Time to go hunt Broncos.
As part of its efforts to deviate attention from the all-new Ford Bronco and to simultaneously remind the world "There's Only One," Jeep revealed the Wrangler Rubicon 392 Concept ahead of the Bronco's debut on Monday. Based on the Wrangler Unlimited, the concept is powered by the familiar 392 cubic inch 6.4-liter Hemi V8 rated at 450 horsepower and 450 lb-ft of torque. But why is this only a concept? How hard can a production version really be? Turns out not very.
Road and Track claims an anonymous Jeep source told them the Wrangler Rubicon 392 is heading to production at the Toledo, Ohio Wrangler manufacturing plant. The source added Jeep has so far built 30 V8-powered Wrangler prototypes, something that would never be done for some one-off concept.
An official launch date still remains unknown, but we wouldn't be surprised to see it offered as a 2021 model. Jeep has to respond to the Bronco's arrival somehow, right? Another question is whether the production-spec model will also make the same power output as the concept.
The source further claims that the Wrangler V8 will feature Fox internal-bypass racing shocks similar to those used on the Gladiator Mojave. The concept's lifted suspension with beadlock-capable wheels will carry over to the production model, as will all typical Rubicon trim goodies like steel bumpers and locking differentials. When asked about the source's claims, Jeep, not surprisingly, had no comment.
Assuming a production version does proceed, and we can't see any reason why it wouldn't, the big question is how much will it cost?
Both the Jeep Wrangler and Gladiator often surpass the $50k or so mark because of buyers' desire to upgrade to higher trims and opt for additional add-ons. Jeep is fully aware of these typically high transaction prices and, combined with the V8, don't be surprised to see an MSRP hovering close to $60,000. Heck, a Wrangler Rubicon EcoDiesel can cost about that. The allure of owning a V8-powered Wrangler will simply be too strong to resist.