This better make it to production.
Over the weekend, Jeep teased a Wrangler with a 392 Hemi V8 under the hood. What could have just been a joke to troll Ford, who will be revealing the Bronco later tonight, has actually turned into the new 6.4-liter V8 Wrangler Rubicon 392 Concept. Based on the 2020 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited, this new concept model forgoes the Wrangler's existing four- and six-cylinder options in exchange for a Hemi V8.
Jeep hasn't offered a V8 in the Wrangler since the 1981 CJ model, which produced just 125 horsepower and 220 lb-ft of torque from a 5.0-liter displacement. This 6.4-liter V8 (392 cubic inches) is borrowed from several other FCA products including the Dodge Charger and Challenger but has been detuned to produce 450 hp and 450 lb-ft of torque. The Wrangler may still have the aerodynamic profile of a shed but Jeep says the Rubicon 392 can get it up to 60 mph in less than five seconds with help from a strengthened eight-speed automatic transmission.
This may be the quickest Wrangler ever but it still retains its off-road credentials. It boasts Dana 44 axles with a full-time two-speed transfer case, electric front and rear-axle lockers, 37-inch mud-terrain tires, and a two-inch Mopar lift kit. To accommodate the larger V8, Jeep has upgraded the engine mounts and modified the Wrangler's frame.
New aluminum monotube Fox shocks offer improved damping and heat dissipation while a two-mode exhaust alters the sound at the press of a button. The Wrangler Rubicon 392 Concept is also Trail Rated with 34 inches of water fording, 13.25 inches of ground clearance, and improved approach (51.6 degrees), breakover (29.5 degrees), and departure (40.1 degrees) angles.
The exterior is painted in Granite Crystal with Bronze accents for the tow hooks, badging, springs, shocks, and wheels. A heavy-duty raised performance hood helps accommodate the V8 engine while custom half doors and the Sky One-touch powertop offer an open-top experience. Inside, a Red Rock leather interior with bolstered seats and gold stitching differentiate this from other Wranglers.
"Jeep Wrangler enthusiasts have been asking us for a Wrangler V8 and our new Wrangler Rubicon 392 Concept proves that we have the ability to make that happen," said Jim Morrison, Head of Jeep Brand - FCA North America. "From the recently introduced 29-mpg Wrangler EcoDiesel to our award-winning Jeep Gladiator, and the upcoming Wrangler 4xe plug-in hybrid electric vehicle, Jeep is clearly listening to its customers. We are anxious to gauge their reaction to this new Wrangler Rubicon 392 Concept, a vehicle that delivers an incredible and unmatched level of fun-to-drive performance and capability, on- and off-road."
No production confirmation has been given for this vehicle but with FCA's recent track record of shoving Hellcat engines into every model, we don't think a V8 Wrangler is out of the realm of possibility. Jeep says this new concept serves as an indication that fans clamoring for a more powerful Wrangler "may soon get their wish."