This isn't a 4xe.

At face value, these spy shots look completely uninspiring. The 2022 Jeep Compass already debuted its mild facelift twice, first in China and most recently in the US at the 2021 Chicago Auto Show. The photos here show a normal 2022 Compass sitting on a transport truck, but sometimes you'll find secrets trying to hide in plain sight.

That's what our spy sources say is happening here. To the casual observer this is just a new Jeep Compass, but what's that on the windshield? It's a high-voltage sticker, telling us this sucker is at least partially electrical. This isn't a 4xe plug-hybrid though, because there's only one visible access door for filling a fuel tank. Also, this Jeep isn't entirely without camouflage – there's a bit of tape covering a badge at the base of the rear hatch.

Gallery: Jeep Compass Mild Hybrid Spy Photos

If it's electrified but not a 4xe plug-in hybrid, then we're left with a mild-hybrid version. Our spy sources confirm that Stellantis is working on hybrid solutions that are more plug-and-play with current powertrain systems. To that end, we believe this vehicle is a new Compass incorporating a 48-volt mild hybrid system.

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A turbocharged 1.3-liter borrowed from the Renegade is believed to be the main power source, supplemented by an integrated electric motor with the transmission to add an electric boost. The configuration would also allow electric-only operation at speeds up to 80 mph, as long as there's juice in the battery.

In the US, Jeep only offers the new Compass with a standard 2.4-liter gasoline-burning four-cylinder making 177 horsepower (132 kilowatts). It turns either the front wheels or all four, using a six-speed automatic for front-wheel drive or a nine-speed auto for all-wheel drive. It's not clear if mild-hybrid versions will be available throughout the Compass lineup or only in specific trim levels – the version spotted here appears to be a Limited model but we should have some definitive answers soon. We expect Jeep to announce the hybrid option by the end of 2021.

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