Jeep unveils V8-powered Wrangler concept

Did a rival try to steal some of the thunder just before Ford was to take the wraps off its new Broncos?

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Jeep concept
Jeep unveils concept version of the Wrangler Rubicon powered by big V8 engine | FCA photoJ

Just hours before Ford was to showcase its new and reborn family of Broncos on Monday evening, Jeep sent out a news release proclaiming the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392 concept vehicle, which it claims “amps up” fun-to-drive with a 6.4-liter V8 engine rated at 450 horsepower and 450 pound-feet of torque.

Jeep claims this first V8-powered Wrangler Rubicon would sprint to 60 mph in less than 5 seconds.

It adds that the last time a Wrangler was offered with a V8 engine was the 1981 CJ with a 125-horsepower 5.0-liter V8.

This new concept vehicle has Dana 44 axles, full-time 2-speed transfer case, electric front and rear lockers, 37-inch mud-terrain tires and a 2-inch factory lift kit. The concept also has a 2-mode exhaust system that “alters performance sound at a touch of a button.”

“Jeep enthusiasts have been clamoring for a V8-powered production Wrangler in recent years,” Jeep said in its announcement, “and the new Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392 Concept is an indication they may soon get their wish.”

“We are anxious to gauge… reaction to this new Wrangler Rubicon 329 Concept,” added Jim Morrison, head of the Jeep brand.

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A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.

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