Yes, the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392 is a super capable all-terrain vehicle with a V8 Hemi under the hood, from the factory. It’s also the loudest, most powerful and fastest brawler to date.
It took a while for Jeep to bring to market what we’ve all been asking for, but the Hemi-powered Wrangler has arrived. Sure, the aftermarket has served this desire for over a decade now, but it never came to this price point or with a factory warranty.
After a week of on-road play in the 2021 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392 — the 2022 model hasn’t changed — we can say that Jeep delivered a truly impressive package.
Deciding whether you want to live with the Rubicon 392 every day is another matter entirely, however.
Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392 Review
Dollar Bills All: 2021 Wrangler Rubicon Pricing
We must first get the elephant out of the room, the price. Although cheaper than a Rubicon with an aftermarket engine swap, the Wrangler 392 starts at a cool $74,995 — for the 2021 model year, with the 2023 Wrangler 392 starting at $79,995. Add in the destination charges, some nice paint, a towing package, both a hard and soft top, an all-terrain camera, and a few other accessories, and our review car had a sticker price of $78,565.
These figures are all before you take into account any “market adjustment” that dealers may want to introduce, as these Jeeps are in high demand and in short supply.
A super basic four-door Rubicon starts at $42,100. I used Jeep’s online configurator to build a V6 eTorque Rubicon as close to spec as possible to the Rubicon 392 review model I had. The price came out to $65,885. That means the Hemi upgrade – with all the upgrades to the brake, hood, and so on – will cost you over $12,000. That’s not an insignificant price increase!
The Rubicon 392’s big price tag is more than a big engine, though, as the Wrangler Rubicon 392 is packed with top-spec luxury and off-road features as standard.
But first that engine! The 2021 Rubicon 392 is the most powerful and fastest Wrangler ever. With a massive 6.4L Hemi V8 under the hood, this Jeep can hit 60 mph from a standstill in just 4.5 seconds – 1.5-3 seconds faster than the other Wrangler models. A 13 second flat quarter mile time isn’t bad either!
While the Wrangler Rubicon 392 is a bit of a brick in shape and not a lightweight — 5,103 pounds curb weight, which is about 646 pounds more than a V6 Rubicon — with 470 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque on tap, its speed is a bit of a surprise.
It’s a very rare thing for such an off-road capable machine to be this fast. This Jeep still features body-on-frame construction, solid axles, 33-inch MT tires, skid plates, rock rails, optional lockers, a remote swing-out disconnect, and more.
The Rubicon 392 also features the Hydro-Guide Air Induction System hood. This large, heavy-duty hood offers a functional hood scoop that doubles as a cold air intake and separates water from the intake when traveling in wet conditions. While I love the impressive functionality of this hood design, I have to admit that the styling is not my favorite.
One thing the aftermarket usually forgets when upgrading power and adding weight is that the vehicle also needs to stop well. Luckily, Jeep didn’t forget this and upgraded the braking system on the Rubicon 392 to handle the mass and power. I found the brakes to be super confident and provide great pedal feedback.
More Dino Juice
The big 6.4L Hemi in the 392 guzzles dino juice at an impressive rate and demands premium fuel. It’s EPA-rated at 14 mpg combined, while I got 11.4 mpg with my heavy foot during testing.
The 392 retains the same 21.5-gallon gas tank found in most Wranglers, so range will be reduced. Expect about 300 miles of range on a single tank, with a V6 mild-hybrid Wrangler taking you about 400 miles and the EcoDiesel Wrangler over 500 miles.
It’s really hard not to drive this thing with a heavy foot and enjoy all the sounds it makes from the exhaust, so don’t even expect to get 14mpg out of this machine.
Much more noise!
Speaking of noise, the Rubicon 392 makes one pulp of noise! It has twin dual exhausts and always has a deep growl that you will feel even if you don’t hear it. It also has an active exhaust pipe. This means that with the push of a button you can really bring the exhaust note to life, giving you that raspy Hemi gurgle when you get off the throttle that all muscle cars have.
The truth: the exhaust note sounds mean, aggressive and awesome, but gets old pretty quickly. I easily – and unintentionally – scared more than a few children (and I’m sure there are wildlife) while driving this snarling beast.
No Jeep Wrangler has a quiet cabin, as that would be nearly impossible to achieve with a vehicle that has a removable top. Wind and road noise are significant at freeway speeds—due in part to the aggressive mud tires—and the exhaust drone from the big Hemi will carry you on long road trips.
Things you can’t have in a Rubicon 392
The Rubicon 392 only comes in a four-door, so no two-door Hemi Wrangler for you.
If you want to row your own gear, the only Jeep Wrangler offered with one manual gearbox is V6. That said, I really don’t like the six-speed manual transmission on the Wrangler, and the eight-speed automatic is a great transmission.
I love driving manual transmission vehicles, but the manual in the Wrangler/Gladiator is just a clunky device that doesn’t do as good a job as the car. The only option on the 392 is auto, so you’re good.
Driving the 2021 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392 with two-wheel drive is not an option. It’s a shame, because 2WD burnout and drives would be so fun in this jeep! Instead of 2WD you get 4H Auto, basically AWD.
On a loose gravel surface, however, 4H Auto allows some fun sideways four-wheel drive. Off-road enthusiasts needn’t worry either, as we still get selectable 4H and 4L when leaving the pavement.
It’s a Jeep Rubicon
As with all Jeep Wrangler Rubicon vehicles, the 392 is seriously off-road capable. I took it out for a day of play in the very humid coastal forests west of Portland, Oregon, and found it did everything a Jeep should do, with ease.
With plenty of power on tap, the 392 is a bit more bouncy than any other Rubicon, as I found the throttle to be touchy. I love a responsive throttle, but off-road the 392 is a bit more difficult to drive smoothly at low speeds than other powertrains offered in the Wrangler.
It is also much easier to spin the tires in the 392, something you want to avoid, both for the life of the Jeep parts and the tires and to Be careful.
The Fox suspension in the Rubicon 392 is really good at soaking up potholes and rough roads at speed. At lower speeds I found it a bit stiff. The 392 is a Jeep meant to be driven at speed, on and off-road.
I found the standard 33-inch Falken Wildpeak MT tires quite capable and confidence-inspiring both on and off-road. I also found them to throw a lot of rock on dirt roads and not exactly quiet on the highway.
These beefy tires are wrapped in 17-inch lockable tires – you just need proper rocker rings from Jeep Performance Parts. They not only look good but are also functional.
Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392 Conclusions
As with all Jeep Wranglers, the Rubicon 392 doesn’t offer a quiet cabin, doesn’t offer a dead pedal for the driver’s left foot to rest on, and has a vague and disconnected steering feel. As with all Wrangler models, the Rubicon 392 offers unmatched off-road capability, rugged and sporty looks, and the ability to enjoy both top and door driving.
The Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392 really shines when it comes to speed, power and sound. However, you pay a hefty sum for these upgrades. Don’t expect prices to drop or find any of these Wranglers on sale either, as we have no doubt that this model will only be on the market for a couple of years at most. This is arguably the last large internal combustion engine (ICE) Wrangler, as Jeep transitions to battery electric vehicles (BEVs).