For the first time since the early 1980s, Jeep introduced a Wrangler with a V8 engine. And gives fans hope that the study will soon become a production car.
Sometimes a tiny action is enough to get the most attention. Take Jeep, for example: The SUV manufacturer posts a picture on its channels on social networks at the weekend. No text, no explanation, just an image. Plus a pretty dark one that doesn’t even tell if it’s a Wrangler or a Gladiator. However, two crucial details can be clearly identified: a bonnet with a powerful air scoop on the one hand. And a lettering on it with the number “392”.
Just a few days later, Jeep reloaded and – just on the day when competitor Ford celebrated the big bronco comeback – presented the right car for the teaser image: the Wrangler Rubicon 392 Concept. And that brings exactly the engine that everyone expected from the view of the social media image: a 6.4 liter – or according to the American unit of measure 392 Cubic Inches – large V8 engine, which is coupled to an eight-speed automatic transmission. It is the first V8 in the off-road vehicle classic since the 1981 model of the Wrangler predecessor Jeep CJ carried a 127 hp and maximum 298 Newton meter five-liter V8 under the hood.
A 6.4-liter Hemi V8 with 456 hp and 610 Nm sits under the air scoop
To accommodate the Hemi engine in the Wrangler bow, the frame had to be strengthened and the engine mounts adjusted. In the Rubicon 392 Concept, the V8 developed by group sister Dodge delivers a whopping 456 hp and the highest possible torque of 610 Newton meters. This makes it a little weaker in the rustic off-roader than in other models. In the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT and in the Dodge Durango SRT, it delivers 482 hp and delivers a maximum of 637 Newton meters. The FCA pickup division Ram Trucks also uses the engine to supply its Heavy Duty Model 2500 with bearish torque.
Up to now with a maximum of six cylinders
If the Wrangler with V8 engine actually comes into series production, it would be a huge upgrade compared to the currently available engines. The current offer is limited to a two-liter four-cylinder turbo gasoline engine with 274 hp and 400 Newton meters, a 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 with 289 hp and a maximum of 353 Newton meters and recently a three-liter V6 turbo diesel with 264 hp and a maximum of 599 Newton meters. A plugin hybrid version with the epithet 4xe has also been announced and should – as in the Renegade and Compass – produce up to 240 hp.
Jeep specifies an acceleration value of less than five seconds from zero to 60 mph (96.6 km / h) for the Wrangler Rubicon 392 Concept. But the model should also be able to do a lot in the field – the Rubicon label alone obliges it to do so. The body is a good five centimeters higher than the normal Wrangler, the chassis has been optimized using Fox aluminum shock absorbers and Dana 44 axles guarantee the necessary entanglement. The all-wheel drive with two-speed transfer case and electric locks on the front and rear axles, as well as the coarse-grained off-road tires mounted on 17-inch beadlock rims ensure the necessary traction.
The Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392 Concept comes with everything that helps it in difficult terrain.
Open-air atmosphere in the V8 Wrangler
On the body, the V8 Wrangler carries the steel bumpers and sill panels of the regular Rubicon model. A Warn winch is also used at the front. The paint is called “granite crystal”, as a contrast towing hooks, badges, springs, shock absorbers and wheels are kept in a bronze tone. The doors with a low window line, removable side panels and the folding roof create an open-air atmosphere. Inside, the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392 Concept features seats with red leather and gold stitching and a performance steering wheel.
But does the concept study also become a production car? It looks like this: “Jeep enthusiasts have been calling for a series Wrangler with V8 drive in recent years,” the press release says. “The new Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392 Concept is an indication that your wish could soon be fulfilled.”
6.4-liter V8 in a Jeep Wrangler: does that have to be?
Sure, of course. The off-roader has always lacked a decent V8.Under no circumstance. This car is not about top performance.
Is it particularly cheeky or is it more of a hindrance to your own purposes that Jeep introduced the Wrangler Rubicon 392 Concept almost at the same time as the big unveiling of the new Ford Bronco? But no matter which off-roader generates the greater attention at short notice: the off-road vehicle specialists are fulfilling their fans and customers with the announced V8 model for decades. Because that the V8 Wrangler is actually coming, should be largely beyond doubt.