To start: I want to congratulate Ford on a successful second-place finish with the introduction of the new Bronco. Jeep beat ya by 2 cylinders, a mountain of horsepower, and a buttload of torque. I do, truly, appreciate the technical prowess of your turbo six, but there’s no replacement for displacement.
The Mopar-powered Wrangler 392 Concept comes with the iconic (and awesome sounding, with a two-mode exhaust system) 6.4 liter V8 engine (that’s 392 cubic inches for us old skool guys) pumping out 450 horsepower with a matching 450 lb.-ft. of torque. This gives a factory Jeep Wrangler 4-door a sub-five second 0-60 mph time. All that power is put to the dirt through the bulletproof 8-speed automatic transmission.
In a Wrangler.
The concept has dual Dana 44s with 3:73 gears and electric lockers, a FULL TIME Selec-Track two-speed transfer case, and is running 37s on the Mopar 2” factory lift. This, for me, is the perfect daily driver/weekend warrior setup.
As an older Jeeper, I can remember the last time the iconic Jeep was offered with a V8: it was part of the Jeep CJ-5 and CJ-7 Renegade package. The last one rolled out of dealerships in 1981 – a year before I graduated high school and got my drivers license. Missed it by a year!
Then again, in those heady days when bigger engines didn’t mean much because of new emission requirements, that AMC 5.0 V8 only put out a whopping 125 horsepower with white-knuckle torque numbers of 220 lbs.-ft. Oooh. Aaah.
“Jeep Wrangler enthusiasts have been asking us for a Wrangler V-8 and our new Wrangler Rubicon 392 Concept proves that we have the ability to make that happen,” said Jim Morrison, Head of Jeep Brand – FCA North America. “From the recently introduced 29-mpg Wrangler EcoDiesel to our award-winning Jeep Gladiator, and the upcoming Wrangler 4xe plug-in hybrid electric vehicle, Jeep is clearly listening to its customers. We are anxious to gauge their reaction to this new Wrangler Rubicon 392 Concept, a vehicle that delivers an incredible and unmatched level of fun-to-drive performance and capability, on- and off-road.”
Having been around the JL since it was in the design phase, this new Wrangler 392 concept has pulled some of the best parts out of the Mopar parts bin. The Selec-Track transfer case is out of the Sahara, the shocks appear to be the ones they’re using on the Mojave, the exhaust is pure Dodge Challenger/Charger, the electric lockers are the newer updates for the Rubicon, the 17” beadlocks are out of the JPP catalog, and the interior is pretty spectacular with the red leather dash, red seats, and other Sahara comfort pieces. They even put the Sky One-Touch hard top on it!
Jeep has hit an out-of-the-parking-lot home run with this concept. Let’s see it get into production so I can buy one!
Jeep? If you’re listening: mine needs to be in Hellayella.
From the FCA press release:
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.