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Jeep Fires Back with a V8 and PHEV

Jesse McGraw

While Ford was preparing to show off their new Bronco, Jeep crashed the party with their release of the Jeep Wrangler 4xe and a concept toting a V8!

Jeep has been the rock-crawling, mudding, adventure-type company long before the Bronco and continued to thrive in its absence. Others have tried to take Jeep’s place as the top of off-roading SUV, but none have fully surpassed them. With their direct competitor returning, Jeep knew they had to show up in full force and deliver products the fans have been pleading for. So, just moments before the new Ford Bronco was unveiled, Jeep released plans for two new iterations of the Jeep Wrangler that attack areas where the Bronco failed to deliver.

6.4L V8 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392

Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392 - fcanorthamerica.com
Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392 - fcanorthamerica.com

You read that right, Jeep is dropping a V8 into a Wrangler Rubicon, something they haven’t done with any of their vehicles since 1981. The Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392 will carry a 6.4L V8 engine with 392 cu/in of displacement resulting in a recorded 450 horsepower and 450lb.-ft. of torque. All that power has Jeep claiming the capability to reach 0-60mph in less than five seconds! Thankfully, all that engine performance doesn’t take away from any of its off-roading capability, in fact it improves upon it. The Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392 will have an enhanced version of Jeep’s Trail Rated 4×4 capability and plenty of other extra features that make it a beast:

  • Dana 44 axles
  • Selec-Track full-time two-speed transfer case
  • Tru-Lok electric front- and rear-axle lockers
  • 37in mud-terrain tires
  • 17in beadlock wheels
  • Mopar Jeep Performance Parts 2in factory lift kit
  • Eight-speed transmission with low-end torque and 3.73 gear ratio
  • Two exhaust modes that alters the sound of the vehicle
  • Improved exterior designs
    • Half doors
    • Granite Crystal paint
    • Bronze accents on tow hooks, springs, shocks, wheels and badging
    • Heavy-duty raised performance hood
    • Sky One-touch powertop
  • Limited edition interior
    • Red Rock-colored leather seats with gold stitching
    • Performance steering wheel

Jeep Wrangler 4xe

Jeep Wrangler 4xe at 2020 CES - cnet.com
Jeep Wrangler 4xe at 2020 CES - cnet.com

Jeep didn’t just hit us with bigger power, they plan to give us with an efficient new plug-in hybrid electric vehicle option. The new Jeep Wrangler 4xe hasn’t fully been introduced, only seen quietly driving through the country in a short teaser. Some have speculated that it will carry the existing 3.6L V6 of the Wrangler with an added electric motor found between the exhaust and the driveshaft. While not as exciting as the V8 announcement, introducing a PHEV to Jeep’s lineup is a welcomed addition from the manufacturer. With the similar components found underneath the rest of Jeep’s lineup, we’ll see the Renegade and Compass following suit and could see the electrified option come to the Gladiator or the rumored return of the Wagoneer in the not too distant future.

Is the Bronco Already on Notice?

Bronco showed up with a great redesign and plenty of options, but the largest engine it offers currently is a 2.7L twin-turbo V6 making 310hp and 400lb-ft. of torque. Jeep looks to steal the Bronco’s thunder with even greater horsepower. The most fuel-efficient option in the Bronco will be an EcoBoost 4-cylinder engine, and while that’s nice, Jeep’s new PHEV will almost certainly be the better option. And Jeep already has a diesel version in their lineup, something the Ford hasn’t even hinted at for the Bronco. So, is the Bronco really ready to take on Jeep? Or will these new moves from Jeep render the Bronco’s return futile?

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Jesse McGraw
Jesse McGraw

Jesse's life-long car obsession began when he started collecting Hot Wheels as a child. He’s constantly keeping up with the latest car news and diving deep into automotive history. His automotive journey began with a rusty ‘99 Dodge Dakota held together by zip ties, only recently replaced by an impeccable 2014 Kia Soul. You can find him modifying and racing cars in video games when he’s not playing paintball or writing about cars.

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