In an apparent direct response to Ford revealing the Bronco this week, Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) has taken the wraps off of a V8-powered version of the Jeep Wrangler, reports have claimed will be going into production.
Shown as a concept, the Unlimited Rubicon-based 392 Concept pays tribute to the CJ, the predecessor of the Wrangler and also the last to offer a V8, and is said to have been created in response to buyers requesting a bent-eight never offered in any of the Wrangler’s five generations.
More than likely revealed in yet another stab to the Bronco’s lacking of a V8, the 392, as indicated by its engine size in cubic inches, is powered by the same 6.4-litre engine as the Grand Cherokee SRT, rated at 336kW/610Nm. A beefed-up eight-speed automatic gearbox is entrusted with sending the amount of grunt to all four wheels via a selectable low-range ‘box.
The inclusion of the V8 has however necessitated a number of new or revised components, namely a 51 mm Mopar lift-kit, steel bumpers, custom 17-inch alloy wheels wrapped in 37-inch off-road tyres, a new two-mode exhaust system, aluminium, mono-tube Fox Racing shocks, the Tru-Lok electronic differential on the front and rear axles, a Warn winch, rock sliders and a steel underfloor pan.
Further equipped with Dana 44 axles, the 392, which Jeep claims will go from 0-60 mph (96 km/h) in “less than five seconds”, has a ground clearance of 337 mm, wading depth of 864 mm and approach as well as departure angles of 51.6 and 40.1 degrees. The breakover angle is rated at 29.5 degrees with the only interior tweaks being a performance steering wheel and Red Rock leather seats with gold stitching.
Finished in a colour called Granite Crystal contrasted by a gold finish on the springs, tow hooks, badging and the wheels, US publication Road and Track reports that a total of 30 prototypes had already been produced at the Toledo Plant in Ohio, which an unnamed source has alleged would never happen to a supposed one-off concept.
Unsurprisingly, Jeep has declined to comment on the claims, but don’t be surprised if the mentioned prototypes are spotted over the coming weeks and months undergoing final testing.