Although aftermarket customizers had been shoehorning Chevy engines into Jeeps for some time, it was under Kaiser’s ownership of the brand that the first production CJ came to feature a V8 — the Buick Small Block. It was an upgrade that gave the iconic off-roader a power-to-weight ratio comparable to that of a muscle car. However, with the introduction of the YJ Wrangler in 1986, Jeep nixed the option, instead offering a trio of inline units.
Now, after nearly 40 years, the V8 finally makes its return to the Wrangler with the Rubicon 392. Under the hood, it hides a massive 6.4L engine that puts out some 470hp and 470lb-ft of torque. The result is a blistering 0-60mph of just 4.5 seconds, making it the quickest and most powerful Wrangler ever. Mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission, it features all-time 4WD. And in order to make its all-terrain potential really shine, Jeep has fitted the 392 with a series of off-road upgrades. For instance, it gains wide track Dana 44 axles, Fox shocks, and a set of 17-inch beadlock-capable wheels wrapped in 33-inch all-terrain tires. Thanks to its 10.3 inches of ground clearance, it can ford up to 32.5 inches of water. It should cost about $60,000 come 2021.
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