A V8-powered Wrangler could be coming to a dealership near you soon.
Today is a big day for Ford. After months of teasing, it will reveal the Bronco (and smaller Bronco Sport). So of course Jeep just showed off a more powerful Wrangler to draw some attention away from the big Blue Oval debut.
Meet the Jeep Wranger 392 Rubicon—sadly only a concept, according to the American brand, at least for now. It features the largest V8 in the FCA portfolio behind that iconic seven-slot grille. Power levels are easy to remember: 450 horsepower and 450 lb-ft of torque. That’s less than other 392-powered SUVs, but the lighter Wrangler isn’t a slouch in straight-line sprints: Jeep says it will click off a 0–60 mph time under five seconds.
A Jeep, especially a Wrangler, is about more than drag times though. The 392 Rubicon features tougher engine mounts and a modified frame for rock-bashing, with aluminum, monotube Fox shocks. A stronger eight-speed auto, dual Dana 44 axles, full-time two-speed transfer case, and locking differentials front and rear ensure more power makes it to the ground no matter the terrain. Also part of the package are 37-inch mudding tires on custom 17-inch beadlock wheels.
Other exterior upgrades include a two-inch lift kit and steel bumper and belly pan.
Jeep touts the 3.73 final drive ratio of the 392 Rubicon for its improved highway efficiency. There’s something decidedly production-ready about that boast, but Jeep is playing coy. It acknowledges Jeep fans have been asking for a V8-powered Wrangler for a long time, but only says the concept “is an indication they may soon get their wish.”
Rounding out the upgrades is a push-button two-mode exhaust system, and a red leather interior with performance steering wheel. Bronze accents include the tow hooks, shocks, springs, wheels, and badging, while the seat stitching is gold.
We can only hope a V8-powered Wrangler is indeed on the cards for the future. It might even end up being a limited-time deal, like the one-and-done 2021 Durango Hellcat. Either way, Ford is expected to stick to turbocharged four- and six-cylinder engines for the Bronco when it debuts later today. Jeep, it seems, gets bragging rights … for now.