Jeep has teased what appears to be a V8-powered version of its popular Wrangler SUV or Gladiator ute.
The teaser image released by the American carmaker shows the front end of one of its Wrangler-based models – whether it is the Wrangler itself or the related Gladiator ute, the brand hasn’t confirmed – with an enlarged bonnet scoop proudly wearing a ‘392’ badge.
In Mopar parlance, 392 refers to Fiat Chrysler’s venerable 6.4-litre naturally-aspirated Hemi V8 engine, utilised by a range of FCA models including the Dodge Challenger and Charger Scat Pack muscle cars, Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT large SUV and the Australian-delivered Chrysler 300 SRT sedan.
In the Scat Pack duo, the atmo mill develops 362kW of power and 644Nm of torque, sent to the rear wheels through a six-speed manual or eight-speed ZF automatic transmission. Those figures drop to 350kW/637Nm and 344kW/624Nm in Australian versions of the aforementioned Chrysler and Jeep models respectively, the latter being all-wheel-drive.
It’s likely the Wrangler or Gladiator ‘392’ – the name the hot off-roader(s) carry to production is unknown – would be offered with the torque-converter automatic only, given the engine has yet to be paired with both a manual and all-paw traction in any application.
Rumours of a V8-powered Wrangler have been doing the industry rounds for over a decade, with the limiting factor preventing its launch previously believed to be due to a lack of crumple zone to pass crash safety regulations. However, that challenge now appears to have been overcome.
Given V8-powered Wrangler or Gladiator prototypes have not yet been spied testing, we’d wager the hot off-roaders are still a while off.