Jeep teases 392, 6.4L Hemi-powered Wrangler

Once upon a time, Jeep’s Wrangler was simple, off-road capable transportation. It wasn’t complicated. It didn’t have a lot to it. Over time as consumer demands became more intricate and Jeep saw a market opportunity in moving it to a more mainstream vehicle, things got more complicated. Over time Jeep introduced improved powertrains (let’s not talk about the 3.8L) which has led us to today. With the availability of a 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder, the Pentastar V6, and the EcoDiesel, options are better than ever. But for as long as I can remember, people have been swapping V8s into Jeeps. CJs even came with them.

Though the EcoDiesel (now available in the Gladiator, too!) is a fantastic, torque-rich powerplant that (from what I’m told) complements the Wrangler’s personality beautifully, it’s not for everyone. The V6 is, but bigger is apparently still better. And so here we are, with a teaser picture from Jeep that, if you hadn’t looked close, you could have missed the key point.

We see what looks like a rendering of a Wrangler with a hood scoop and imagery that gives off the essence of speed. As it should: emblazoned on the hood is what appears to be the “392” stamp. Which, as all of us who know FCA’s long-running Hemi engines know, is the brand’s 6.4L SRT engine that’s available in the Grand Cherokee SRT8, Charger and Challenger, Durango SRT, and so on. It’s a powerhouse of an engine and comically overpowered for what most Wrangler buyers would ever need. But, hell, who doesn’t want to hear a huge V8 bellowing as you blast down a trail with the doors and roof off? The teaser also seems to indicate the availability of metal half-doors.

Hell. Yes.

It was only a matter of time. Brands like AEV have been swapping Hemi V8s into Wranglers seemingly forever. They also built the amazing Brute, which the Gladiator seems to have pulled quite a lot of influence from. Both of these are good things. A 6.4 or even 5.7-powered Wrangler was always a talking point for what people wanted to see from the Wrangler but it was never a production reality. Possibly until now.

I doubt it’s a coincidence. Ford is slated to unveil the new Bronco this Monday so it’s possible this is a deliberate dig at the Jeep’s most direct competitor. Especially so considering “leaked order books” indicate the only Bronco engines will be the 2.7L and 3.5L EcoBoost motors. The current Wrangler has been on sale since 2018 and though it’s far from growing long in the tooth, it’s lost its place as talk-of-the-town with the imminent release of the Bronco. Timing is everything and FCA knows this. Jeep throwing the 392 in the Wrangler isn’t just a dig at Ford; it’s a full-on throw-down.

But we’re not all on the same page here. Kamil  thinks that the  392, which makes 485 horsepower and 475 lb-ft of torque in the Charger is a bit much. It’s got a narrow frame and two stick axles. If you want to see how badly something like that can drive, see last gen G-class. My only worry is the inevitable sky-high price. But aside from that, I’m all for it. The name even has a good ring to it: SRT Wrangler. It’s like it was meant to be.

If you want your Hemi-powered Wrangler now, head over to Dakota Customs. That sure fits well in there…

hemi wrangler gladiator

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7 responses to “Jeep teases 392, 6.4L Hemi-powered Wrangler”

  1. Land Ark Avatar
    Land Ark

    With that kind of power I would expect to be able to comfortably read those spare tire covers telling me to roll the Jeep back over.

    I can’t imagine driving a 485hp Jeep. It seems utterly terrifying.

    1. Eduardo Rodrigues Avatar

      You can reach the death wobble even faster

  2. outback_ute Avatar

    A comment I’ve made before, since which time I believe FCA have only released the new Fiat 500, but you’d think they would have better things to do…

  3. outback_ute Avatar

    A comment I’ve made before, since which time I believe FCA have only released the new Fiat 500, but you’d think they would have better things to do…

  4. Zentropy Avatar

    Meh—typical roosters-in-the-farmyard nonsense. This is just immature posturing in light of the Bronco revival. I’m sure there are people who are salivating over this, but I’m not one of them. I declare for Team Kamil. The 392 is a poor choice for anyone who really wants to optimize the Jeep’s capabilities. It’s a bone tossed to the bigger-is-better crowd to prevent defectors to Ford, nothing more.

    I love V8s, and I admittedly put a 360 in my CJ-7, but that’s a low-end-torque engine, not a horsepower monster. To each his own, but a small diesel is more in keeping with the Wrangler’s mission. Hell, I’d be more interested in an EV Wrangler than an SRT.

  5. Maymar Avatar

    Considering FCA has said the Wrangler couldn’t take the V8 and pass crash testing previously, I’m curious to see if this is production-ready. Although, I imagine it’d be a PR blunder to leak this and not follow through. Likely then, they chose the 6.4 over the 5.7 to justify the higher cost needed to throw cubic dollars at the problem.

    Although, improved as the JL is, it’s not a vehicle I feel compelled to drive any faster than the Pentastar allows (and the EcoDiesel is probably perfect once it lands, if pricy).

  6. Intelligent Human Avatar
    Intelligent Human

    Maybe they’re tuning it to be a desert hypercruiser like the Raptor. Although like many, I’d prefer a diesel over all the things, there is something visceral about whomping one’s gonads through a desert gulch at 100MPH.

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