Will Jeep actually build this 450-hp Wrangler Rubicon 392 concept?

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It’s no secret that this week’s big news is the official reveal of Ford’s revamped Bronco, but Jeep is determined to steal a slice of the limelight. In good FCA fashion, Jeep turned to a high-po Hemi swap.

Jeep first teased a 392-packing model on Saturday, but now it has announced that the airbrushed image heralds an official concept: the Wrangler Rubicon 392. Though official word from Jeep is that the Rubicon 392 is a concept only, Road & Track reports that the V-8-powered monster Jeep is indeed headed for production. In the meantime, here’s what we know for sure.

The Rubicon 392 shares its Hemi mill with the Charger and Challenger Scat Pack models, but the 6.4-liter engine under the 4×4’s hood carries a slightly lower power output: 450 hp and 450 lb-ft of torque, compared to 485 hp and 475 lb-ft in the Charger/Challenger Scat Pack. (The Durango SRT’s 392 makes 475 hp and 470 lb-ft of torque). Why the discrepancy? Most likely, engineers ran into packaging constraints while outfitting the concept; another possibility is that Jeep tweaked the 392’s output to preserve the Rubicon’s Dana 44 axles.

Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392 Concept

Naturally, the Wrangler concept gets some off-roading goodies its tire-smoking siblings don’t. Those 450 horses are channeled through an eight-speed automatic and a full-time, two-speed transfer case to burly Dana 44 axles, which spin 17-inch beadlock wheels wearing 37-inch mud-terrain tires. The 4×4 boasts electric front and rear axle lockers and a 3.73 gear ratio to balance its on- and off-road capabilities, and suspension upgrades come courtesy of aluminum, monotube Fox shocks. For a finishing touch, Jeep added a factory-spec two-inch lift kit, a steel belly pan, and a winch. Also, in case this concept needed more cool points, the Wrangler Rubicon 392 gets a rear-glass delete and half doors.

Thanks to the extra kit, the Rubicon 392 concept notches some serious improvements over a standard Wrangler. Jeep reports improved approach (51.6), breakover (29.5), and departure (40.1) angles compared to the stock Wrangler’s 44-degree approach, 27.8-degree breakover and 37-degree departure angles. The leap in performance is only appropriate for a wow-factor concept.

Will off-roaders drool over 475 lb-ft of torque in a Wrangler? If this concept becomes reality, Jeep models will certainly have a corner on powertrain diversity: The Wrangler lineup already offers a turbo four and naturally-aspirated V-6 (each with a mild-hybrid variant), alongside a 3.0-liter EcoDiesel. A plug-in hybrid model is in the pipeline, although updates have been scarce.

A fuel-guzzling Hemi to round out the selection? Sounds good to us.

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