The Wrangler Rubicon 392 is Jeep's powerful retort to the new Ford Bronco. (Jeep announced the Wrangler Rubicon 392 on the morning of Ford's Bronco announcement, in case you'd forgotten it was meant as a shot at the new off-roader.) The "392" stands for 392 cubic inches — the displacement from the 6.4-liter Hemi V8 engine that will give the Wrangler 470 horsepower and propel it from 0 to 60 mph in less than five seconds.
Of course, there's one big question we're all still wondering: how much will this wonderous new Wrangler cost? Well, it looks like we should expect it to be expensive.
Jeep hasn't announced pricing yet, but a Kelley Blue Book report citing a purported user-posted dealer order form has the Wrangler Rubicon 392 starting at $77,055.
You didn't read that wrong. We're talking nearly $80,000 for a stock Jeep Wrangler.
While that price point requires a mental leap, it makes sense in the Jeep world. The Wrangler is no longer purely the affordable SUV it once was. The four-door Unlimited Sport starts above $33,000, but the current top-tier High Altitude Wrangler trim starts above $50,000. Tacking on options can push Wrangler builds toward $70,000, and that's even before you start dealing with the aftermarket.
Bumping the price by to nearly $80K, then, doesn't seem so unreasonable when you consider the new engine adds around 200 hp. Indeed, that price would also leave Jeep ample room, if the market demands it, to slot in a cheaper V8 model — say, one powered by the 370-hp 5.7-liter Hemi found in Jeeps, Dodges and Rams aplenty — beneath the Rubicon 392.
We're definitely living in a new world where once-humble Jeep may be selling an $80,000 Wrangler and will offer a six-figure luxury SUV to take on the Cadillac Escalade. But with Jeep morphing into a de facto premium brand, it may not be a particularly brave one.