Goodbye, EcoDiesel Wrangler—signed, Rubicon FarOut
When Ram announced the end of the line for the 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V-6 in its half-ton pickups earlier this month, we wondered how long the compression-ignition mill would survive in its other primary residence, the Jeep Wrangler. The answer? Months.
To bid farewell to the EcoDiesel-powered Wrangler, Jeep has announced a special edition called the Wrangler Rubicon FarOut. It’s based on the four-door version of Jeep’s most iconic nameplate and will add special flourishes inside and out. On the exterior, you’ll get a special “Diesel 3.0L” hood graphics and exclusive “3.0 D” badging to set your Rubi’ apart. Unique 17-inch wheels are also included, because what’s a going-away party without a new pair of fancy shoes? The fenders will be color-matched to the body, but your seven-slat grille will come in satin black exclusively. The LED lighting group is standard as well..
Inside, black leather seats wear red accents. The Cold Weather Group, which nets you heated front seats; a heated, leather-wrapped steering wheel; and a remote-start system comes standard. The trailer-tow and heavy-duty electrical group is also standard, scoring you a stronger, 240-amp alternator, a 700-amp battery, seven- and four-pin wiring harnesses, auxiliary switches, and a class II receiver hitch.
This content joins a host of hardware and software that makes the Wrangler Rubicon one of the best off-roaders on any showroom floor. Third-generation Dana 44 heavy-duty axles hang at either end, filled with 3.73:1 gears and linked to the transmission via a Rock-Trac two-speed transfer case with a 4.0:1 low-range ratio.
Upon introduction for the 2020 model year, the Wrangler Rubicon EcoDiesel was Jeep’s most capable Wrangler to date, producing a whopping 442 lb-ft of torque that, when paired with that ultra-low-range transfer case and those axles, enabled this thing to chug its way over, around, or through just about anything. It did so while returning respectable fuel economy as well—29 mpg highway for non-Rubicon Wrangler four-doors or 26 mpg highway for the Rubicons. But the EcoDiesel stepped aside from top-dog honors in the spring of 2021 when the thunderous Wrangler Rubicon 392 arrived, packing 470 hp and 470 lb-ft from a snarling Hemi V-8. Still, the EcoDiesel soldiered on for a small but supportive cohort of folks who found the added low-end grunt a boon to their rock-crawling and overlanding antics.
Jeep now points lovers of low-end torque to the plug-in hybrid Wrangler Rubicon 4xe, which pairs a 2.0-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder with two electric motors and a 17-kWh battery to not only match the torque figures of the Hemi-powered model but also deliver up to 21 miles of all-electric range and friendlier fuel economy figures than those of the EcoDiesel.
Despite the departure of the diesel, you can still have a Wrangler with a 2.0-liter turbo four, Jeep’s workhorse 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6, the hellbent-for-leather, 6.4-liter Hemi V-8, or the aforementioned, 4xe hybrid setup.
The EcoDiesel brand has been a mixed bag over its 8-year life-cycle. Introduced in 2014, the engine found its way first into the Ram 1500 pickup and the Jeep Grand Cherokee. A significant update to the engine in 2020 helped pave the way for the engine to power the Wrangler and Gladiator as well. But the early EcoDiesels were the subject of a massive scandal that saw Stellantis agree to pay $300M in fines for emissions cheating. Despite the fact that the generation of the engine in the Wrangler was not implicated in the lawsuit, it was no doubt a massive black mark on the brand and we’re not surprised to hear that it’s being phased out.
Jeep says that the 2023 Wrangler Rubicon FarOut edition is available to order now through November of this year, and that deliveries will begin in Q4 of 2022. No pricing specifics were provided, but we can do some napkin math. If we take a standard 2023 Wrangler Rubicon 4-door ($47,595, including destination) and add on the options above, including the $4000 EcoDiesel V-6 and the requisite $2500 ZF 8HP gearbox unique to that driveline, we end up at just shy of $62,000. That price may soften a bit if you bundle everything together, but exclusivity could counterweight that. (Jeep hasn’t said how many FarOuts it will build, but since you have until November to place an order, calling this a limited edition still makes sense.)
Though it’s mentioned only briefly, the Jeep Gladiator mid-size pickup will retain the EcoDiesel V-6 for the time being. That may mean “only until we announce the send-off treatment for that model,” but, if Jeep views the 4xe driveline as the EcoDiesel’s replacement, rumor suggests another two years of open-bed diesel off-roading.
As far as the Wrangler goes, Jeep’s 4xe powertrain will step in as the model-differentiating propulsion system for an otherwise dated but deeply loved machine. The spec sheet certainly says that it has the juice to pull it off. You may lament the departure of the EcoDiesel Wrangler, but if the adoption rate of the 4xe is anything to go by—it’s currently the best-selling plug-in hybrid in the U.S.—the Wrangler’s future is in good hands.