Interview with the Head of Development of the new Avenger, the first electric Jeep

Interview with the Head of Development of the new Avenger, the first electric Jeep

The team’s chief engineer, who was responsible for the Avenger’s performance, safety and handling, loves Greece and believes Jeep has the perfect recipe for electric 4x4s of the future.

Laura Farina has a degree in Engineering and studied at the Polytechnic University of Milan, Italy. At the Stellantis Group he holds the role of Automotive Design Manager for Southern Europe and leads the team that was responsible for the development of the Jeep Avenger, in terms of performance, safety, noise and vibration control (NVH). , Aerodynamics, handling and comfort. .

It is based on the FIAT cycle in Baloko and the development testing specialist. Previously, he has worked in various positions in the group and among other things has been the Head of Development of the electric 500e and has contributed to the development of the FIAT 500X, Alfa Romeo MiTo, 159 and 147 (and the racing version).

Laura Farina, Automotive Synthesis Manager

He loves Greece, where he comes every year for vacation with his family. We caught up with him in Malaga during the pan-European driving show of the new Avenger and had the opportunity to talk to him about Jeep’s first all-electric SUV.

Do you think potential Avenger buyers will choose it for its off-road capabilities or for its distinct style and performance?

I think it offers the perfect combination of these elements. The main goal was to give the Avenger the spirit of freedom that characterizes every Jeep model. That’s why the design team was in constant collaboration with us, so that we could combine style and power. So the recipe includes a large approach, ways and angles of departure, as well as a large ground clearance, while the styling puts you in the adventurous character of the Avenger. Although it is a front wheel drive [το τετρακίνητο θα ακολουθήσει το ‘24] it has all the features of a Jeep.

At the same time, we did a lot of work on the aerodynamics of the body. It may have a square aesthetic, but every line has been studied to achieve an aerodynamic coefficient of Cd 0.338, which is among the best in this category.

It’s instantly recognizable from a distance that this is a Jeep, but it has a very clean aesthetic and several brand new features.

Of course, it does. Our goal was to attract a younger audience as well. Looking inside for example, the center screen is very easy to operate and offers excellent connectivity. But also in driving, while it is very stable in the corners, it also has a high level of comfort.

Jeep Avenger

Did targeting a younger audience affect the car’s configuration?

Indeed. That is why the changes we made to the platform settings, which are also used by other brands of the Stellantis group, are important. For example, we increased the damping force by 20%, reduced the slope by 18% in the transverse direction and 12% in the longitudinal axis, while also keeping the weight very low. The battery is only 340 kg!

Are there any compromises a Jeep enthusiast must make when choosing an Avenger to replace an older Jeep model?

The only thing I would say, would be the space, as the Avenger is smaller than any Jeep model. Despite this, it still offers very good space for its size, for passengers and cargo, with cabin storage spaces totaling 34 liters – more than double the class average.

So would you say that with the Avenger you are mainly targeting new customers, but also your current customers who want an electric SUV for a second car?

Just like that.

Laura Farina, Automotive Synthesis Manager

I saw several interesting, bold colors in the model range, which are completely new to the brand. What do you prefer;

I like yellow [Sun], but I also really like Lake (light blue). All colors are natural and there are seven, like the 7 vertical grills in the grille that Jeep models usually have: Ruby red, Volcano black, Stone gray, Lake blue blue, Sun yellow, Granite charcoal and Snow white. And of course all, except the Volcano, can be combined with a black roof.

Since you are an engineer, you can answer this for us too. Off-road driving is in Jeep’s DNA. By 2030, all new Jeeps sold in Europe will be purely electric. However, we know that electric cars are heavy, especially due to the battery, and that the heavy weight is a disadvantage in off-road driving. How will Jeep address this challenge in the future?

Obviously, the heavy weight of the battery will have to be balanced with Jeep’s traditional recipe for off-road capability. We are already doing very well in our hybrid models with the 4xe Plug-in Hybrid system and I think we will have a solution ready for pure electric models as well. Take for example the new Recon, one of the future BEV models we are building, which is inspired by the popular Wrangler. Yes, it is definitely a challenge, but we have the right recipe for it.

The recipe for “Jeep” …

[Χαμογελώντας] Yes, yes, exactly!

Laura Farina, Automotive Synthesis Manager