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Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392 production confirmed

Jeep confirms and reveals production-spec version of Wrangler Rubicon 392

18 Nov 2020

UPDATE: 18/11/2020

 

V8-POWERED shockwaves have been sent through the off-road scene this week following Jeep’s confirmation that the Wrangler Rubicon 392 Concept is going into production and while currently only slated for left-hand-drive markets, FCA Australia has expressed a strong interest in securing the rabid off-roader here if the opportunity presents itself.

 

“At this stage, the Rubicon 392 is going to be produced in left-hand-drive only,” a spokesperson told GoAuto.

 

“With that said, we know how much Australians love their V8s so if that changes, we'll be the first to put our hands up.”

 

News of the Wrangler Rubicon 392’s move from concept car to production model was broken via Instagram with Jeep uploading a video of a V8-powered Wrangler roaring away from the camera, captioned by “Some concepts are so powerful they storm into reality. Preproduction model shown. Available 2021”.

 

In an interesting move, Jeep did not take up the whole frame with the Wrangler blasting across the desert, instead giving it a little less than half with the remaining room taken up by a mock Instagram interface with the caption “Get dirty faster” followed by a series of Jeep-specific hashtags, the last of which being the final, defining piece to the puzzle; #NotAConcept.

 

An official reveal was then hosted live on Jeep’s YouTube channel on Tuesday night where the new off-road flagship was detailed almost in full.

 

Due to go on sale in America in the first quarter of next year, the Wrangler Rubicon 392 Concept was first revealed back in July, just as Ford was gearing up to debut its new Wrangler-rivalling Bronco.

 

The headline act is without doubt the naturally aspirated 6.4-litre (392 cubic-inch) Hemi V8 petrol engine residing under the bonnet, developing 350kW of power and 637Nm of torque – 14kW/27Nm more than the Concept.

 

Driving all four wheels via an eight-speed automatic transmission, Jeep says the Rubicon 392 will dart from 0-97km/h (60mph) in 4.5 seconds and is the result of considerable consumer demand.

 

The engine itself is fed fresh air by a tri-level intake system courtesy of Hydro-Guide which can not only channel almost 57 litres of water per minute away from the engine, but also enables the Rubicon 392 to reach its undisclosed top speed even if its functional bonnet scoop is blocked or clogged.

 

On top of the V8 engine, Jeep has made a series of off-road specific enhancements to make the new Wrangler flagship as capable as possible, including Dana 44 axles, electric front and rear diff lockers, full-time two-speed transfer case with 3.73 final drive ratio, 33-inch tyres with custom 17-inch beadlock rims as well as an accommodating 2.0-inch lift kit with new aluminium monotube Fox shocks and upgraded frame rails.

 

Standard creature comforts meanwhile largely mirror the rest of the Wrangler range, consisting of a leather steering wheel, aluminium paddle shifters, leather upholstery, performance seats, bronze exterior accents, a steel bumper, LED head- and tail-lights, remote proximity entry and an active exhaust.

 

With production of the Rubicon 392 now confirmed, GoAuto reached out to Ford Australia to see if there was any renewed possibilities of a local Bronco introduction or the emergence of a V8 Ranger pick-up to rival the rabid Rubicon.

 

Ford Australia communications director Matt Moran said the Blue Oval pays more attention to customer feedback and consumer demand than it does to the activity of other manufacturers.

 

“We listen closely to feedback from our customers and the demands of consumers more broadly, and are focused on meeting their needs – this is what determines our strategy,” he said.

 

“Bronco is a vehicle developed with attributes for specific markets, particularly North America, and is not being offered in right-hand drive.”

 

“We have no news to share about any alternative Ranger powertrains.”

 

With Ford lacking a direct rival and the heavily-rumoured Toyota GR off-roaders still years away, Jeep could have the admittedly niche high-performance off-road segment all to itself if it does make it to Australia.

 

It remains to be seen yet if Jeep will transplant the thumping bent-eight into the Wrangler-based Gladiator or if an even more potent Trackhawk version emerges.

 

Jeep Australia has sold 925 new Wranglers so far this year, accounting for a slim 1.3 per cent share of the sub-$70,000 large SUV segment.


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