As Ford Motor Company launches its new Ford Bronco lineup today, the Jeep® brand isn’t letting the blue-oval brand to steal the spotlight. Instead, the iconic off-road brand is debuting a new concept vehicle answering a lot of Jeep enthusiasts demand for more power in the most recognizable vehicle on the planet – the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392 Concept.
That’s right, the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392 Concept puts the awesome 6.4-liter (392-cubic-inch) HEMI V8 engine that delivers 450 horsepower and 450 lb.-ft. of torque in the engine bay of the long-wheelbase off-roader. Before now, this was accomplished only by aftermarket companies, like our friends at America’s Most Wanted 4×4. But now, it’s the first time that the Jeep brand has put a V8 in its halo vehicle, since 1981 when the Jeep® CJ was optioned with a 5.0-liter V8 that delivers 125 horsepower and 220 lb.-ft. of torque. The 392 HEMI allows the four-door Wrangler to have a 0-60 mph time of less than 5-seconds and takes the Wrangler to the other extreme end of the spectrum from the soon to be launched, electrified Wrangler Unlimited 4xe.
The Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392 Concept also adds a wide range of Jeep Performance Parts to mix as well. Dana 44 axles, a full-time two-speed transfer case, electric front and rear-axle lockers, 37-inch Falken Wildpeak Mud-Terrain tires and a two-inch lift kit from Mopar combine with suspension enhancements, an 8-speed automatic transmission, and HEMI engine, make the Rubicon 392 Concept the ultimate fun-to-drive Jeep with more off-road capability than ever before.
“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,” said Jim Morrison, Head of Jeep Brand – FCA North America. “From the recently introduced 29 MPG Wrangler EcoDiesel 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.”
To allow the 6.4-liter HEMI V8 and its beefier 8-speed automatic transmission to fit into the Wrangler, Jeep engineers upgraded engine mounts and modified the Wrangler’s frame. While the Rubicon 392 Concept is based on the standard Rubicon model, there have been several upgrades given to this special model. New aluminum monotube Fox shocks allow for improved damping and heat dissipation. A new two-mode exhaust alters the sound of the 392 HEMI at the touch of a button.
To increase capability, third-generation Dana 44 axles, a Selec-Track full-time two-speed transfer case, Tru-Lok electric front and rear-axle locking differentials, custom 17-inch bead-lock wheels wrapped in 37-inch Falken Wildpeak Mud-Terrain tires, Rubicon rock rails, steel bumpers, a steel belly pan, and a Warn winch is equipped with the purpose of taking this Wrangler to any destination.
Painted in the classy Granite Crystal exterior paint, the Wrangler Rubicon 392 Concept is adorned with Bronze accentuated tow hooks, badging, springs, shocks, and wheels give the Wrangler Rubicon 392 Concept an upscale look. The V8-powered concept also features custom half-doors, as well as Wrangler Sky One-touch powertop which features removable side panels for complete open-air freedom, and Red Rock-colored leather bolstered seats.
While it remains a concept, our sources are telling us that the Wrangler Rubicon 392 Concept is more of a study than a concept and is being seriously considered for production. So what do you think of the Wrangler Rubicon 392 Concept? Leave your comments below or check out the MoparInsiders forums.