Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392 Concept revealed with 6.4-litre V8, sub-5.0-seocnd 0-100km/h time

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Sam JeremicThe West Australian
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Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392 Concept.
Camera IconJeep Wrangler Rubicon 392 Concept. Credit: Supplied

In news sure to excite hardcore fans, Jeep has unveiled a Wrangler V8 concept which may one day make it into production.

Timed to steal some of the thunder from the reveal of its all-new Ford Bronco rival (which sadly, isn’t headed this way at this stage), the brand announced the Wrangler Rubicon 392 Concept armed with a monstrous 6.4-litre V8 (of 392 cubic inches, hence the name) dishing up 335kW and 610Nm.

It’s enough grunt to handle most off-road work, plus send the vehicle to 100km/h from standstill in less than five seconds.

In a statement to media, Jeep claimed enthusiasts “have been clamouring for a V8 powered production Wrangler in recent years” and — happily — “the new Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392 Concept is an indication they may soon get their wish”.

Jeep’s North American boss Jim Morrison said if fans like what they see, they should be vocal about it.

“Jeep Wrangler enthusiasts have been asking us for a Wrangler V8 and our new Wrangler Rubicon 392 Concept proves that we have the ability to make that happen,” he said.

Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392 Concept.
Camera IconJeep Wrangler Rubicon 392 Concept. Credit: Supplied

“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.”

Should it go into production, it will be the first Wrangler with a bent eight since the 1981 CJ iteration, which had a 5.0-litre unit.

To make the engine and eight-speed transmission fit, the concept gets new engine mounts and a modified frame, plus suspension updates including aluminium, monotube Fox shocks.

For better off-roading, it adds Dana 44 axles, a Selec-Track full-time two-speed transfer case, Tru-Lok electric front and rear-axle locking differentials, 37-inch mud-terrain tyres on custom 17-inch beadlock wheels which hold tyres to rims when under extreme lateral loads, allowing for reduced tyre pressure operation and added traction.

To up the fun levels, a two-mode exhaust alters the performance sound.

There is no official word on whether the Wrangler’s Gladiator ute cousin will also score a V8 if it goes into production.

We also doubt the performance upgrades will do much for the Wrangler’s notorious safety reputation.

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