2021 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392 — We’d like to say for the record that we really do love the environment. We separate our recycling, turn the water faucet off while brushing our teeth, and generally like trees more than people. We had to take down a tree in our backyard last week because of root rot and danger the tree could come down a destroy the house … and we felt incredibly sad about it.
Now that that preamble is out of the way, as much as well love the environment, the 2021 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392 is like a big greasy cheeseburger in a room full of tofu. We know there are smarter choices, but once in a while, all that self-control goes right out the window. Jeep customers have been begging for a V8 to be stuffed into a Wrangler since the last time one was available — which was a year before 8-track players were removed from cars in favor of cassettes.
If you’re a muscle car fan, you’re probably familiar with the 392 nomenclature. It signifies the most displacement you can get naturally aspirated from Chrysler. A 6.4-liter OHV V8 makes a very balanced 470-horsepower and 470-lb-ft of torque. That power is funneled through only a ZF eight-speed automatic which is unfortunate, and only available in the four-door setup. The MP3022 Selec-Trac two-speed transfer case is retained and a marginally taller 3.73:1 rear is used in place of the standard 4.10:1.
The Jeep Rubicon 392 sits a full two inches higher than a mortal Wrangler, and a full inch higher than even the lower cylinder-count Rubicon models. True to Rubicon status, the 392 shares the electronically locking Dana 44 axles and a front anti-roll bar that can be disconnected for all sorts of off-roading fun. Due to the added heft of a much bigger engine, Jeep retooled the rear stabilizer bar as well as the front and rear springs and aluminum monotone shocks to better handle the weight. Even at a heavyweight level of 5,100 pounds, the 392 still has a payload rating of 1,000 pounds.
The Rubicon 392 designers made sure to keep off-roading the goal though we’re sure there was some temptation to make a Trackhawk out of this monster. But cooler heads prevailed and engineers gave the 392 a high-mounted alternator, rear mount oil pan as well as several different options for air to make its way into the engine to help mitigate any potential dust, dirt, or water issues that may arise out on the trail. Jeep claims this high-powered trail-runner can run from 0-60 mph (on tarmac) in a scant 4.5 seconds, as well as a 13.0-second quarter-mile run. Sadly, and somewhat scarily, top speed is set at a paltry 99 mph thanks to the off-road tires being somewhat speed challenged. We would recommend maybe investing in a separate set of street tires just in case the urge to hit it on the on-ramp comes calling.
The Rubicon 392 isn’t cheap. But then neither are any of the other models in the Chrysler lineup that have this massive motor stuffed into them. The 2021 Wrangler 392 Launch Edition comes in at a lofty $74,995. Oh and make sure not to spend all of your life savings on the Rubicon 392 itself, because the weekly fuel bill will be something of an issue. As you might imagine, a 5,000 pound plus SUV that has nearly 500-horsepower is probably going to never be confused with a Prius, but with an EPA-rated 13/17/14 city/highway/combined MPG, there’s no denying this is one thirsty beast.
As we said, we really do love the environment and as a rule, we generally don’t like to waste natural resources. But when it comes to a car like the Rubicon 392, it has become clear that for every rule, there is always an exception.