as a test bed to refine the idea and perhaps bring out a version like this in the future. If you’re looking for an EV that doesn’t drive like an EV, and you just can’t give up the control of a stick shift, then maybe keep an eye out on this one.