What is it?
Today’s airwaves brim with debate about how best to reduce our carbon footprints, and Jeep already toes the environmental line to some extent: it currently offers a Wrangler plug-in hybrid, with a four-pot engine and 20 or so miles of electric range, and a Wrangler EV is expected to arrive soon. So surely the whole big-boned V8 thing is just a little passé?
Perhaps. But sometimes one needs to discard the gloves, and for Jeep that meant announcing the flagship Wrangler Rubicon 392 (that number being 6.4 litres in cubic inches) on the same morning last year that Ford revealed its reinvented Bronco.
This wasn’t so much stealing the limelight as declaring war, and you can see why. The Bronco comes in trim levels with names like Big Bend and Badlands. It’s characterful and capable, and the factory is lining up a fruity V6-engined Raptor variant.
In short, the new Ford is the biggest commercial threat that the modern Wrangler has yet faced, and that’s why the Rubicon 392 is here – not to sell in big volumes but just to remind us that when it comes to cartoonishly likeable and phenomenally tough off-roaders, nobody does it like Jeep.