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Jeep is up to something. The off-road brand took to Twitter with a photo not of a vehicle, but rather, a sign depicting a vehicle. The number 40.4 is printed on the sign, and the actual tweet is a clever double entendre that reads "A sign of things to come." readers, it's time to get our sleuthing on.

The tweet went out at 4:02 pm EDT on June 21, and while the date probably doesn't matter, we can't help but notice that 4:02 is coincidentally close to 4:04, and it doesn't take a whiz kid to connect that to 40.4. It's quite possible Jeep's social team was shooting for a 4:04 post time on Twitter and got slightly crossed up, further emphasizing that 40.4 is of major significance here. That's where we will focus our attention.


Our initial impression is that 40.4 could represent some kind of electric performance. Could this point to an upgraded Jeep Wrangler 4xe with an electric-only range of 40.4 miles? That would be nearly double the current 22-mile range of the plug-in hybrid off-roader and that would be seriously impressive in the PHEV world. Or, perhaps it represents a larger 40.4-kilowatt-hour battery. That would be a tremendous upgrade, and with the battery pack mounted under the second row of seats, that could be what the arrow is pointing at.

Gallery: 2021 Jeep Wrangler 4xe: First Drive

There's more evidence to support this. On June 11 we reported that Jeep updated its Facebook cover photo with the interior of what looked like a plug-in hybrid model. Jeep enthusiasts uncovered a few subtle details to suggest it was a Gladiator interior, but perhaps it's really a higher-performance version of the 4xe? The latest teaser clearly shows a Wrangler, and to be honest, we have all kinds of faith in Jeep enthusiasts when it comes to uncovering even the smallest detail. If they say the Facebook photo shows a Gladiator greenhouse, we're inclined to believe them so perhaps these two events are unrelated.

What else could the number mean? The sign has the appearance of something you'd see on a trail, so what matters to off-roaders on a trail? Ground clearance is the obvious answer, but 40.4 inches seems a bit extreme for something from the factory. Approach, departure, and breakover angles are important when crawling over obstacles, so the number could be referring to one of those stats. The arrow at the back could represent a new departure angle, but water fording is also something to consider. The Wrangler is currently good for 30 inches, which isn't that far away from 40.

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Whatever the case, Jeep is clearly up to something and until we either get more teasers or full disclosure, we're stuck playing the guessing game. How about it, Jeepers? These are our best guesses but we're keen to hear some other theories on this secret message. Jump into the comments and give it your best shot.

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