Jeep released photos of a Wrangler V8 concept just hours before the new Ford Bronco was due to be unveiled. But will it make it to showrooms?
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Well this ought to get the front wheels off the ground.

A Jeep Wrangler V8 concept has been unveiled within hours of the covers coming off the new Ford Bronco in the US – and the company says fans “may soon get their wish”.

The Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392 Concept is powered by a 6.4-litre V8 (392 in cubic inches) with a claimed output of 335kW/610Nm (450hp/450lb-ft in the old money) – enough to do the 0 to 60mph dash (0 to 97kmh) in “less than 5 seconds”.

“The new Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392 Concept is an indication they may soon get their wish,” the company said in a media statement issued overnight after yesterday releasing a blurry image of a bonnet with ‘392’ on it.

“Jeep Wrangler enthusiasts have been asking us for a Wrangler V8, and our new Wrangler Rubicon 392 Concept proves that we have the ability to make that happen,” Jim Morrison, the Jeep brand boss said in a media statement.

“We are anxious to gauge (buyer) reaction to this new Wrangler Rubicon 392 Concept, a vehicle that delivers an incredible and unmatched level of fun-to-drive performance and capability, on- and off-road,” the press blurb continued.

The last time Jeep offered a V8 Wrangler was in the 1981 CJ model. It was powered by a 5.0-litre V8 with an output of 93kW/298Nm (125hp/220lb-ft).

It is unclear if the V8 will also be fitted to the Gladiator ute. However given the Wrangler and the Gladiator both share their structure and mechanicals, it is technically possible.

For hardcore off-road geeks, Jeep says the V8 Wrangler concept was equipped with Dana 44 axles, a Selec-Track full-time two-speed transfer case, Tru-Lok electric front and rear axle lockers, 37-inch mud-terrain tyres that wrap around custom 17-inch beadlock wheels (for reduced tire pressure operation and added traction), and a Jeep Performance Parts two-inch lift kit from Mopar.

The V8 also has uprated engine mounts and a modified frame. Suspension upgrades include new aluminium, monotube Fox shocks “for improved damping and heat dissipation,” Jeep says. “A two-mode exhaust alters the performance sound at the touch of a button”.

A “more robust” eight-speed transmission has been fitted – with a full-time 4x4 transfer case – to improve overall drivability. “Massive amounts of low-end torque allow” for a 3.73 gear ratio, which delivers “improved highway efficiency and a greater range of off-road capability,” the company said.

Jeep says the combination delivers greater articulation and “unprecedented levels of water fording capability”: (34 inches) and ground clearance (13.25 inches), as well as improved approach (51.6 degrees), breakover (29.5 degrees) and departure (40.1 degrees) angles.

Now, Jeep, once you sort out the V8 Wrangler, can you please knock up a V8 Gladiator. That would at least be some consolation for not getting a diesel Gladiator in Australia.