2021 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392 drives quick over any floor, typically too quick


Generally I’ve to pinch myself to keep in mind that the 2021 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392 is an actual factor and never the fever dream of an engineer obsessive about horsepower. Jeep, very similar to sister firm Dodge, has appeared to experience placing bigger and extra highly effective engines into a lot of its autos, and the Wrangler is the most recent to get the V-8 remedy.

Fellow editor Kirk Bell took the reins of the Rubicon 392 first, placing it by means of its paces on the road and waking his neighbors with the V-8’s hearty bellow. However no check of something with “Rubicon” within the title can be full with out taking it off-road, so I took a 2021 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392 check car out to the Hungry Valley OHV space north of Los Angeles to see how this enhance in energy manifests itself after the pavement ends.

2021 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392

2021 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392

The showpiece of the Rubicon 392 is its 6.4-liter V-8 that pumps out an identical 470 hp and 470 lb-ft of torque. Energy runs by means of an 8-speed computerized transmission to Jeep’s full-time Selec-Trac four-wheel drive system with a 2-speed switch case. On the road, this is sufficient to energy the Rubicon 392 from 0-60 mph in a quoted 4.5-seconds with a quarter-mile time of 13.0 seconds. Prime velocity is restricted to 99 mph (due to the tires), although off-roading I wouldn’t come near that velocity.

The Wrangler’s different engines don’t provide practically the identical energy output, save for the diesel who’s torque output (442 lb-ft) comes near the V-8’s nevertheless it’s manner down on horsepower. So far, the diesel has been my favourite of the Wrangler’s engines for off-roading (and it’s my favourite within the Gladiator as effectively). It presents quite a lot of dexterity and straightforward management over its torque, which supplies the driving force extra confidence when going over obstacles, particularly when rock crawling. However get it out into the next velocity state of affairs and the diesel can get slowed down. The Rubicon 392 offered a contrasting expertise, as a result of whereas it’s nonetheless good at going sluggish, it’s way more comfy sprinting on sand and filth.

2021 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392

2021 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392

The “OFF-ROAD+” button on the decrease sprint is crucial for any form of low-speed exercise within the Rubicon 392, serving to to modulate the throttle, transmission shift factors, and traction management.  Jeep says that the identical button needs to be left on when operating the Rubicon 392 over quicker, looser surfaces as effectively like sand washes. The system seems good sufficient to detect what sort of off-roading you’re doing as a result of the throttle response later within the day whereas I used to be operating by means of a dry riverbed at velocity was as much as par.

With out that button activated, climbing up any form of free floor turns into an train in frustration. Attempting to ascend a free filth hill pocked with giant holes and grooves required extra dexterity than the usual setting allowed. The tires slipped an excessive amount of, and I used to be unable to adequately management the facility output to get the tires to hook up.

However Off-Highway+ made issues simple as soon as extra. It restricts the throttle and units the traction management to restrict wheel slip practically fully. On this setting, whether or not I used to be in 4Hi or 4Lo it turned easy to stroll the Wrangler up the hill.

2021 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392

2021 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392

2021 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392

2021 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392

2021 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392

2021 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392

2021 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392

2021 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392

I tackled the rock course subsequent with Off-Highway+ engaged (I didn’t dare to attempt with it off), and the Rubicon 392 crawled up the race simply as simple as a daily Rubicon would. The dearth of operating boards on the aspect of the car could make climbing in additional of a chore, however they’re one much less factor to fret about when you’re transferring over rocks and boulders. The Rubicon 392 as soon as once more jogged my memory of the common Rubicon on this atmosphere: very succesful. 

The Rubicon 392 truly has higher strategy (44.5 levels) and departure (37 levels) angles than the usual Rubicon, beating it by 0.6 and 0.5 levels respectively. However it does sit about half an inch decrease, and out on a path or whereas crawling it felt kind of like a daily Rubicon. I didn’t really feel as if the Rubicon 392 may get anyplace {that a} Rubicon couldn’t, and vice versa. And each are nonetheless geared up with the best tires, loads of suspension flex, and plenty of wheel journey. 

2021 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392

2021 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392

The place the Rubicon 392 actually shines is on any form of free floor over flat floor. The uncooked energy paired with a suspension that’s prepared to soak up gratuitous punishment make it an absolute riot in any form of filth or sand. I wouldn’t name the opposite Wrangler variants underpowered for many duties, however the V-6 can lose momentum within the free stuff and doesn’t spin up sufficient energy to actually sling the Wrangler out of corners. The diesel, as talked about beforehand, additionally isn’t fairly at house on this atmosphere. It lacks the immediacy you’d ideally need from the throttle, even with all that torque.

Not so within the Wrangler 392. Hit the fuel and the tires slip for only a second till these knobby 285/70R17 BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A KO2 tires hook up and launch the Jeep ahead with the identical shocking acceleration you discover on the road. Hungry Valley has a protracted dry riverbed that runs parallel to the park’s foremost highway, and it’s a super place to let the Wrangler 392 off the leash. I parked the transmission in third gear as soon as I received on top of things and the tires simply saved churning and churning as I shot down the riverbed.

I barely needed to steer into corners. It was extra enjoyable to softly nudge the nostril in, hop on the fuel early, let the Wrangler energy round to the best angle, then apply a tiny little bit of countersteer, add some extra throttle, and find yourself exiting quicker than I entered. The Rubicon 392 can run these looser environments in each regular and Off-Highway+ modes, although the previous gives a bit extra aggression to spin the tires extra freely.

2021 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392

2021 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392

The efficiency Fox shocks shine at velocity, absorbing path imperfections and serving to to maintain these churning wheels on the bottom. Beefing up the entrance suspension to deal with the engine’s additional weight with stiffer entrance body rails, higher management arms, and cast-iron knuckles additionally assist preserve the entrance of the Rubicon 392 from diving underneath braking. That retains the nostril extra upright and lets the car get again to sand-flinging extra simply.

With the V-8’s raucous exhaust observe offering an applicable soundtrack and the sand/filth forming clouds in my wake, the dry river run was such a transcendent expertise, that I circled round and scampered again to the place I got here from. Then I did that three extra (okay, 5 extra) occasions. 

2021 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392

2021 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392

Now for the dangerous information — all of this goodness doesn’t come without cost. My Rubicon 392 check car carried a sticker worth of $78,545. Sure, the Rubicon 392 makes the Wrangler way more enjoyable the place it was beforehand weakest and it does so with out giving again any functionality, fairly a feat. However seeing a Wrangler push practically 80 grand makes my eyes water a contact.

Even so, I’ve the sneaking suspicion that Jeep received’t be hurting for consumers for this (as Kirk referred to as it) “large boy toy.” The prodigious acceleration and roaring exhaust observe are simply sufficient to get you to neglect the worth in moments. Does the Wrangler Rubicon want a V-8? In fact not. However I’m glad the loopy engineers at Jeep needed it and made it occur. 

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