It has been awhile since a V8 engine found its way into the Jeep Wrangler. For the past several decades, the most potent engine that you could get in a Wrangler was the venerable albeit wimpy 285 horsepower 3.6 liter V6. But we always knew that the Wrangler had a hidden potential for more power, and Jeep has finally delivered on the promise of a V8 powered factory Wrangler, with the unveiling of the Wrangler Rubicon 392. Jeep claims that it’s the perfect blend of both worlds, but is it? Here’s 4 key things to know about the fastest Wrangler ever built.
The Wrangler Rubicon 392 goes how fast?
We might as well get the elephant out of the room now, the Wrangler Rubicon 392 is the fastest Wrangler Jeep has ever built. A 6.4 liter V8 lifted from Dodge’s SRT lineup produces 470 horsepower and allows the Wrangler to rocket its way to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds. That’s the equivalent of strapping a jet engine to the rear of the Wrangler and letting it go full speed (especially when compared to its slower cousins.
However, there are two key caveats that will come with owning the fastest Wrangler of the bunch. It will only be offered in four door equipped Unlimited guise (no two doors allowed) and the sole transmission choice will be the eight speed automatic. While that might offend some Jeep purists, we think that these are fairly reasonable restrictions, and should make the Wrangler a very unconventional albeit fun family vehicle.
Rubicon badge is not just for show
Buyers that think the Wrangler has forsaken its off-road roots for the sake of being the world’s most interesting track day vehicle will be pleased to hear that the Wrangler Rubicon 392 still retains all the off-road slaying hardware that comes with the Rubicon portion of its badge. That includes 10.3 inches of ground clearance as well as refined suspension articulation technology that helps improve breakover, approach, and departure angles. The hood mounted hood scoop was a challenge when it came to water fording, but Jeep claims that thanks to a novel hydro guide system that helps divert water away from the engine, the Wrangler Rubicon 392 can ford up to 32.5 inches of water which is more than its V6 powered cousin.
The fore-mentioned scoop is also backed up by a secondary intake that allows the engine to get air, even if the scoop is completely blocked by mud or snow. Other off-road focused goodies include model exclusive aluminum Fox monotube shocks, driver selectable Off-Road Plus mode with Sand and Rock settings, as well as upgraded frame rails and Tru-Lok electronic locking differentials.
Competition ready interior
At its core, the interior is still largely what you’ll find in a typical Jeep Wrangler Rubicon, albeit with some very minor changes thrown in to the mix. The cabin features unique bronze stitching, on the seats and the steering wheel, with the wheel itself bringing paddle shifters to the Wrangler for the first time ever. The Wrangler Rubicon 392 also promises to have seats that are more supportive than what we have seen in current Wranglers, but we will have to have some seat time in one to find out if it does truly succeed in this mission or not. The model even comes bundled with the Uconnect 8.4 infotainment system which brings the Off-Road pages feature to the Wrangler.
Like other Wranglers, the Wrangler Rubicon 392 is highly customizable, with many of the model’s current accessories easily fitting to it. Jeep reps also used the occasion to inform the world that it is bringing novel pop doors to the Wrangler, with those bits of equipment going on sale now.
When can I buy a Wrangler Rubicon 392?
With the impressive amounts of performance and capability on hand, the biggest bit of news is that the wait to buy one will actually not be very long, with Jeep revealing that the Wrangler Rubicon 392 will go on sale during the first half of 2021. Jeep stopped far short of releasing pricing for the 2021 Wrangler Rubicon 392, but look for it to perhaps be over $60,000 when Jeep chooses to release the final numbers.
With Jeep entering into a war with the Ford Bronco over which one is indeed the king of the trails, look for the 2021 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392 to be the brand’s strongest salvo yet at its Dearborn rival, and it will be interesting to see how the folks at Ford respond to this latest provocation.
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.