Careful what you wish for. For a long time Jeep enthusiasts have been asking for a V8 version of the hardcore Wrangler.

And it looks like the tooth fairy is going to grant their wish, with the relase of a V8 concept — Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392 Concept.

The last time Wrangler was offered with a V8 was way back in 1981 with the Jeep CJ that boasted a 5.0-litre V-8 that delivered 93kW of power and 298Nm of torque.

The Wrangler Rubicon 392 Concept is powered by a 6.4-litre (392-cubic-inch) V8 engine, combined with a stronger 8-speed transmission, that delivers 336kW and 610kW, with a 0-100km/h time of less than five seconds.

To accommodate the new powertrain the concept features upgraded engine mounts and a modified frame. Suspension upgrades include new aluminium, monotube Fox shocks for improved damping and heat dissipation. A two-mode exhaust alters the performance sound at the touch of a button.

Other goodies include Dana 44 axles, a full-time two-speed transfer case, electric front and rear axle lockers, 37-inch mud-terrain tires and a Jeep Performance Parts two-inch lift kit from Mopar.

A factory Jeep Performance Parts two-inch lift kit from Mopar makes way for additional suspension articulation and improved approach, break over and departure angles.

READ:  Jeep takes wraps off new Wrangler

“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,” Jeep’s Jim Morrison said.

“From the recently introduced 29mpg Wrangler EcoDiesel (8.1L/100km) 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.”

The V8’s Trail Rating has also been improved:

  • Traction is improved courtesy of 610Nm 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), break over (29.5 degrees) and departure (40.1 degrees) angles.

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-coloured leather bolstered seats with gold stitching, along with a performance steering wheel.

Now all we need is a V8 version of the recently released Jeep Gladiator and the ute brigade will be in 7th heaven!

 

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Riley

Chris Riley has been a journalist for almost 40 years. He has spent half of his career as a writer, editor and production editor in newspapers, the rest of the time driving and writing about cars both in print and online. His love affair with cars began as a teenager with the purchase of an old VW Beetle, followed by another Beetle and a string of other cars on which he has wasted too much time and money. A self-confessed geek, he’s not afraid to ask the hard questions - at the risk of sounding silly.
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