2021 Jeep Wrangler 392 review: High-speed off-road high jinks

It’s going to climb up just about everything.

Emme Corridor/Roadshow

It truly is a quite unusual sensation: Below I am powering the wheel of a 2021 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon SUV, and I’ve just chirped the tires and rocketed to sixty mph in considerably less than five seconds. It truly is unnatural. And I love it.


  • Electrical power, power, power
  • Drives up and over everything
  • Assured to spark pleasure

Will not Like

  • Terrible handling
  • Lousy gas financial system
  • Very pricey

It truly is been 40 several years given that the 1981 Jeep CJ experienced a five.-liter V8 under the hood, making a mere one hundred twenty five horsepower. Periods unquestionably have transformed — the 2021 Wrangler Rubicon 392 utilizes a six.4-liter Hemi V8 with a stonking 470 hp and 470 pound-ft of torque. It helps make for coronary heart-pounding, head-tossing, seat belt-locking and maniacal snicker-inducing pleasurable. But there are however a number of troubles with this if not thrilling deal.

When I get started the 392, it defaults to the wake-the-neighbors loud setting, so proper away I know it indicates enterprise. Around city, the V8 burbles and grumbles, the eight-velocity automated transmission quietly working in the track record. When I attain a long straight on a again road, I change to the paddle shifters (in a Jeep!) and floor it. The nose rises up, my head snaps again and the entire-time four-wheel-drive process will get the power down to the 33-inch BF Goodrich KO2 tires. Immediately after all-around 4.five seconds, I’m at sixty mph. Goodness.

Slowing down is a considerably extra harrowing practical experience. The 392 has the very same measurement rotors and calipers as a conventional Jeep Wrangler Rubicon, and boy do I want anything extra capable of handling this SUV’s power — you want to quit considerably faster than you consider. This is a single situation the place I’d gladly decide for greater wheels if it indicates fitting even bigger brakes powering them.

I undoubtedly want far better steering, far too. Jeep Wranglers are pretty obscure on their finest times incorporate in a ton of power and the 392 is downright ponderous. This is sort of to be predicted provided the Wrangler’s architecture — it is really a five,000-pound box built to go just about any place. The 392 is significantly fast in a straight line, but a corner-carver it is not.

I basically want even bigger wheels, if only so Jeep can supply greater brakes.

Emme Corridor/Roadshow

The Wrangler 392 has a one-inch lift over a Rubicon and a 2-inch lift in comparison to the conventional Jeep Wrangler, so its off-road geometry is a little bit far better. Curiously, the 392’s floor clearance is basically a 50 %-inch reduced than it is on the Rubicon — 10.three inches in comparison to 10.8. The 392 has entrance and rear locking differentials, a disconnecting sway bar and a two-velocity transfer situation. The 392 has Jeep’s Selec-Trac transfer situation with a 2.seventy two small array, and as soon as the math is done with the three.73:one closing drive ratio in the Dana forty four axles, you occur out with an outstanding crawl ratio of 48:one. A conventional Rubicon has a ratio of seventy seven.2:one, but keep in mind, that’s just a illustration of how considerably the torque is multiplied through the axles just before it hits the floor. Due to the fact I’ve bought 470 lb-ft, the 392 can however rock crawl with the finest of ’em.

On the other hand, if you are anticipating the Wrangler 392 to go bombing through desert whoops at fifty mph like it is really a Ford F-a hundred and fifty Raptor, you can ignore it. The Wrangler’s Fox shocks are tuned to deal with greater velocity, but the 392 can only deal with fifteen mph to twenty mph in the whoops just before you max out the suspension’s travel. It truly is way far too uncomplicated to outdrive the shocks’ abilities. An aftermarket long-travel package with piggyback reservoirs would undoubtedly be my very first up grade if I owned a single.

470 horsepower in a Jeep Wrangler. Crazy.

Emme Corridor/Roadshow

As I tactic some steep dunes, I push the Off-Street In addition button and calibrate it for Sand, which adjusts the throttle, transmission and traction control. I can also lock the rear diff in four-wheel drive high must it develop into essential. The dunes all have whoops at the base, so I can not carry far too considerably velocity. But as soon as I’m out of them, it is really hammer down and the 392 very easily scrambles to the prime. Below, I can use the ahead-dealing with camera to get a peek at what is actually on the other facet of the dune just before barreling down to the subsequent a single.

And that’s the delight of the 392. The conventional Rubicon generally just isn’t going to have the power to accelerate up dunes and other smooth, scratchy hills unless of course momentum is carried across the reduced part of the terrain. With the 392 I can infant the Wrangler until eventually it is really harmless and however make it to the prime like a manager. This is the Jeep I want in the dunes.

I feel like I can climb each individual mountain in the 392, and I could very likely ford each individual stream if I could obtain a single out listed here in the desert. The 392 has a trick consumption process that can flush out fifteen gallons of drinking water per moment. It truly is harmless to ford 32.five inches of drinking water, even if the drinking water initially comes up over the hood. And must the hood scoop get blocked by mud or snow, there is a secondary path for the air to enter the motor. I am going to want to hold out for monsoon time to try out this out.

Most effective pushed with the roof off.

Emme Corridor/Roadshow

Visually there isn’t considerably to distinguish the 392 from a conventional Rubicon preserve for some bronze accents, requisite badging, a thicker steering wheel and some extra aggressively bolstered seats. The very same Uconnect infotainment process is observed within, with Apple CarPlay and Android Vehicle on an 8.4-inch shade touchscreen. Uconnect is uncomplicated to use and a Roadshow favored. I love Jeep’s off-road pages with information and facts on pitch and roll, power distribution, temperatures and GPS coordinates with altitude.

My tester also has with the fancy-pants Sky One-Contact power smooth prime. It may possibly be termed a single-touch, but the button wants to be held the complete time for the prime to retract, and it will take seventeen seconds to do so. It truly is a wonderful up grade, but the conventional smooth prime is pretty uncomplicated to work. Nicely, uncomplicated for a Jeep. Taking the prime down, the home windows out and the doors off is not specifically a fast approach. Oh, and phrase to the intelligent, be confident to close the prime if you depart the 392 for any time period of time in the desert sunshine. The black leather-based seats can get pretty toasty.

As is to be predicted, all this nuts power will value you. The 392 is the most pricey of all Wranglers, starting at the whopping rate of $74,995 together with $one,495 for spot. Which is $31,025 extra than a foundation Rubicon. My tester with the upgraded convertible prime, trailer tow deal and ahead-dealing with camera comes to an remarkable $seventy eight,545. Yowza.

Not quite a few motor vehicles are this hilariously pleasurable.

Emme Corridor/Roadshow

It truly is also really worth mentioning you can get a crate 392 motor from Mopar and all the essential accoutrements for proper all-around $19,000 if you want to go the Diy route, but that’s not an selection for most of us and there isn’t any kind of manufacturing facility warranty on components you set up on your own.

Hmm, I suppose I must mention gas financial system, not that anyone’s buying a V8-driven everything with efficiency in head. The EPA prices the 392 at 13 mpg city, seventeen mpg highway and 14 mpg mixed right after a 7 days of testing, I’m seeing 13.three. And you know what? I will not even care. The 392 could possibly be flawed, pricey and thirsty but it offers foolish thrills you will never obtain any place else.

Maria J. Danford

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