While Ford was busy launching its all-new Bronco, Jeep was busy planning to spoil the Blue Oval's big day by announcing this - a Wrangler with a Hemi V8 engine.
450hp V8 engine
Describing the Wrangler as 'the most recognisable car on the planet' and pointing out that the last time you could buy one with a V8 was in 1981, Jeep is promoting the new Wrangler Rubicon 392 Concept as 'an indication that [Jeep buyers] may soon get their wish' for a V8-powered car.
Power is the operative word, too. This concept (do we really believe that it's just a concept?) uses a 6.4-litre 'Hemi' V8 engine, with 450hp and 610Nm of torque. That's good enough to potentially shove this hefty Jeep to 100km/h, from rest, in just over five seconds.
"Jeep Wrangler enthusiasts have been asking us for a Wrangler V8, and our new Wrangler Rubicon 392 Concept proves that we have the ability to make that happen," said Jim Morrison, Head of Jeep Brand - FCA North America. "From the recently introduced 29mpg Wrangler EcoDiesel to our award-winning Jeep Gladiator, and the upcoming Wrangler 4xe plug-in hybrid electric vehicle, Jeep is clearly listening to its customers. We are anxious to gauge their reaction to this new Wrangler Rubicon 392 Concept, a vehicle that delivers an incredible and unmatched level of fun-to-drive performance and capability, on- and off-road."
In spite of the obvious on-road appeal of a V8 Wrangler, this concept still has some serious off-road abilities and uses hefty 'Dana 44' axles, a two-speed transfer case, which gives is low ratio gears, electronic locking differentials, 37-inch diameter mud tyres, a two-inch suspension lift kit from the Mopar accessories catalogue, and an uprated eight-speed automatic gearbox.
To allow for the V8 engine's power and torque, the Wrangler Rubicon concept also gets new engine mounts and a modified structure. There are also new aluminium monotube off-roading dampers from Fox (which makes similar items for Ford's Raptor Ranger), and a performance sports exhaust.
Granite Crystal paint
Jeep also says that the V8 actually has enhanced off-road ability, thanks to the 610Nm of torque from the engine, the 17-inch wheels with those special off-roading tyres, and the suspensions mods.
The bodywork gets 'Granite Crystal' paint, accentuated with bronze-coloured items such as towing hooks, badges, springs, and wheels. There are also cut-down doors, a 'performance' bonnet, and a powered soft-top roof.
Inside, the Wrangler Rubicon 392 Concept features rich Red Rock-coloured leather bolstered seats with gold stitching, along with a performance steering wheel.