I Off-Road The New V8-Powered Jeep Wrangler 392 In Moab, And It’s Just As Awesome & Expensive As You Think! (Video)

If your wallet's deep enough, this truly is a Wrangler like no other

2021 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392
Preparing for the off-road run in the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392. (Images: TFLcar, Jeep)

The 2021 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392 is an awesome exercise in overindulgence.

We got to drive the 2021 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392 during the Easter Jeep Safari, all over Moab, Utah. Before we get into the weeds about the technical details, you should know that this vehicle starts at about $74,000. We’ll get into the value proposition in a minute, but try to keep in mind: a regular Jeep Wrangler Rubicon starts at about $43,000. The diesel version starts at just over $50,000.

The V6 Pentastar and diesel-equipped Wrangler Rubicon can do everything the 392 can off-road. Just not as quickly. Think of the 392 as a high-strung hooligan that ingested too much caffeine, and you’re on the right track.

We got an in-depth tour of the 2021 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392, and we can say with certainty, it’s more than an engine transplant.

2021 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392

You wield a crazy amount of power

Powering the 2021 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392 is the beefy 6.4-liter Hemi V8. It makes 470 horsepower and 470 abs-feet of torque, and it’s hooked up to a beefed up eight-speed automatic. According to Jeep, the 2021 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392 can run from 0 to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds, and it can run the 1/4-mile in 13 seconds. Not bad for a vehicle that’s shaped like a box-car.

After driving it for a day, we can attest that those numbers are very believable.

I have to say, this setup works especially good in the dunes and on long off-road paths.

2021 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392
While that wicked V8 rests under the hood, inside your experience is similar to most other Wranglers, apart from the paddle shifters.

Other unique bits of the Wrangler Rubicon 392

The platform, suspension, frame components and other additions have been seriously modified.

There’s a functional hood scoop with Hydro-Guide Induction System. It helps cooler air work with the engine, and even a large bow-wake’s worth of water won’t get to the engine. Despite the large opening, the Hydro-Guide Induction system allows lighter air to enter the engine, with heavier water spill out through special chambers.

The Wrangler 392 features a true dual exhaust system. Unlike other aftermarket systems that work one pipe, splitting into tow, this system starts at the unique headers – all the way back. The rear employs a quad exhaust system that’s called the, “Dual-Mode Exhaust System.” Similar to Porsche and other sports-cars, there’s a button toggle switch between quiet and performance exhaust modes. If you leave it be, it is nearly as quiet as a Pentastar V6. Hit the button, you sound like a muscle car – and it’s addictive. We left that mode on for 95-percent of the day. The system opens and closes baffles in the exhaust, and it’s vacuum operated.

The FOX aluminum-bodied 2-inch diameter shocks enhance performance in every way. While they are not in-cabin adjustable, like the Raptor and TRX, they are totally dialed in. The suspension is about 20% softer in the back, while being such firmer up front. Aside from carrying a much heavier lumps up front, the suspension had to be upgraded for the extra performance strain as well. Also, the 392 is about an additional inch higher off the ground than the regular Rubicon.

From the unique, upgraded seats to the bronze accents throughout, the Wrangler 392 is special, and Jeep fans will instantly know what it’s all about.

Stuffing a huge hemi under the Wrangler’s hood is great for power, but naturally not so great for fuel economy.

Some issues

This is one nose-heavy, thirsty machine. Given its overall makeup as an off-road dominator, I would say that it’s just too much weight and cost for the nitty-gritty off-roaders out there. It is about twice the price as a base model Wrangler — and about 30K more expensive than a base Rubicon Unlimited. Again, something that can do everything the 392 can off-road.

It absolutely guzzles fuel, and it does it with a small bladder. The Wrangler 392 has the same (small) 21.5 gallon fuel tank. If you’re lucky, you’ll get a maximum of 260 miles range before you run dry. Off-road, your range will be far less. So, serious overloading is going to be a challenge.

Stellantis will not sit on their hand for long with a model like this. They have committed to being a lot more energy efficient in the near future (hence, the 4xe and Magneto concept). It may only be in the market for a few years… if that.

Why bother with the 2021 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392?

Roman asked me that very question as we headed back for the day. We were laughing, sure – but we have to think about the consumer too. Roman looked at the Jeeps (and a few Broncos) running around Moab and said, “Who the hell would pay for this?” Almost on cue, a modified JK zipped past us, obviously sporting a swapped-in, beefy V8.

I pointed and said, “A lot of Wrangler fans pay up to, and over $100,000 in upgrades to build a Jeep as powerful and capable as this thing. This removes the effort, and you get a real warranty!”

Check out this first-drive video and let us know what you think.