It’s still speculation right now, but there are rumors that Chrysler might be planning to shoehorn a version of the new 392 cubic inch (6.4-liter) Hemi V-8 into, of all things the Jeep Wrangler.
Traditional Jeeps haven’t had a factory V-8 option since the CJ series under AMC, with was replaced by the original Wrangler for the ‘87 model year. However, recently, a company called American Expedition Vehicles, based in Montana, took one of the new Hemis and installed into a Wrangler for Jeep CEO Mike Manley to drive.
AEV might be an aftermarket company, but it has strong ties to OE Automotive business and a long history of modifying Jeep Wranglers, as well as building some concept vehicles for Chrysler, so if there’s chance of a V-8 Wrangler making production, these guys would certainly be the ones to help make that happen.
In the meantime, the current Jeep Wrangler, although generally well received and popular, especially the four-door Unlimited version, has still been criticized for it’s 3.8-liter V-6, which just hasn’t struck a chord among Jeep aficionados, at least not in the same way that the old AMC straight-six did; a V-8 option would certainly go along way to give the current model greater appeal.
And to whet your appetite further still, an apparent drive on the Hemi powered Wrangler from an unnamed source yielded the following comments. “Six-speed manual with an active intake runner. Will go sideways in third if you mat the throttle.” Sounds like our kind of Jeep.
[Source: MSN Autos]