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The Rubicon 392 is the first V8 Jeep Wrangler in 40 years

Y'know how everything's going electric? We're not sure Jeep got the memo

Published: 17 Nov 2020

The move towards electrification is gaining momentum. Many countries plan on banning the sale of petrol and diesel cars in as little as a decade’s time. In that context, this Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392 appears to represent the dinosaurs roaring viciously at the asteroid.

It’s the first time in almost 40 years that Jeep has fitted V8s into its halo product on the production line. The V8 in question – should you not speak in cubic inches – is 6.4 litres in size. It produces 470bhp and 470lb ft, enough for a 4.5sec 0-62mph time (not to mention a 13sec quarter-mile).

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Which, in the days of sub-3.0sec Teslas, doesn’t immediately stand out as mad. But look at the shape and size of this thing. Those 4.5 seconds are going to be a heck of a lot more dramatic than the two-point-odd seconds it takes something more car-shaped to hit the same sort of speed.

It’s linked exclusively to an eight-speed automatic gearbox, and naturally feeds all four wheels through varying levels of ferocity depending on which of the numerous off-road modes you’ve toggled. Fox shocks are standard, with 17in beadlock wheels (inside 33in tyres) sitting proudly at the end of them.

Yep, while an AMG G63 is destined to be paraded loudly through urban environs, Jeep really wants you to take this thing off road. So while there’s a two-stage exhaust and the first paddleshifters ever fitted to a Wrangler, the Rubicon 392’s big claims are all away from asphalt.

Claims like 75 per cent of its prodigious torque arriving just above that almighty engine’s idle speed, allowing you to climb steep inclines with minimal throttle input. Then there’s the bonnet scoop: it gulps in air to help feed the engine but has a “tri-level ducting system” that separates out and drains water (up to 15 gallons a minute) should you have plunged into a bow wave while picking your way through a river. There’s also a secondary air feed which means the 392 can reach its top speed even if that scoop’s full of mud or snow.

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Far from roaring at the asteroid, then, this V8 Jeep plans on driving right over it. Like what you see?

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