FCA announced this morning that the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392 with the 6.4-liter V8 that debuted as a concept earlier this year will become a production reality for 2021. The production version of the 392-powered Jeep will reach dealerships early next year, but today, we have nearly all of the details on the quickest and most powerful Wrangler ever.
The production version of the Wrangler Rubicon 392 maintains all of the key features that made us fall in love with the concept. One important difference is that the concept had 450 horsepower and 450 lb-ft of torque while the production version will offer 470 horsepower and 470 lb-ft of torque, but that is the kind of concept-to-production change we like to see.
“This is the most powerful, quickest, most capable Jeep Wrangler we’ve ever built,” said Jim Morrison, Head of Jeep Brand – FCA North America. “The factory lift and abundant low-end torque from the V-8 makes the Rubicon 392 the king of the hills, whether you’re rock crawling at low speeds or powering up an incline. And, when pavement replaces dirt, Rubicon 392 makes quick work of the road.”
Unfortunately, Jeep hasn’t said how much the 2021 Wrangler Rubicon 392 will cost when it goes on sale next year, but here are the rest of the details on the first V8-powered Wrangler in 40 years.
Quickest, Most Powerful Wrangler Ever
The heart of the 2021 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392 is the 392-cubic inch, 6.4-liter Hemi V8 that is currently featured in a variety of SRT-level Dodge models, along with the Grand Cherokee. In the Wrangler, this engine will deliver 470 horsepower and 470 lb-ft of torque, making it considerably more powerful than the Pentastar V6.
This new use of the 392 Hemi includes the unique Hydro-Guide air intake system, which can pull up to 15 gallons of water per minute. Owners certainly won’t need to worry about rain going in through the hood scoop and should they have to cross a river, water washing across the hood won’t make its way into the engine, either.
The Rubicon 392 has an official water-fording rating of 32.5 inches, but when water gets to sloshing across the hood, the scoop won’t create a problem. Also, should that scoop get completely clogged with mud, ice or other debris, there is a secondary engine air intake inlet under the hood.
This powerful V8 is mated to a ZF 8HP75 8-speed automatic transmission and a pair of Dana 44 axles with Tru-Lok electronic locking differentials and 3.73 gearsets. Using the Selec-Trac two-speed transfer case, the V8-powered Wrangler is a full-time four-wheel-drive vehicle with a 48:1 crawl ratio. Also, thanks to the unique Off-Road Plus drive mode, the rear locking differential can be engaged at high speed in 4-high.
The Rubicon 392 is the first Wrangler to showcase steering wheel-mounted shift paddles, as well as being the first of this model lineup to feature the active dual mode exhaust system. This valved exhaust system was first introduced in the Dodge Challenger and Charger, later making it to the Durango and Jeep Grand Cherokee lineup. Like those systems, the exhaust on the Wrangler 392 opens to improve flow rate and exhaust volume under hard throttle, but unlike the similar system on the SRT models, the Wrangler has a switch to active the system while the others do not.
Finally, the power meets the road with help of 33-inch BFGoodrich KO2 All-Terrain tires on 17-inch beadlock capable wheels. This Jeep is built to offer high speed fun in and around the roughest off-road conditions, but it also offers impressive on-road performance figures. Even with the hefty off-road tires, this 5,103-pound Jeep will blast from a stop to 60 miles per hour in just 4.5 seconds. It will also run the quarter mile in 13 seconds flat, with an electronically limited top speed of 99 miles per hour.
Some people might scoff at that relatively low top speed, but it is limited under federal law to the speed rating of the factory tires. These tires have a speed rating of 99 miles per hour, so that is where the vehicle must be limited. It isn’t a great highway racer, but in stock form, it will beat a great many performance cars on a drag strip and that is pretty cool.
Upgraded Chassis and Suspension
The 392 Hemi V8 is the most powerful engine ever in a Wrangler, but it is also the heaviest. The engineers wanted to make sure that the underpinnings could stand up to the added weight, torque and speeds, so they started by adding upgraded frame rails, stronger upper front control arms and cast iron steering knuckles. The 392 engine is also mated with heavy duty brakes and an electronic disconnect front sway bar.
Next, the Wrangler Rubicon 392 features a unique suspension setup that is an inch higher than a current Rubicon and two inches higher than the non-Rubicon Wranglers on sale today. The taller springs are mated with specially tuned Fox shocks that balance on-road handling with off-road capabilities. As mentioned above, the Rubicon 392 can cross 32.5 inches of water thanks in part to 10.3 inches of ground clearance. The V8-powered Wrangler has an approach angle of 44.5, a breakover angle of 22.6 and a departure angle of 37.5 degrees.
In other words, while this Wrangler Rubicon 392 is the most powerful ever while also offering the best quarter mile times for a stock Wrangler, it doesn’t compromise any of the off-road abilities. This Jeep offers stunning performance on-road and off.
A Unique Look
The on- and off-road performance levels of the 2021 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392 will be more than enough for the company to sell as many as they can make, but these 470-horsepower SUVs are packed full of content inside and out.
On the outside, the Rubicon 392 has a unique hood with a huge central bulge and a large scoop at the leading edge. Each side of that hood bulge has a 392 logo trimmed in bronze, and the rest of the exterior badging has bronze trim as well. Even the tow hooks and wheels are finished in the dark bronze, serving as a subtle upgrade for the package.
The body-color hard top, body-color flares, the Steel Bumper Group and the LED Lighting Group are all standard on the Rubicon 392, and the package can be ordered in nine exterior colors – Black, Bright White, Firecracker Red, Granite Crystal Metallic, Punk ’n Metallic, Sarge Green Metallic, Snazzberry Metallic, Sting-Gray Metallic and Billet Silver Metallic, all with a black interior.
On the inside, black leather with bronze stitching is standard on the Wrangler Rubicon 392. The front seats have deep bolsters to keep the driver and passenger securely in place during spirited cornering, while the bronze embroidered Rubicon 392 logos on the seatbacks call out the first V8 Wrangler in four decades.
The leather-wrapped dashboard carries the 8.4-inch UConnect screen, which includes the Off-Road Pages feature with information such as pitch, roll, GPS coordinates and more. Of course, the touchscreen also offers access to the climate control system, the sound system and vehicle settings. The center console also carries an auxiliary switch panel alongside the off-road gadget buttons.
Again, we don’t know what the 2021 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392 will cost when it goes on sale, but for everyone pleading for a V8-powered Wrangler, your dream is becoming a production reality.