When Jeep first introduced the world to the idea of a V8 powered Wrangler, many naturally assumed that that this was merely a knee jerk reaction to the recently unveiled Ford Bronco. But it seems that Jeep was very serious about offering it, and has released an all new teaser video that all but confirms the Wrangler will indeed be getting an eight cylinder shot in the arm. But we’re also left with a number of questions that need to be answered.
What’s exactly going on?
The big question on everyone’s mind is what V8 will ultimately be finding its way under the hood of the Wrangler? Jeep has a wide variety of them to choose from, and the off-road focused brand has so far not revealed what it has indeed decided on. However, we highly doubt that it’s going to be a Hellcat V8. While all of FCA is seemingly hell bent on finding new ways to add this fire breathing feline into more models, we doubt that the Wrangler will get it.
That’s because of Jeep revealing sometime ago that the challenge of making a V8 Wrangler laid in making it safe, with the brand focusing on the issue of having the crumple zones needed to comply with safety regulations. The Hellcat is still a 6.2 liter V8, and the supercharger’s plumbing might force compromises that will perhaps affect the status of these zones. In addition, we highly doubt that many rock crawlers will need a high horsepower V8 to clamber there way across rock piles. Those beasts typically have high amounts of torque to help give them low end grunt for that kind of work.
So there’s no Hellcat, a lost cause for Wrangler?
Not quite in the grand scheme of things. As mentioned, Jeep still has plenty of V8s to choose from for this new model. The original Wrangler 392 Concept featured a 6.4 liter Hemi V8, but while that engine will seem to be the proverbial candidate on the grounds of it helping the concept make the jump to production intact, it might not work quite well either. The engine is slightly bigger than the Hellcat, and the lingering challenge of making good crumple zones hangs over it too.
In our opinion, we suspect that the V8 Wrangler could actually be hiding a 5.7 liter Hemi V8. This engine is not only the smallest V8 has at the moment, but it’s also has a steady track record of performance and sales for a very long time. The engine has made its mark in a wide range of applications, and has proven to be a very flexible engine that can be used in a wide range of vehicles. The 5.7 liter also makes 395 horsepower which is a noticeable bump over the 285 horsepower generated by the 3.6 liter Pentastar V6. Last but not least is the 5.7 ‘s compatibility with off-road focused gear, with the engine already proving this in the Ram 1500 Rebel off-road special.
When will I see it in the flesh?
Thankfully, the wait will not be too long, with Jeep pulling the covers off of the Wrangler V8 on November 17th. That date will be jam packed with all kinds of other debuts, so stay tuned here to Car-Revs-Daily for the full scoop on all of them, including the digital appearance of the beefier Wrangler.
*Update Jeep has released a second video that appears to confirm the 6.4 liter V8 is indeed on board. We have added that vid below, and it will also be the way you can see the live virtual unveiling.
Carl Malek has been an automotive journalist for over 10 years. First starting out as a freelance photographer before making the transition to writing during college, his work has appeared on numerous automotive forums as well as websites such as Autoshopper.com.
Carl is also a big fan of British vehicles with the bulk of his devotion going to the Morgan Motor Company as well as offerings from Lotus, MG, and Caterham. When he is not writing about automobiles, Carl enjoys spending time with his family and friends in the Metro Detroit area, as well as spending time with his adorable pets.