V8-POWERED JEEP WRANGLER RUBICON 392 CONCEPT REVEALED ON BRONCO’S BIG DAY

This off-roader hits 60 mph in less than five seconds.

The Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392 Concept is the brand’s not-so-subtle way of teasing that a model featuring a new 6.4-liter V8 is on the imminent horizon. The mill pumps out an impressive 450 horsepower (336 kilowatts) and 450 pound-feet (610 Newton-meters) of torque, which is a huge upgrade over the existing 3.6-liter V6 making 285 hp (213 kW) and 260 lb-ft (353 Nm).

If this sounds too good to be true, then be optimistic. In the concept’s announcement, Jeep heavily hints that a production version could happen. “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,” the automaker’s press release says.

Jeep has previously said that a V8-powered Wrangler wasn’t happening because the engine didn’t allow for enough crush space to be safe in a crash. The company might now have a solution, though. For the Rubicon 392 Concept, there is a modified frame and upgraded engine mounts. The video below offers a glimpse of the mill running in the bay, and it doesn’t appear too tight in there.

The Wrangler Rubicon 392 Concept uses an eight-speed automatic gearbox and two-speed transfer case. Jeep claims it can hit 60 miles per hour (96 kilometers per hour) in less than five seconds, which is lightning quick by Wrangler standards.

A Wrangler isn’t about straight-line speed, though, and Jeep equips the concept with the hardware for making off-roading easier. There are high-strength Dana 44 axles and locking differentials at both ends. A two-inch suspension lift, monotube Fox shocks, and 17-inch beadlock wheels with 37-inch mud-terrain tires improve the SUV’s ability to get around in rugged environments.

It’s worth noting that Jeep’s unveiling of the Wrangler Rubicon 392 Concept comes on the same day of the much-anticipated premiere of the revived Ford Bronco. It’s impossible not to see that there’s some gamesmanship happening in an effort to take some of the wind out of the Blue Oval’s sails.

Mike Levine, Ford North America Product Communications Manager, noticed Jeep’s attempt to steal the limelight from the Bronco. He tweeted (above) that it’s a sign of the Blue Oval’s competition being nervous.

Source: Jeep

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