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Fiat Chrysler Raises Stakes In Off-Road Competition With Ford, Unveiling A New V-8 Wrangler

CBS Detroit - Ford has pushed the stakes in the off Road market with the unveiling of the 2021 Bronco. According to the Detroit Free Press, 200,000 people have put down a hard-earned Benjamin to be in line to pick up their Bronco first. Taking design cues from the classic version yet updating with modern technology, and making 4-wheel-drive standard in all models. The newly designed Bronco will be powered by either a 2.7 liter Ecoboost V6 or a 2.3 liter Ecoboost 4-cylinder.


Credit: - Ford's 2021 Bronco has generated a lot of buzz with people putting money down before models even left the factory. Broncos will be made in Mexico and Michigan.

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Fiat-Chrysler's Jeep® brand has long been the king of the hill in sales in the off-road market and it would seem that FCA doesn't have plans to lose their hard-earned market share anytime soon. Earlier they announced the RAM 1500 TRX version sporting a 702 HP / 650 LB-FT of torque 6.2 Liter Hemi V8. An easy competitor to Ford's successful Raptor.

Credit: Fiat-Chrysler | - Ram's 702 HP Hemi-powered TRX

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Now Jeep has upped the anty with their 2021 Jeep® Wrangler Rubicon 392. The biggest change in the Wrangler 392 is they have managed to cram a 6.4 Liter V-8 under the hood. Packing 470 horsepower and 470 lb-ft of torque. Which gives a 40% faster 0-60 mph time of 4.5 seconds.

Along with an upgraded powerplant, they also increased its off-road capabilities. Jeep® claims it now has a steeper approach and departure angles for challenging trail environments. As well as adding another inch of clearance underneath, fora total of 32.5 inches of water traversing clearance. Upgraded frame rails and Fox high-performance shocks provide improved handling.


Credit: FCA North America - 2021 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392


Credit: CA North America - 2021 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392 might give weekend-warriors in Michigan some fun on the trails or on the dunes.


Keeping the new V-8 connected to the road is a 'TorqueFlite' 8-speed transmission that can be controlled by paddle shifters on the steering wheel. For those wanting performance on the road, or the ability to downshift when trailering or off-road. Towing capacity is rated at 3,500 pounds. With heavy-duty Dana 44 axles with 'Tru-Lok' electronic differentials and an electronic sway bar disconnect to make bumpy trails more manageable. It also features a 48:1 crawl ratio and a low-speed downhill descent control. Also standard are 33-inch wheels with Beadlock rims. A hood-mounted air scoop is meant to keep the V-8 cool, while what Jeep calls a 'Tri-level Hydro-Guide™' air intake system is meant to keep up to 15 gallons of water a minute away from the engine when crossing waterways.


Credit: FCA North America - 2021 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392's new hood scoop and Hydro-Guide design also includes a secondary air intake that can keep the engine cool if the top intake is clogged with snow or debris.

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The problem that Ford has with its Bronco that might possibly give Jeep® an edge is that due to Coronavirus stopping production this year, Ford has said that with the demand for the Bronco, it might be 2022 for them to fulfill the orders that they have. For now, Ford is only building Broncos to order, so it will be a while before people see them on dealer lots. However, with simple supply and demand in economics, this might help drive sales for Ford as some dealers may end up charging more. While The Detroit News reports sales of Wranglers are down 15% year-over-year.


Credit: FCA North America - Jeep's Hydroguide air intake system in the hood of the Wrangler Rubicon 392.


Credit: FCA North America - The Jeep® Wrangler Rubicon comes only with a black leather interior and bronze stitching, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and newly designed instrumentation.


Credit: FCA North America - the 2021 Jeep® Wrangler Rubicon 392 has an active dual-mode exhaust where drivers can route exhaust gasses for an 'exhilarating' sound.


Credit: FCA North America - 33" wheels come standard.

According to Micky Bly, Fiat-Chrysler's head of global propulsion systems on the new Wrangler Rubicon 392, "Why are we putting a V-8 in here? The reason why is that's what our customers want. That is what Wrangler fans have been asking for over and over and over." he told the Detroit News.

The new Wrangler will be assembled in Toledo, it will feature interior stitching, bronze badging, and available half-doors. Bolsters in the seats will help keep passengers in their seats while traversing challenging roads. The Wrangler 392 also has an 8.4" UConnect touch screen display that along with vehicle, climate, and radio controls, gives information on GPS location, pitch, roll, altitude, drivetrain-power distribution, and more. Jeep has also taken cues from the Ford Bronco which puts side mirrors on the A-pillar. With Mopar (Fiat-Chrysler's official parts division) offering a bolt-on side-mirror parts kit for Wrangler and Gladiator owners. Allowing added safety for those who like to cruise without their doors on.

According to Karl Brauer, an executive auto analyst at, he told The Detroit News Ford is making incursions into Jeep's territory. While Dodge has been a huge success using existing components into different models with cool names, graphics, and marketing, Jeep he says is starting to leverage the same strategy into its product lines.

© 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Information from The Detroit News,, and Detroit Free Press contributed to this report.



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