AUBURN HILLS, Michigan – The most recent event at which the most recognisable vehicle on the planet was offered with a V8 engine was in 1981… the Jeep CJ with a five-litre V8 engine that delivered 93kW/300Nm.
Since then, Jeep says, enthusiasts have been asking for a V8 production Wrangler. Will the new Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392 concept be the one? It will be trail-hauled by a 6.4-litre V8 capable of 335kW/610Nm and 0-100km/h in less than five seconds.
Dana 44 axles, a full-time two-speed transfer case, electric front and rear axle-locks, 37” mud-terrain tyres and a Jeep Performance Parts’ two-inch lift kit from Mopar, a more robust eight-speed transmission, and the huge V8 promise, the automaker says, ”the ultimate fun-to-drive Jeep vehicle with more off-road capability than ever in a Jeep Wrangler”.
2020 JEEP WRANGLER Rubicon392 Concept – Jim Morrison, Jeep’s bossman in North America, told The Corner in a media release: “Wrangler enthusiasts wanted a V8 – we made it happen with our new 8.1 litres/100km Wrangler EcoDiesel, award-winning Jeep Gladiator, and the upcoming Wrangler 4xe plug-in hybrid.
”The Wrangler Rubicon 392 Concept will deliver an unmatched level of fun-to-drive performance and capability, on- or off-road.”
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To accommodate the V8 and stronger eight-speed transmission this latest Wrangler has upgraded engine mounts and a modified frame. Suspension upgrades include new aluminum monotube Fox shock-absorbers for improved damping and heat dissipation.
A two-mode exhaust alters the performance sound at the touch of a button.
Third-generation Dana 44 axles, a Selec-Track full-time two-speed transfer case, Tru-Lok electric front- and rear-axle locking differentials and the big tyres on 17” beadlock rims will, The Corner was told, ”allow reduced tyre pressures for added traction”.
The Concept will also have Rubicon rock rails, steel bumpers with a Warn winch, and a steel belly-pan.
The lift kit and big tyres, Jeep says, will contribute to an unprecedented fording depth of 86cm and ground clearance of 34cm. Approach angle is 51.6deg, breakover 29.5deg and departure 40.1deg.
Custom half-doors and Wrangler’s Sky One-touch canopy with removable side panels promise fresh-air freedom; the cabin has leather bolstered seats with gold stitching and a ”performance” steering-wheel.
The full Jeep vehicle range internationally consists of the Cherokee, Compass, Gladiator, Grand Cherokee, Renegade and Wrangler. All Jeeps sold outside North America are available in left- and right-hand drive configurations and with petrol or and diesel engines.