Jeep appears to be doing its best to overshadow the planned Monday reveal of the 2021 Ford Bronco.
The off-road brand has just unveiled the Wrangler Rubicon 392 Concept which, as the name suggests, packs Fiat Chrysler Automobiles' 392-cubic inch V-8. That's 6.4 liters of displacement for readers more used to the metric system.
Jeep uses the V-8 in its Grand Cherokee SRT, where it's tuned to deliver 475 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque. In the Wrangler Rubicon 392 Concept, the engine's been detuned slightly though still packs a meaty 450 hp and 450 lb-ft, or enough for 0-60 mph acceleration in under 5.0 seconds.
Why not go all the way with the Hellcat? While the 6.2-liter supercharged V-8 is known to fit under the hood of the Wrangler, the wild engine suffers from cooling issues in the vehicle's tighter confines. The same is true for the related Gladiator, we're affraid. And even getting the tamer 6.4-liter V-8 to work, the engineers needed to modify the frame, engine mounts, and 8-speed automatic transmission.
Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392 Concept
And for powering over big boulders, the 6.4-liter V-8 will be just as ideal, and that is after all what this Wrangler Rubicon 392 Concept is all about. That's why there's also Dana 44 axles, a 2-speed transfer case, electronic axle lockers front and rear, a 2.0-inch lift kit, underbody protection, a Warn winch, and 17-inch beadlock wheels with 37-inch mud-terrain tires.
Beyond the V-8, the concept's half doors are sure to prove popular. Offered on both the JK and TJ generations, the current JL Wrangler has yet to receive half doors, but the new concept might be the first concrete evidence the shorter doors are on the way. Also adding to the open feel of the concept is the Wrangler's Sky One-touch powertop with removable side panels. Inside, the concept sports red leather trim contrasted with gold stitching, along with a performance steering wheel.
The big question remains: Will the concept see production? In a press release, Jeep said the concept is an indication that Wrangler fans clamoring for a factory V-8 “may soon get their wish.”
When quizzed, Jeep spokesman Trevor Dorchies said Jeep doesn't comment on future product. We'll add however that FCA has a habit of putting many of its wild concepts into production. Some readers may recall the Dodge Charger Widebody and upcoming Ram Rebel TRX both started out life as concepts. Let's hope the same is true for this Wrangler concept.