On the day of the Bronco’s highly anticipated reveal, Jeep made its own monumental announcement: the Wrangler may finally get its first-ever V8 engine. In a press release, the company wrote, “Jeep enthusiasts have been clamoring for a V-8-powered production Wrangler in recent years and the new Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392 Concept is an indication they may soon get their wish.”
As Jeep noted, the last time the company built a production version of the vehicle with a V8 was almost 40 years ago when it stocked the 1981 Jeep CJ, short for “civilian Jeep,” a precursor to the Wrangler.
At the moment, the base engine for a 2020 Wrangler is a 3.6-liter V6. The reason Jeep has never bulked up to the V8 in the model, is that “the engine didn’t allow for enough crush space to be safe in a crash.” Despite the fact that seemingly everyone knows someone who uses a Wrangler as a grocery-getter, Jeep still prioritizes off-roading and its iconic design, and so far they haven’t been willing to compromise on either for more cylinders, until now.
The new Wrangler Rubicon 392 Concept will be powered by a 6.4-liter (392-cubic-inch) V8 engine that delivers 450 horsepower and 450 lb-ft of torque, and a 0-60 mph time of less than five seconds (In other words, this is a Wrangler packing Chrysler’s 6.4l Hemi V8, same engine found in the Grand Cherokee, the Dodge Charger and Challenger). Dana 44 axles, a full-time two-speed transfer case, electric front and rear axle lockers, 37-inch mud-terrain tires and a Jeep Performance Parts two-inch lift kit from Mopar combined with suspension enhancements, a more robust eight-speed transmission and the massive V-8 power plant to deliver the ultimate Jeep with more off-road capability than ever in a Wrangler.
Power, performance and capability on- and off-road
To accommodate its 6.4-liter V-8 engine and a stronger eight-speed transmission, the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392 Concept features upgraded engine mounts and a modified frame. Suspension upgrades include new aluminum, monotube Fox shocks for improved damping and heat dissipation. A two-mode exhaust alters the performance sound at the touch of a button.
The Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392 Concept boasts even more capability courtesy of third-generation Dana 44 axles, a Selec-Track full-time two-speed transfer case, Tru-Lok electric front- and rear-axle locking differentials and 37-inch mud-terrain tires that wrap around custom 17-inch beadlock wheels that hold the tires to the rims under extreme lateral loads, allowing for reduced tire pressure operation and added traction.
A factory Jeep Performance Parts two-inch lift kit from Mopar makes way for additional suspension articulation and improved approach, breakover and departure angles. The Wrangler Rubicon 392 Concept also features Rubicon rock rails, steel bumpers with a Warn winch and a steel belly pan – all added to help navigate the toughest off-road terrains.
The more robust eight-speed automatic transmission and full-time 4×4 transfer case improve overall drivability, and massive amounts of low-end torque allow for a 3.73 gear ratio, which delivers improved highway efficiency and a greater range of off-road capability.
Enhanced Jeep Trail Rated capability
The Jeep brand boasts several Trail Rated criteria, which are improved on the Wrangler Rubicon 392 Concept, specifically:
- Traction is improved courtesy of 450 lb.-ft. of torque and custom 17-inch beadlock wheels
- A factory Jeep Performance Parts two-inch lift kit and 37-inch tires combine to improve articulation and contribute to unprecedented levels of water fording capability (34 inches) and ground clearance (13.25 inches), as well as improved approach (51.6 degrees), breakover (29.5 degrees) and departure (40.1 degrees) angles.
Unique, custom design inside and out
The new Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392 Concept features Granite Crystal exterior paint adorned with Bronze accentuated tow hooks, badging, springs, shocks and wheels, while featuring a heavy-duty raised performance hood with an aggressive appearance, custom half doors and Wrangler’s Sky One-touch powertop, with removable side panels for complete open-air freedom.
Inside, the Wrangler Rubicon 392 Concept features rich Red Rock-colored leather bolstered seats with gold stitching, along with a performance steering wheel.
Jeep doesn’t mention whether or when a production Rubicon 392 would go into production, but this announcement is a huge step in the right direction, we will continue updating as more news come up to light.