Jeep’s new Wrangler could be the wildest four-wheel drive ever built.
The American brand has confirmed its beefy V8-powered Wrangler Rubicon 392 Concept will become a reality.
The Rubicon 392 makes use of a potent 6.4-litre Hemi V8 engine — the same one found in the Grand Cherokee SRT — producing an impressive 350kW and 637Nm. That’s a mighty jump from the 209kW/347Nm V6 engine powering the current versions.
Jeep claims the 392 can sprint from 0-100kmh in just 4.5 seconds — which is about 40 per cent faster than the current V6-powered model.
Fans of the American brand have been calling out for a V8 version for years and this will be the first time a V8 has been installed in a factory-built Wrangler in 40 years.
But the 392 isn’t just about straight line speed. As with the regular versions of the Wrangler it is a weapon off the road, too.
Head of Jeep in America, Jim Morrison, says: “This is the most-powerful, quickest, most-capable Jeep Wrangler we’ve ever built.”
“The factory lift and abundant low-end torque from the V8 makes the Rubicon 392 the king of the hills, whether you’re rock crawling at low speeds or powering up an incline. And when pavement replaces dirt, Rubicon 392 makes quick work of the road,” he says.
Four-wheel drive enthusiasts will be encouraged by the 392’s heavy-duty wide-track axles, two-inch lift kit, massive 33-inch off-road tyres, sharp approach and departure angles and a wading depth of up to 825mm.
The Wrangler’s tough styling and retro design is reinforced by the concept’s unique features including removable doors, removable roof and a windscreen that folds down.
The 392 also lays the groundwork for a V8-powered version of the Gladiator ute, which is built on the same underpinnings as the Wrangler.
Production of the 392 is expected to start soon, but there is bad news for Aussie buyers as the 392 is initially unlikely to be built in right-hand drive.