At last year’s Easter Jeep Safari, Jeep shook things up with the presentation of the Magneto – their first Moab concept to feature a zero-emissions electric powertrain. At the 2022 Safari, they upped the ante with the improved and more powerful Magneto 2.0.
As the name suggests, the Magneto 2.0 is an upgrade of the original Magneto from last year, powered by a custom-built axial flux electric motor that now spins at a lower 5,250rpm.
The updated concept is still fuelled by four lithium-ion battery packs, though, which are stowed at various points in the vehicle to optimise weight distribution and offer a combined 70kW/h as part of an 800V system.
Where last year’s Magneto peaked at 212kW and 370Nm (comparable to the output of Jeep’s 3.6-litre Pentastar V6 petrol engine), the fast pace of Jeep’s EV development over the past 12 months means that the Magneto 2.0 hits maximums of 466kW and 1152Nm – that’s more than double the power and triple the torque!
Peak amperage has more than doubled, too, now at 600 amps, while a new electric powertrain calibration system can maintain peak amperage for bursts of up to 10 seconds - what Jeep describe as the EV equivalent of a nitrous oxide boost.
This more powerful motor still offers “conventional” driving, as it’s hooked up to a six-speed manual transmission driving all four wheels. This is as per the original Magneto from 2021, but the first gear ratio has been changed from 5.13 to 3.66 to suit the improved torque. The addition of a driver-selectable maximum regeneration function adds what Jeep says is a true “one pedal” driving experience.
Electric running gear aside, the Magneto 2.0 looks like a conventional Wrangler at first glance, but the wheelbase has actually been stretched 12 inches (305mm) to incorporate the electric powertrain and batteries, while some serious off-roading hardware has been applied to the modified chassis.
Front and rear axles are Dynatrac Pro-Rock 60 and Pro-Rock 80 units, respectively, with locking diffs on both, custom driveshafts, off-road specific suspension and a 3.0-inch lift kit.
The Magneto 2.0 rolls on beadlock-style 20-inch wheels fitted with huge 40-inch Maxxis Razr MT off-road tyres.
To counteract the weight of the batteries, the wheelarch flares are made from carbon fibre and custom lightweight bumpers are fitted front and rear. A carbon fibre custom B-pillar and carbon fibre bonnet are also fitted, with the latter adding a tinted window that allows the electric motor to be seen.
Aesthetically, the Magneto 2.0 follows the style of last year’s original Magneto concept, with a colour scheme in White and Surf Blue, accented with Lagoon Blue tow hooks, a black grille, black mirrors and a custom-made black bikini top. This top incorporates a clear window over the two-seater’s passenger area to bring more light into the cabin while also echoing the windowed bonnet.
The metallic Surf Blue finish continues inside, applied to the dash and seats of what’s mostly a standard Wrangler interior, while the ‘cue ball’ shifter knob is an old-school touch.
‘Magneto 2.0’ identification on the sides of the bonnet and an ‘Electric 4 Wheel Drive’ decal below the offside tail light are the finishing touches.
While the Magneto was a trailblazer last year, the Magneto 2.0 was one of four concepts at this year’s Easter Jeep Safari to feature either a hybrid or fully electric drivetrain.
Words: Mike Ryan
Photos: Stellantis North America