Jeep Teases First-Ever V8 Wrangler on the Day of the Ford Bronco Unveiling
Consider this a thinly veiled threat
Ford has been teasing the new Bronco for what feels like an eternity, explicitly touting the return of its beloved SUV while implicitly waging war on the increasingly popular Jeep Wrangler. Tonight at 8 p.m., the wait is finally over, but not before Jeep gets one final word in.
On the day of the Bronco’s highly anticipated reveal, Jeep made its own monumental announcement: the Wrangler may finally get its first-ever V8 engine.
The key word there is “may.” In a press release, the company wrote, “Jeep enthusiasts have been clamoring for a V-8-powered production Wrangler in recent years and the new Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392 Concept is an indication they may soon get their wish.” That’s right, parent company Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is only committing to a concept at this point, but it seems closer to the goal line than ever.
As Jeep noted, the last time the company built a production version of the vehicle with a V8 was almost 40 years ago when it stocked the 1981 Jeep CJ, short for “civilian Jeep,” a precursor to the Wrangler.
At the moment, the base engine for a 2020 Wrangler is a 3.6-liter V6. The reason Jeep has never bulked up to the V8 in the model, as Motor1 wrote, is that “the engine didn’t allow for enough crush space to be safe in a crash.” Despite the fact that seemingly everyone knows someone who uses a Wrangler as a grocery-getter, Jeep still prioritizes off-roading and its iconic design, and so far they haven’t been willing to compromise on either for more cylinders.
Now that they’re about to have the first real competitor in the Bronco — if estimated pricing and specs materialize — Jeep is finally taking the customer request seriously. But again, this is still a concept (albeit a 450 horsepower, 450 lb.-ft. of torque concept), so fans of the brand will still need to wait for the V8 even if the company decides to finally pull the trigger.
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