Your move, Ford.
Last summer, just as the all-new 2021 Ford Bronco was making its global debut, Jeep responded with something that excited every off-road fan: the Wrangler Rubicon 392 Concept. Its formula couldn't be simpler: a regular Jeep Wrangler Unlimited with a 6.4-liter Hemi V8 stuffed under its hood with up to 450 horsepower and 450 lb-ft of torque. And now the automaker has just released a teaser video on Instagram confirming the production-spec version will arrive sometime in 2021. "Some concepts are so powerful they storm into reality," the caption says. A precise month was not provided.
The last time Jeep offered a V8 in the Wrangler was way back in 1981 for the CJ generation. We can't say we're entirely surprised by the latest announcement but we're not at all complaining.
The concept easily looked production-ready and likely required only a few minor engineering tweaks until it was good to go. Chances are, Jeep will also stick with the Rubicon 392 name. For now, no other specific details were provided but the fact there's a 392 cubic inch Hemi V8 under the hood says it all: this Jeep will be the most powerful OEM off-roader SUV on the market, surpassing the also upcoming Ford Bronco Raptor. We already know the Bronco Raptor won't have V8 power, but rather an upgraded version of the 2.7-liter twin-turbo V6 rated at 310 hp and 400 lb-ft.
Another engine candidate could be the 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 currently found in the Explorer ST where it produces up to 400 hp and 415 lb-ft. Like the F-150 Raptor, a boatload of suspension upgrades is also on deck. As for the V8 Wrangler, we expect Jeep will perform its owner series of suspension tweaks for increased off-road capability.
What's for certain is that the upcoming Wrangler 392 Hemi vs. Bronco Raptor showdown is going to be, in a word, epic. Stay tuned because we suspect a full Wrangler 392 debut is just around the corner.