V8-powered Jeep Wrangler/Gladiator ‘392’ teased

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Jeep has teased what appears to be a V8-powered version of its popular Wrangler SUV or Gladiator ute.

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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.

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Above: 6.4-litre Hemi V8 installed in the Dodge Charger Scat Pack Widebody.

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.

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Above: Redline’s impression of what a Hemi-powered Wrangler could look like.

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.

 

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