Bruiser gives the new Jeep Wrangler the heart of a Corvette with at least 450 horsepower and 460 lb-ft of torque
Jeep has given its new Wrangler a wider range of engine options than it has in recent years, but there is one engine still missing from the new JL’s order sheet: a heart-pounding V8. Enter Bruiser Conversions, a Wrangler customizer that’s made a business out of stuffing GM's LS3 V8 engines in Jeep's most capable rock crawler. The company has leaned on its prior experience working with the previous-generation Wrangler JK to give the new JL model the heart of a Corvette, resulting in a Wrangler with at least 450 horsepower and 460 lb-ft of torque.
You may think it’s sacrilegious to use a GM V8 in a Jeep when there are many capable HEMI V8s from which Bruiser to build an upgrade kit, but the narrow-angle LS motors are surprisingly easy to swap into damn near anything—and likely much easier to wedge into a Wrangler than a 5.7- or 6.4-liter HEMI V8. Bruiser Conversions claims the upgrade maintains all of Wrangler’s factory-spec functionality, and unlike its previous-generation conversion, the new kit will use the Jeep's stock eight-speed automatic transmission supplied by ZF. That transmission, Bruiser says, can handle up to 561 lb-ft of torque, which is more than beefy enough to handle the torque thrown down by Corvette's LS3 V8.
But we prepared to pay dearly for that power as the conversion won't come cheap. While Bruiser hasn’t listed a price for its latest kit, it priced the same engine solution for the previous Wrangler starting at $18,900—and that was for buyers who had the knowledge, skill, and time to install it themselves. Turn-key installations for the previous Jeep cost between $23,900 and $30,900, depending on application. If 450 horsepower still isn’t enough, Bruiser will likely offer upgrades that produce upwards of 1,000 horsepower as it has in the past, but it has not yet confirmed that option for the Wrangler JL. The Wrangler JL V8 upgrade kit is available now.