Jeep unveils the high-powered Wrangler V8

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This will be the first time in nearly 40 years that the Wrangler or its predecessor, the Jeep CJ, will be offered with a V8 engine. The last V8 Jeep CJ, rated at 124 horsepower, was offered for the 1981 model year. At the time, Jeep was owned by American Motors Corporation, which was later acquired by Chrysler.

Now the Jeep brand belongs to Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCAU), and executives said the new Wrangler V8 was created in response to clear customer demand.

“Why are we doing this? Said Scott Talon, Jeep Brand Marketing Director in the United States. “Because our customers do it anyway. ”

Some Wrangler owners have modified their Jeeps by installing V8 engines. Many others have asked when Fiat Chysler will offer a V8 engine option, he said.

The basic design of the Wrangler had to be modified somewhat to accommodate the larger engine. The Wrangler Rubicon 392 rises two inches higher off the ground than a base Wrangler. In addition to leaving more room for the engine, the higher ride height also allows for better off-road performance since the Wrangler can better overcome obstacles and climb steeper slopes. It can also wade in 2.7 feet of water.The Rubicon 392 has a domed air intake in the hood. The air intake has been designed with a secondary path for air to enter the engine so that even if the opening of the shovel is clogged with mud or snow, the engine can still provide the full power.

Besides 470 horsepower, the V8 engine can also produce 470 lb-ft of torque, a measure of gross pulling power at any speed. Everything is controlled by an eight-speed automatic transmission that can be shifted using paddles behind the steering wheel.

As this is still a Jeep Wrangler, Fiat Chrysler engineers were able to openly test drive prototypes of the Rubicon 392 on public trails alongside other off-road enthusiasts without attracting attention or asking. of questions.

They also tested its acceleration on drag strips. However, they didn’t test it on race tracks because, they said, high-speed cornering is never a priority for any Wrangler, including this one.

To save fuel, the V8 engine has a cylinder deactivation system that shuts down four of the cylinders when little power is needed. However, Fiat Chrysler has not released fuel consumption estimates for the Rubicon 392. Pricing for the new Jeep will be announced closer to it goes on sale in early 2021.

The Rubicon 392 will give Jeep something that rival Ford won’t, at least for now, in its new Bronco. The Ford Bronco goes on sale next spring and will be a direct competitor to the Wrangler. It will be offered with a choice of a 270-horsepower four-cylinder engine or a 310-horsepower six-cylinder engine.

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