6.4L Hemi V8-powered Wrangler is here, and it’s spectacular

It’s a thing of juxtaposed poetic beauty: Five days ago on November 12th, Jeep announced it had won the Green SUV of the Year by Green Car Journal for its upcoming hybrid Wrangler 4xe. And five days later, on November 17th, Jeep announced the production version of its most powerful Wrangler ever, a gas-powered, 6.4L-Hemi boasting off-road monster suitably named the Wrangler Rubicon 392. One does not negate the other; it’s simply comical and a depiction of the current state of FCA. But let’s focus on the news at hand: Say hello to the newest addition to the Jeep Wrangler lineup, and the most capable Wrangler ever.

This is no surprise; It was only a matter of time and we knew it was coming. FCA’s move for enthusiast vehicles is simple as of late: Cram the biggest engine possible into a vehicle. Luckily, it doesn’t end there. Jeep has beefed up the Wrangler Unlimited to cope with the 6.4L Hemi’s added power and weight. And the higher limits which drivers may try to reach in their new V8 Wrangler. The 2021 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392 is drastically improved over what could have just been a bigger engine in an existing package. It not only takes the Rubicon’s off-road capabilities further, it makes for a truly impressive vehicle altogether.

About that engine: The familiar 6.4L, 392 cubic-inch V8 boasts 470 horsepower and 470 lb.-ft. of torque. Crucially, Jeep boasts that 75% of the power is available just above idle. This will not only translate to being the most usable in on and off-road situations but also the easiest to modulate. To reduce vulnerability, Jeep claims it has added a “rear-sump oil pan, high-mount alternator and free-flowing exhaust manifolds.” Very good things, as is the all-new “Hydro-Guide” intake system which utilizes three different ducts along with drains to channel air in and keep water out, contributing to its 32.5-inch fording depth. At the opposite end, a dual exhaust with quad tips and button-controlled baffles let the V8 shine. Sadly the manual transmission isn’t available, but hey, let’s just be happy this exists at all.

Obviously the off-road chops are always a focus for the Wrangler, and that’s no different here. Full-time four-wheel-drive is standard via the Selec-Trac system, and the active transfer case boasts a 2.71 low-range gear ratio. Power won’t be a problem, but that gearing is strong and should be plenty for those wanting to run 37″s or even 40″ tires. Even better, it touts a 48:1 crawl ratio with stock tires. Cast iron steering knuckles are included, along with beefed up frame rails and front upper control arms. The brakes have been beefed up because apparently stopping is important, too. Thicker tubes grace the front Dana 44’s axles.

The appearance and off-road merits go even further. And probably to help fit the big engine, too. The Rubicon 392 also get a standard 2″ lift kit with help from FOX aluminum monotube shocks. It also gets the Gladiator Mojave’s hood, but this time the scoop is actually functional. The grille is also from the Gladiator, since the 6.4 needs more airflow and the wider slots provide such. 17×7.5″ bronze wheels match the other bronze accents, which help differentiate it from the standard Rubicon’s red trim.

Leather seats are part of the package, the paddle shifters are present for the first time ever on a Wrangler. And to simply things, and probably the astronomical price, packages that usually stand as options all come as part of the buy-in price. Instead of letting you pick your choices yourself, all these come with the MSRP: Infotainment Group, HD electrical switch bank, Body-color hard top, Body-color flares, Steel Bumper Group, LED Lighting Group, Cold Weather Group, Remote proximity entry, Safety Group, and Advanced Safety Group.

It’s no secret that Jeep wants the Wrangler Rubicon 392 to be the end-all, be-all of Wranglers. And clearly, from the looks and the stats, they’ve hit their mark. This promises to be now only the biggest, baddest production JL Wrangler yet, but the biggest, baddest production Wrangler of all time. Us Jeep fans are nothing short of ecstatic. What’s not to love?


  1. As the prior owner of a CJ-7 with a warmed-up 360-V8 and someone who really hates the V6 powering the current Wrangler, I can’t say this doesn’t initially pique my interest. However, this development was completely predictable and is ridiculously excessive. It seems like a pathetic “my penis is bigger than yours” effort in response to Ford’s Bronco, which really puts me off.

    I dunno, but as much as I love V8s, this is really the wrong direction for Jeep.

    1. I suspect that as much as going with the 5.7 would otherwise be the natural move, the cost and fuel economy would be just about equal to the 6.4, so they might as well go a little excessive (you know, proper FCA). Plus, they’ve already got the 2.0 for a minor torque bump, where again, there might have been too much experiential overlap with the 5.7.

      At least they didn’t try and Trackhawk it?

  2. Photos 3 and 5 are obviously taken in motion, but where’s the driver? Has the Wrangler gone autonomous now?

        1. Ha! Indeed. And I’ve often wondered if the photographers specifically took advantage of the roof pillars and mirrors to hide the driver.

    1. I’ve seen the $50k range reported by Car & Driver. Although, $100k after ADM for the first few months is probably a safe bet.

        1. For what it’s worth, building out a normal Rubicon with all the options listed above, and the e-Torque Pentastar (with requisite 8-speed) comes out to $57k, and a Ram Power Wagon (which is probably the most comparable vehicle already available with the 6.4) is about $55k. Perhaps $59,995?

        2. For what it’s worth, building out a normal Rubicon with all the options listed above, and the e-Torque Pentastar (with requisite 8-speed) comes out to $57k, and a Ram Power Wagon (which is probably the most comparable vehicle already available with the 6.4) is about $55k. Perhaps $59,995?

          1. You may be very right, friend, but I trust FCA will milk this bad boy for all it’s worth. There are individuals like my BIL that are willing to pay a significant surcharge just to get that V8. (He recently bought a new Gladiator Mojave and the announcement of the 392 likely curbed his enthusiasm more than a little.)

      1. This strikes me as a Raptor alternative. I’m guessing that they will line up with in the same zip code.

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