Jeep Australia is keen to offer a V8-powered Wrangler off-roader, as previewed by the Rubicon 392 Concept, to expand its performance SUV line-up.
Though the car is yet to be confirmed for production, the concept was followed by spy photos of a supposed road-ready version being tested, but FiatChrysler Automobiles (FCA) Australia boss Kevin Flynn would not confirm if the brand will build the V8 Wrangler for customers.
“If that vehicle was available in right-hand drive, we’ll be at the front of the queue, no question about it,” he told CarsGuide.
“There’s still huge affection in Australia for V8, and it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to look down the road and realise that alternative powertrains are coming, downsizing is coming … so therefore, the V8 is something to enjoy today.”
Jeep offered a glimpse to what a V8-powered Wrangler could look like with Rubicon 392 Concept released last month.
As the name implies, the monster Wrangler is powered by a 392 cub-inch V8 – the same 6.4-litre petrol engine found in the Chrysler 300 SRT.
Under the bonnet of the SUV, the engine outputs a sizeable 336kW/609Nm, which is fed to all four wheels through an eight-speed automatic transmission for a zero-to-100km/h run in a hot hatch-scaring 5.0 seconds.
However, the Wrangler concept retained much of its off-road ability thanks to a two-speed transfer case, front- and rear-axle lockers, a factory-fitted lift kit, and all-terrain tyres.
Jeep Australia has talked in the past about its desire to expand its performance SUV portfolio, and the Wrangler V8 could follow the Grand Cherokee SRT and flagship Grand Cherokee Trackhawk to local showrooms.
Powering the former is a 344kW/624Nm 6.4-litre Hemi V8 (the same engine as the Wrangler 392 Concept), while the latter scores a 522kW/868Nm 6.2-litre supercharged V8.