Snap! That was the audible sound of my neck slamming into the headrest as I mashed the skinny pedal and was launched into the next county. My body compressed against the seat, the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392’s front end lifted, and the speedometer spun past 40, 60, 80 mph.
And though the front end lifted, my happy right foot didn’t—at least, not until hitting the vehicle’s top speed in short order. There was plenty more on tap, I could feel it, but 99 mph was the max tire speed. Regulatory stuff. I eased up and coasted to the top of the hill, turning off on a dirt two-track. It was an adrenaline rush to remember. When was the last time anyone said that about driving a Jeep Wrangler?
Enthusiasts have waited more than four decades for Jeep to give us the throaty notes and performance of a V8 under a Wrangler hood. Building one ourselves with a Hemi crate motor—which several aftermarket companies do provide—could have easily bumped the overall price point by 50 percent over MSRP. And prior to the Rubicon making the scene in 2003, I’d also have to sell my first-born child to install lockers and low-range transfer gears to get a true V8-powered rock-crawler. Jeep teased fans with the 392 Concept last year, but it was clear it had bigger plans up its sleeve. For the full story, check out this article from The Drive.