Jeep Wrangler next in line to ditch V8 power

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The first V8 Jeep Wrangler in 40 years – and likely the last – is preparing to follow muscle cars from Dodge and Chrysler out of showrooms.

The V8 version of the latest Jeep Wrangler – never sold in Australia as it is only produced in left-hand-drive – is nearing the end of the road in the US after less than four years in showrooms.

Jeep dealers in the US have reportedly been advised the Wrangler Rubicon 392 – powered by a 6.4-litre Hemi petrol V8 with 350kW – will be farewelled by a ‘Final Edition’ expected sometime this year.

The V8 Wrangler is the latest vehicle from the Jeep-Dodge group of car companies to ditch eight-cylinder power after production of the Dodge Challenger and Charger, and Chrysler 300 muscle cars came to an end.

V8 power is being phased out in favour of high-power turbocharged six-cylinder engines in the Ram 1500 pick-up, as well as high-end Jeep SUVs.

Jeep parent company Stellantis has announced a number of ‘Last Call’ models to be announced across its brands – including Jeep and Dodge – to commemorate the phase-out of the famous Hemi V8 engine.

The news spells the end of the 6.4-litre V8 ‘Rubicon 392’ added to the US Wrangler line-up in 2021, with 392 indicating the engine size in cubic inches.

At launch, Jeep claimed the Rubicon 392 was capable of accelerating from zero to 100km/h in 4.5 seconds, and 13 seconds for the quarter-mile (402m) drag-strip run despite weighing 2390kg – about the same as a Ford Ranger Raptor ute, or two Mazda 2s.

Produced in left-hand drive only, it was not sold in Australia.

Precise timing for the Final Edition has not been reported, nor how many would be made.

It is expected there will be styling tweaks and minor visual details to signify the Final Edition, which is also expected to cost more than the Rubicon 392’s $US92,140 ($AU140,500) list price.

Among the other models dropping 6.4-litre V8 power is the Dodge Durango seven-seat SUV – introduced in the US in 2011 – which will go out with a run of 1000 ‘Last Call’ special edition cars known as the Dodge Durango SRT 392 AlcHemi.

Available to order from late February 2024 with production planned for April, the Durango SRT 392 AlcHemi will feature visual tweaks including a honeycomb-textures yellow stripes, yellow 392 graphics and yellow Brembo brakes.

The demise of the Hemi V8 range is significant for Dodge and Ram as it has used the engines in a wide range of vehicles – from 5.7-litre V8s in Ram pick-ups, including the 15-year-old 1500 Classic, to 1000-horsepower 6.2-litre supercharged V8s in Dodge Hellcat muscle cars.

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