Does the more inoffensive European flavour of sporty SUV make your eyes glaze over a bit? Fear not. Jeep is here with a good old-fashioned muscle truck. Meet the 470PS, 6.4-litre V8-engined Wrangler Rubicon 392.
Yes, it’s what every car enthusiast has been calling out for, secretly or otherwise – a proper eight-cylinder gurgler in the timeworn Wrangler. This tonka-toy truck, imbued with new-found muscle, will now hit 62mph in well under five seconds and crack the quarter-mile in 13 seconds. That amounts to a 40 per cent increase in accelerative performance compared with the V6 Wrangler. That’s what 637NM of torque will do for you.
Now, you might be wondering how the rather agricultural Wrangler has been fortified to deal with the kind of twist and shove that 6.4-litre V8 delivers. Fear not. The frame rails and upper control arms have been upgraded. There are bigger brakes, and cast iron steering knuckles to keep the new-found speed under control.
Of course, being a Wrangler, there is an expectation that it should be able to tear it up when the going gets rural, too. Happily, wide-track Dana 44 axles, a two-inch lift and 33-inch tyres should make it a darling rock crawler. Jeep claims this is the most capable Wrangler ever with 10.3 inches of ground clearance, and increased suspension articulation. Respective approach, breakover and departure angles are 44.5, 22.6 and 37.5 degrees.
Keeping that big V8 safe from rising tides is the hydro guide air intake system that can funnel 56 litres of water out of the intake every minute, for a wading capability, including over-the-bonnet bow waves, of 825mm.
Day to day, what matters is how people know you’ve got the 392. They’ll know about it when you start it but visually there are a few giveaways, too. The 392 features bronze accenting to mark it out, along with 392 badging and an engorged bonnet vent. From the back, for somewhat low-key exhausts are a giveaway for those in the know, too. Overall, the ice-cool Wrangler only gets cooler with a big V8 and subtle styling touches to match.
Unfortunately, there’s no word on this variant making its way to the UK but truthfully, if you want one bad enough, you won’t be above importing one. The only question is, which old-school off-road meat machine would get your money? The Wrangler 392 or Mercedes-AMG G63? Ford, make sure that Bronco Raptor gets some Mustang V8 muscle...