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Finally demand answered! V-8-powered 2021 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392


In response to ongoing customer demand, a V-8 powered 2021 Jeep Wrangler 392 will be offered stock from factory, and it isn’t just any V-8. This is the 6.4-liter V-8 with 470 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque, pushing the Wrangler from 0 to 60 in just 4.5 seconds and quarter mile in 13.0 seconds. This goes along with greater off-road capability.

Yeah, holy cow, indeed.

Not just a V-8 Wrangler

While one could assume Jeep engineers merely took the V-8 and shoved it in the Wrangler, there is actually a lot more to this rig — and more than the Jeep Wrangler 392 concept showed.

“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.”

For starters, the engineers upgraded the frame rails, added a 2-inch lift for better clearance, upgraded to heavy-duty brakes, and specially tuned high-performance FOX aluminum monotube shocks.

2021 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392

Airflow is critical to any engine’s performance and Jeep created new ways to get airflow even when covered in mud. (Photo courtesy of Jeep)

Next, they increased air flow to feed the beast by creating a functional hood scoop with a “Tri-level Hydro-Guide” air intake system channeling up to 15 gallons of water a minute away from the engine. A secondary air path built into the hood allows for top performance even when the hood scoop is completely covered in mud, snow or other debris.

Also, the engineers gave it standard 33-inch tires with 17-inch beadlock-capable wheels.

2021 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392

Not a lot of room left under the hood for the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392 after the 6.4L V-8 was squeezed in. (Photo courtesy of Jeep)

The performance of the 6.4-liter V-8 is based on a cast iron cylinder block and aluminum heads, accented with an active intake manifold, variable camshaft timing, twin spark plugs per cylinder, sodium-filled exhaust valves, hollow-stem intake valves and piston oil cooling jets. The Wrangler Rubicon 392 engine is fitted with a rear-sump oil pan, high-mount alternator and free-flowing exhaust manifolds.

This engine also offers cylinder deactivation to save fuel, seamlessly shifting to smooth, high-fuel-economy four-cylinder mode when engine loads are light, such as cruising on the highway. A tank-mounted high-performance pump keeps the V-8 fueled under even the most demanding conditions.

It is mated to a TorqueFlite 8-speed automatic (no manual option) with wheel-mounted aluminum paddle shifters, (a Jeep first) to allow more control over the performance — especially at launch.

Even with all this impressive performance and sound thanks to an active dual-mode exhaust note  from unique quad tailpipes, it still has a lot of off-road capability. This Jeep will have the Selec-Trac two-speed transfer case with full-time four-wheel drive as well as heavy-duty wide track Dana 44 axles. These axles have Tru-Lok electronic locking differentials and electronic front sway-bar disconnect.

2021 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392

Imagine climbing hills like this while just above engine idle. Now that’s impressive. (Photo courtesy of Jeep)

This equipment helps the Wrangler 392 with an impressive 48:1 crawl ratio and what Jeep says is a “unique torque converter locking strategy” meaning it can literally climb up and over just about everything at engine idle speeds since nearly 75% of peak torque is available just above idle.

Yeah, it’s that powerful.

The result is the most capable Jeep Wrangler ever with 10.3 inches of ground clearance; improved suspension articulation and maneuverability; approach, breakover and departure angles of 44.5, 22.6 and 37.5 degrees, respectively. Oh, and the ability to traverse up to 32.5 inches of water.

Lastly, this V-8 Jeep Wrangler 392 will only be offered in a 4 door model.

Interior upgrades, colors, options on 2021 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392

2021 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392

The interior of the Jeep Wrangler took a big leap forward a few years ago and is now one of the top interiors out there. (Photo courtesy of Jeep)

Behind the wheel, Jeep is using a “competition-inspired leather-wrapped steering wheel” with an aggressive rim section for extra grip and ergonomic comfort. Plus, it is using the same idea on the integrated upper bolsters for the front seats to keep the driver and passenger comfortable at higher speeds.

Finally, an off-road plus drive mode lets drivers lock the rear axle at high speeds while in 4 high, unique exterior bronze accents make the Wrangler Rubicon 392 stand out from other Wranglers and new half-doors, mirror add-on kit available from Mopar, will be available as part of a kit to be able to swap them out for the summer with full doors for colder temps.

2021 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392

This gray metallic color fits perfectly with this rig. (Photo courtesy of Jeep)

The 2021 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392 is available 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.

The 2021 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392 includes 11 premium features, normally options on Jeep Wrangler:

  • Leather interior
  • Infotainment Group
  • HD electrical switch bank
  • Body-color hard top
  • Body-color flares
  • Steel Bumper Group
  • LED Lighting Group
  • Cold Weather Group
  • Remote proximity entry
  • Safety Group
  • Advanced Safety Group

Plus, if these features aren’t enough, Mopar has a full catalog of Jeep specific upgrades including LED off-road lights, Rubicon winch, Ultimate Dana 44 Advantek front axle with gear ratios available up to 5.38, new off-road beadlock-capable wheels suitable for larger tires, tube doors, off-road bumpers, rock rails and more.

The 2021 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392 goes on sale in the first quarter of 2021 with pricing and fuel economy (if you care about MPGs) closer to when it hits dealer lots.

2021 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392

How can you look at this picture and NOT want to get out there? (Photo courtesy of Jeep)

The bottom line on the 2021 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392

For the first time in nearly 40 years, a V-8-powered Jeep Wrangler will be offered from the factory. While customers have being doing their own V-8 engine swaps for years, this allows them to get one from the factory with a warranty.

The warranty is one thing, the other is all the additional performance on top of the V-8 you can’t get from a swap — the hood scoop, additional air flow, upgraded components like stronger frame and 44 axles.

While Jeep says this isn’t a response to the Ford Bronco with its team developing the 392 before the Bronco’s debut, it is pretty damn good timing to have an answer to Ford’s attack on Jeep’s dominance.

Ultimately, this is a good thing for consumers and we can’t wait to see how this battle plays out.

Related posts:

Jeep Unveils Wrangler 392 Concept, Declares War On Bronco

Can 2021 Ford Bronco win over two-time Jeep Wrangler owner?

Ford Bronco vs. Jeep Wrangler by the specs

Tim Esterdahl

Automotive Journalist Tim Esterdahl has been a lover of trucks and SUVs for years. He has covered the industry since 2011 and has pieces in many national magazines and newspapers. In his spare time, he is often found tinkering on his '62 C10 pickup, playing golf, going hunting and hanging out with his wife and kids in Nebraska.

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