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2021 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392 Inside and Out

The long-awaited 2021 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392, outfitted with a 6.4-liter V8, made its bold appearance at the 2021 Easter Jeep Safari. An off-roader’s play space, Moab is home to tons of trails set among the famous red slick rock and outlying orange-colored sand dunes. Jeep enthusiasts trek to Moab all year for off-roading fun – especially during the Easter Jeep Safari (otherwise known as EJS). Jeep invited us to test its new high-powered beast on the trails to experience its capability for ourselves on rocky terrain, hard-packed dirt, loose sand and slick rock, plus a bit of the open road. The Wrangler Rubicon 392 marks the return of factory V8 power in a traditional Jeep-style vehicle. Offered only in the four-door Rubicon model and with an eight-speed automatic, the new 392 arrives packing 470 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque. It obviously has plenty of giddy-up, doing 0 to 60 mph in an un-Wrangler-like 4.5 seconds. That's 40% quicker than a V6-powered Wrangler. From a dead stop to full-bore speed, its dual-mode exhaust with quad tailpipes growl deeply and braaaps loudly under full throttle. Passing ability is not surprisingly exceptional when on road, and in the sand, it flew through dunes throwing rooster tails. We couldn't wipe smiles off our faces, but watch speeds as it's easy to take all those horses above speed limits. Also watch your pocketbook: the 392 returns an EPA-estimated 13 mpg city, 17 mpg highway and 14 mpg combined. The obligatory eight-speed automatic shifts smoothly, effortlessly and very quickly, with well-spaced mid-range gears that pair well with the V8's low-end capability. It's good that it comes with responsive paddle shifters for a more engaging and fun drive (the first for a Wrangler), but it would be better if they were mounted to the steering column and therefore fixed in place for easy shifting during off-camber or tight turns. Additionally, unrelated push-buttons adorn the bottom-most shifter point, which are easy to accidentally press when in technical off-pavement situations. The 392 has a different four-wheel-drive system than other Wranglers, the Selec-Trac full-time system with an active transfer case and a 2.72 low-range gear ratio. Rather than operating in 2WD most of the time with driver-selectable 4WD high, neutral and 4WD low at the ready as needed, Selec-Trac runs in a 4WD Auto mode that constantly sends power to the front and rear wheels. Otherwise, and particularly while off-roading, the system acts as you'd expect. The 392 also features a revised transmission torque converter lockup control and the same 48:1 crawl ratio as other automatic-equipped Rubicons. Autoblog obsessively covers the auto industry. We are a trusted source of auto research, information, and automotive issues. Get more Autoblog Read: http://www.autoblog.comLike: http://on.fb.me/13uhpVbFollow: http://twitter.com/therealautoblog #jeepwrangler #wranglerv8 #jeepwrangler392
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