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Reviews 2022 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon 392 Review: If You Could, You Would...

2022 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon 392 Review: If You Could, You Would Too

Jeep finally slaps a V8 engine in the Wrangler after four decades and we’ll never forget


  • Pricing for the Wrangler starts at $29,995 in the US, $38,500 in Canada.

  • The 392 isn’t as “affordable.” Pricing for the 392 goes for $79,990 in the US and $101,445 in Canada.

  • Big V8 noises and power make this Wrangler a hoot.


Reviewing the new Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon 392 is all but completely useless. You don’t need a bozo like me to tell you that the already great JL generation Wrangler, in Rubicon guise, with a 6.4L V8 shoehorned in the engine bay makes for a wild ride. But I will anyway.

2022 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon 392 | Photo: Olivier Delorme

The current Wrangler, potentially the last to ever offer a petrol-gulping engine larger than a 4-cylinder, will go down in Jeep annals as theoretically the greatest of its kind ever. While this statement can be argued until all are blue in the face and passed out on the floor, the JL is the only Wrangler that will ever get a 4-pot, a V6, a V8, a diesel, and a PHEV variant. It likely will not be the last offered in 13 versions but powertrain options will never be this vast.


I love you 392

This is therefore a bitter-sweet hello and goodbye to, I’ll say here that my favorite naturally-aspirated modern V8 engine (yes, more than the GT350’s incredible flat-plane-crank 5.2L and the Vette’s 6.2L). The 392 cubic-inch pushrod-V8 mill is ridiculously under-stressed and easy-going. The engine produces 470hp at 6,000 rpm and 470 lb.-ft. of torque at 4,300 rpm and although engine speeds are relatively high, it never strains. Yes, it sounds like thunder, a volcanic eruption, and an earthquake occurring simultaneously when the dual-mode performance exhaust system is “on”, but that’s the only drama…

2022 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon 392 | Photo: Olivier Delorme

Well, not exactly as launching to 60mph (97 km/h) from not takes only 4.5 seconds with the throttle wide open. If it doesn’t destroy any wannabe street-light racers, it will scare the drivers into their mothers’ disapproving embraces. With a set of slicks, it would probably blast off harder. Being capable of this kind of performance is nothing to this 2022 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon 392, so is gently cruising around.

The standard 8-speed automatic transmission can be gentle when swapping gears or will absolutely crush them into submission if some clown in a V6 Mustang, hell a V8 Mustang, wants a go. The only real issue with the Wrangler 392 is that the driver’s ego will inevitably swell as a sense of invincibility will take over.


Crushing it on road and off

2022 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon 392 | Photo: Olivier Delorme

Let’s say the Wrangler is matched in speed on paved roads. If so, there’s a 99.9999% chance that the moment tarmac is replaced by gravel, the story will change. What happens when the road all but disappears completely? The Rubicon 392 settles into its element, that’s what.

What also quickly surfaces, at least in this scenario, is that I, the driver, immediately become the weak link. As a Rubicon, this Wrangler is fitted as standard with Selec-Trac AWD, Tru-Lok electronic locking front and rear axles, and, in the tested model’s case with the Xtreme Recon package, 35-inch tires, a 4.56 rear axle ratio. Basically, off-roading with this bad boy is easy, and potentially troublesome. Simply put, this much power will get you out of trouble but not quite as quickly as it will get you into deep doo-doo. 


It can be a daily driver

2022 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon 392 | Photo: Olivier Delorme

Owning a Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon 392 indicates that off-roading is probably in your DNA. As not all roads are unpaved, it’s good news that despite how extreme this Jeep may be, it can be daily driven. It must be said that the enormous tires are the sole limiting factor in the Fox suspension’s ability to sharp wheel up and down motions. On flat to mostly flat surfaces, ride quality is good however ruts and dips will upset comfort. Another amusing, because it is, side-effect to the monstrous knobby BF Goodrich tires is that steering corrections are a constant necessity.


Yes, Sarge!

Visually, the Rubicon 392 is smashingly good-looking. Of the nine available colours offered in 2022, the tester’s Sarge Green is uncannily fitting especially when coated with some dried mud. The 392 is the sergeant of Wranglers. Distinctive features, beyond the Rubicon’s unique wheels and decals, the 392 gains a massive hydro guide hood scoop and a slightly different outward attitude.

2022 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon 392 | Photo: Olivier Delorme

The aforementioned Xtreme Recon package adds on top of the wheels and big tires, some small but all-telling wheel flare extensions along with a Mopar hinge-gate reinforcement – you can probably guess why this is necessary. As far as the cabin is concerned, it’s all Wrangler Rubicon with plenty of tech and features.


I would too

Bottom line, and like I wrote earlier, reviewing this Jeep is pointless, though I am eternally grateful to Stellantis for the opportunity, as there’s nothing else like it out there. Many will raise the Blue Oval flag and shout Braptor but it doesn’t have a V8. Period. Even if the Bronco Raptor happens to be faster than the Wrangler Rubicon 392, it doesn’t matter.

In fact, the only thing that matters is that, at roughly $102,000 (nearly $110,000 for the 2023 model year), it’s out of reach for nearly everyone. As tested, with the packages and options including the very cool Sky One-Touch power top, the 2022 392 retailed for about $116,000. For a Jeep Wrangler. And if I had the money, I’d do it.

2022 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon 392 | Photo: Olivier Delorme

2022 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon 392 | Photo: Olivier Delorme

2022 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon 392 | Photo: Olivier Delorme

2022 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon 392 | Photo: Olivier Delorme

2022 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon 392 | Photo: Olivier Delorme

2022 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon 392 | Photo: Olivier Delorme

2022 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon 392 | Photo: Olivier Delorme

2022 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon 392 | Photo: Olivier Delorme

2022 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon 392 | Photo: Olivier Delorme

2022 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon 392 | Photo: Olivier Delorme

2022 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon 392 | Photo: Olivier Delorme

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Matt St-Pierre
Trained as an Automotive Technician, Matt has two decades of automotive journalism under his belt. He’s done TV, radio, print and this thing called the internet. He’s an avid collector of many 4-wheeled things, all of them under 1,500 kg, holds a recently expired racing license and is a father of two. Life is beautiful. Send Matt an emai

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