FOUR WHEELER magazine has named the 2022 Jeep® Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon 392 – the quickest and most powerful Wrangler from the factory ever, as its “SUV of the Year” for the 2022 model year.
FOUR WHEELER’s SUV of the Year competition is open to all-new or significantly revised SUVs for the upcoming model year, culminates in the annual award judged by the editors of the 4×4 enthusiast publication.
FOUR WHEELER’s weeklong testing regimen includes ramp travel index (RTI) testing to gauge each vehicle’s suspension articulation; track testing, including 0-60 and quarter-mile acceleration times, and 60-0 braking distance; and on- and off-road evaluation in the mountains and deserts of Southern California and Nevada. Vehicles are subjected to a variety of off-road conditions, including sand, rocky trails, loose-surface trails, rutted backroads, and loose dirt hill climbs. Night driving was also integrated into the competition to gauge the performance of each vehicle’s lighting equipment.
Judges included staff from the various truck and 4×4 brands, including FOUR WHEELER, 4-Wheel & Off-Road, and Truck Trend, along with former FOUR WHEELER staffers and off-road industry experts.
The 2022 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon 392 is powered by the 6.4-liter (392 cubic-inch) HEMI “Apache” V8. In its Rubicon 392 form, the 392 HEMI delivers 470 horsepower (354 kW) @ 6,000 rpm and 470 lb.-ft. (637 N•m) @ 4,300 rpm. hat’s a lot more power than the 5.0-liter (304 cubic-inch) V8 that lay in the engine bay of the 1981 Jeep CJ with 125 horsepower (93 kW) and 220 lb.-ft. (298 N•m) of torque.
To help put all the power down to the ground, the 392 HEMI is mated to a ZF-sourced 8HP75 8-speed automatic transmission. Sorry, no manual option here. The Rubicon 392 features steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters and if the right condition exists, the Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon 392 can do a 0 to 60 mph run in 4.5 seconds and can run the quarter-mile in 13 seconds flat. That’s pretty darn quick for a “Trail Rated” vehicle. Also, nearly 75% of the Wrangler Rubicon 392’s peak torque is available just above engine idle speed.
Rubicon 392 models will come equipped with Dana 44 axles, a full-time two-speed transfer case, Tru-Lok® electronic locking front and rear differentials, Fox shocks, an electronic front sway-bar disconnect for max articulation, and a 3.73 final-drive ratio. A new set of 17-inch Beadlock-capable wheels come standard and are wrapped in 33-inch BFGoodrich All-Terrain KO2 tires. Brakes have also been beefed up due to the added weight of the 392 HEMI.
With the Xtreme Recon package, the Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon 392 adds 35-inch LT315/70R17C BFGoodrich All-Terrain KO2 tires, 17-inch x 8-inch Beadlock capable wheels, 4.56:1 axle ratio, a 1.5-inch lift, and specifically tuned shocks.
“The Jeep Wrangler 392 is the first vehicle in decades of testing to hit a bullseye on everything that the FOUR WHEELER staff has ever wanted in a factory 4×4,” said FOUR WHEELER Content Director Sean P. Holman. “With solid axles, front and rear lockers, a disconnecting anti-roll bar, flexy link-coil suspension, 35-inch tires, and absolutely sublime V8 integration that brings with it an incredible 470 horsepower and 470 lb.-ft. of useable torque, the Wrangler 392 elevates Jeep’s iconic enthusiast vehicle to another plane and should be tops on any buying list for as long as it lasts.”
“Jeep’s Wrangler Rubicon 392 may just be the pinnacle of factory off-road performance. For generations, off-road fans have been desperately seeking a vehicle with solid axles, big tires, and a powerful V8 engine. Jeep’s inclusion of the 470-horsepower 6.4-liter HEMI® V8 engine in a Wrangler both shocked and delighted the off-roading world while fulfilling their collective wildest dreams,” said Truck Trend’s Jason Gonderman. “And the fact that you can pair it with all of the goodies that come with the Rubicon package, 35-inch tires through Jeep’s Xtreme Recon package, and that it all comes with a factory warranty is a combination that will truly be difficult to beat.”
2022 Jeep® Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon 392 with Xtreme Recon Image Gallery: