Jeep Drops a 392 V8 Hemi in the 2021 Wrangler

September 11th, 2020 by

A silver 2021 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited is driving over a cable bridge at sunset.

If you happen to be searching for a “Jeep dealer near me,” you might want to read this. For off-road enthusiasts, or anyone in the market for a new Wrangler, there is some exciting news that just broke from Jeep: the 2021 V8 Wrangler. Yes, that’s right, the Wrangler is getting a V8. And it’s not just any V8 – it is the 392 V8 Hemi that’s been in the Dodge Challenger and Charger muscle cars.

As soon as Ford announced that the Bronco is coming back, essentially announcing that the Jeep Wrangler will finally have competition in its segment, the Wrangler left the Bronco behind in the dust with this announcement. The Jeep’s V8 is much more powerful than any of the engine options in the Bronco, offering more low-end power and more muscle than any factory-made off-road vehicle on the planet.

392 V8 Hemi

The 392 V8 Hemi engine is a 6.4-liter monster. This engine has been in the Dodge Charger and Challenger cars, and in those applications, it displaced 485 hp and 475 lb-ft of torque. Of course, the numbers will be different for the Wrangler, but not by much. The V8 Wrangler will have an immense amount of power at its disposal. It will be able to go 0-60 mph in less than 5 seconds, Jeep claims, and it will surely be able to shred tires.

For more practical purposes, this means that it will provide more than enough low-end rock-crawling power. 450 lb-ft of torque is out-of-this-world power. If you consider that the best that the Ford Bronco will offer is 310 hp and 400 lb-ft of torque, that’s a significant bump for the Wrangler. Winning the torque war with the Bronco by that much is quite an achievement.

This engine is significant for other reasons as well – practical reasons like towing capacity. The Wrangler should receive a bump in towing capacity as well, bringing even more utility to the SUV. Jeep also claims that the Wrangler V8 will have “incredible and unmatched levels of fun-to-drive performance and capability, both on- and off-road.” That might be the understatement of the year.

The last time Jeep offered a V8 engine on an off-road vehicle was with the 1981 Jeep CJ. This model had a 5.0-liter V8 that produced 125 hp and 220 lb-ft of torque. The new Wrangler V8, with so much available power, might just be the most exciting vehicle ever built. While we love our current Wranglers with the Pentastar V6, turbocharged inline-4, and 3.0-liter turbodiesel V6, none of these engines can match the sheer excitement and power that the big V8 will offer.

A grey 2021 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited is driving on a city street after leaving a Jeep dealer near me in Findlay, OH.

Comparing Engines

It might be helpful to compare what the Wrangler offers in the 2020 model year to see just how impressive this new addition to the Wrangler lineup truly is. We should probably take a look at what the Ford Bronco has under the hood too, because why not? If the Ford Bronco claims to be a competitor of the Jeep Wrangler, we should see what they bring to the trail too.

The base engine for the Jeep Wrangler is currently a 3.6-liter V6 with 285 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque. This is the classic Pentastar V6 that’s become synonymous with the Wrangler over the years because of how dependable and useful this engine is on and off the road. What’s fun about this powertrain is that it can be had with a 6-speed manual or 8-speed automatic transmission. This is plenty of power—it’s actually about as much power as the base engine in the 2020 Ford F-150. So you know you’re already starting with a solid engine as the base in the Wrangler, and they just keep getting stronger.

The next engine is a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4 with 270 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. The additional torque in this engine is noteworthy, and so is the increase in fuel efficiency as it returns up to 22/24 mpg. These are two great engine choices from Jeep, especially with the emphasis on low-end power and plenty of horses on board.

The third engine choice for the 2020 model year is a 3.0-liter turbodiesel V6. This engine makes 260 hp and 442 lb-ft of torque, making it almost as exciting as the new 392 V8. With nearly as much torque as the big V8, this diesel engine also has impressive fuel efficiency, returning 22/29 mpg. If you are looking for an efficient and powerful engine, one built not just for climbing trails but for the carpool lane as well, this is an exciting option for Jeep to offer.

Meanwhile, the 2021 Ford Bronco is entering the segment next year and seeks to compete with the Jeep Wrangler. But does it have a diesel option or a V8? Unfortunately for the off-road enthusiasts out there, it does not. It has a 2.3-liter turbocharged inline-4 with 270 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque or a 2.7-liter turbocharged V6 with 310 hp and 400 lb-ft of torque. While these are good engines, they do not provoke the same kind of excitement that the Jeep Wrangler’s engine choices elicit. If all the Bronco can offer is 400 lb-ft of torque, when the Jeep’s diesel engine produces 442 lb-ft and the Jeep’s V8 produces 450 lb-ft, it seems like the Bronco is going to have a difficult time keeping up in the segment.

Now when we compare these engines to the new offering from Jeep – the 392 V8 Hemi – you can start to see what all of the commotion is about. With 450 hp and 450 lb-ft of torque, the Wrangler V8 will take its performance chops to another, unprecedented level. The day the 2021 Ford Bronco was announced, Jeep also announced its new V8 engine, and it turns out the Wrangler actually had the bigger announcement, overshadowing the much-anticipated Bronco reveal. And Jeep has a plug-in hybrid version of the Wrangler on the way as well, showing just how far behind Ford is in this niche race for off-road supremacy.

A white 2021 Jeep Wrangler is crossing a river while off-roading.

Stop by Findlay CDJR Today!

Whether you are looking for a dedicated off-roader like the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon or an off-road-ready family SUV like the Jeep Cherokee, we have an extensive inventory to choose from. With many vehicles for any lifestyle, you are sure to find the perfect vehicle for your needs. We hope you are as excited about the Wrangler V8 as we are because this will be a welcome addition to the Jeep lineup of off-road vehicles. You will not find a more capable factory off-roader than the Jeep Wrangler. Even with the competition, the Jeep Wrangler shows time and again that it just keeps getting better where the pavement ends.

Stop by and check out Jeep’s lineup of SUVs at Findlay CJDR. At our dealership, we strive to provide some of the best customer service in Ohio. You will notice this from the moment you walk through the doors. From our expert finance team to our knowledgeable and friendly sales team, you will be surprised with how easy we have made the car-buying experience for our customers. We know how hard buying a car can be, which is why we do everything we possibly can to simplify the process for our customers. Stop by today and test drive a Jeep Wrangler to see what all of the excitement is about. We look forward to meeting you!