The Jeep Wrangler identity is built on doing one thing and doing it well. Facing the future, the off-road brand’s flagship has decided to go both ways: green and mean.
The Wrangler, like many vehicles, is caught between two worlds. In the world of today, customers are buying more power with less concern about fuel economy, and parent company FCA’s unofficial motto is to Hellcat all the things. In the world of tomorrow, strict regulations worldwide are pushing automakers toward hybrid and electric vehicles. Jeep has decided not to decide and just built both.
On the same day, Jeep announced both the Wrangler 4xe plug-in hybrid and the Rubicon 392 Concept with a 6.4-liter V-8. One deals with the reality of today, the other with the reality of tomorrow.
Believe it or not, Jeep has never offered a Wrangler with a V-8 from the factory. Ever since the Wrangler launched as a 1987 model (the code-named YJ generation), power-hungry enthusiasts and aftermarket outfits such as AEV have taken matters into their own hands, swapping all sorts of V-8s into their off-roaders. The last time Jeep’s famous utility vehicle, the pre-Wrangler CJ, was available with a factory-installed V-8 was in 1981. That vehicle had a 304-cubic-inch pushrod V-8 that made 125 horsepower and 220 lb-ft of torque. How time flies.
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