By on May 17, 2017

2018 Jeep Wrangler Hurricane Turbo Spy Shot, Image: © 2016 Spiedbilde/The Truth About Cars

Should you expect Ford Fusion levels of engine choice in the next-generation Jeep Wrangler? A new report claims yes, you should.

A source who claims connections at a Fiat Chrysler Automobiles plant has told Jalopnik the upcoming 2018 model will host six engines, but a rational take on the matter would suggest readers not get their hopes up — at least, not in the U.S.

The source’s engine list sounds like the entirety of a vehicle’s global engine range, and it very well could be. In it, the source lists two 3.6-liter Pentastar engines, a 3.0-liter and 2.2-liter diesel, and two versions of a 2.0-liter engine.

So far, the only American engine options we’ve heard of are the stalwart 3.6 liter, a diesel option (likely the existing 3.0-liter unit found in the Grand Cherokee), and a turbocharged 2.0-liter “Hurricane” four with output in the 300-horsepower range.

It’s entirely possible a naturally aspirated or not-quite-as-hot turbo four could appear in overseas markets. Jeep debuted its 2.2-liter MultiJet II engine in mid-2015, with the diesel motor finding a home in the European-market Cherokee. That’s another off-the-shelf option for the folks at FCA.

The twin Pentastar mention intrigues, as it could signal an extra offering for U.S. buyers. FCA reportedly plans to add direct injection to its 3.6-liter V6, with the possibility of a turbocharged option for such vehicles as the 2019 Ram 1500. If this source has his planning details correct, it could mean a much hotter Wrangler variant will become available. Of course, it could also mean FCA plans to soldier on with the old Pentastar in some overseas markets. (Do Russia and Brazil really need direct injection?)

Like other automakers, FCA isn’t in the habit of commenting on future models, and that seems to be the case here. Earlier this year, Jeep boss Mike Manley claimed a hybrid variant is still in the works, though the automaker hasn’t nailed down an exact configuration or timeline for its electrified Wrangler. A pickup version should begin production in late 2019.

The mildly streamlined and lightweighted 2018 Wrangler is expected to start production this November.

[Image: © 2016 Spiedbilde/The Truth About Cars ]

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26 Comments on “Engine Smorgasbord for the 2018 Jeep Wrangler, Or…?...”


  • avatar
    Hummer

    Still needs a V8, the smaller 5.7L would be perfect, the purpose is having a V8 convertible with that hemi sound, the extra power is icing. Such a simple addition that would easily be a hit. Instead they waste time developing a 4 cylinder.

    • 0 avatar
      FOG

      I agree that a 4 cylinder is a waste of time. If only there was a way to convince the EPA and California to understand this. If only someone would step in and slow them down.

    • 0 avatar
      EquipmentJunkie

      I would normally agree with you on your 4-cylinder assessement, but I recently drove (and purchased) a Mercedes Metris with a 2.0 turbo four for work. Plenty of torque from just off idle to the upper end of the rev range. I would think that it would be fine for a Wrangler. I had a 4.0 in my Wrangler and loved the low-end torque of an inline-6. Since an inline-6 is gone, a little turbo-4 should be a nice replacement.

      • 0 avatar
        Hummer

        I’m sure it will work fine, but FCA could make a lot more money with much less development by sticking in the 8. It would certainly bring in new buyers that are dismayed by the lack of engine choice.

    • 0 avatar
      SC5door

      Just like it’s “easy” to stick the 6.7 Cummins in the Power Wagon, right? Until you factor in the weight of the fully dressed engine where the 3.6L weighs 200+lbs less.

      At the end of the day the 5.7L HEMI will eventually be replaced by a 3.6L TT.

      • 0 avatar
        Hummer

        The 5.7L fully dressed weighs almost the same as the fully dressed 3.6L, but a slight difference in weight shouldn’t be a big deal when a V8 would sell at higher prices with less rebates needed.

        The Powerwagon doesn’t have the Cummins because the factory winch is in the way of the required cooling devices. Not to mention the springs on the Powerwagon cut its payload and tow figures so much that the engine would never be useable to its potential. The Wrangler has no such limitation.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          @Hummer – On top of that, aren’t the axles in the PW lighter duty than that of the Cummins Ram trucks?

          To bad Ram doesn’t put the Cummins 5.0 in the PW.

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            The axles used to be different and lighter but they were limited to 4.56 gears (dumb), but the reason for this was that those lighter axles were higher off the ground which helped with clearance. They now use the same axles used in all the other Ram 3/4 trucks. Stronger, and able to accept steeper gears but takes away more ground clearance unfortunately.

            They could make the Cummins work if they really wanted to, but when you start adding all of the disadvantages of it, it becomes clear that the gasser is the better option. Besides if you need the lockers you can now get with with the off-road package which is available on the Cummins.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    The Renegade is the same way – lots of engine choices for the product, but only two for the US.

  • avatar
    gtemnykh

    The 3.0L ecodiesel would be a welcome addition, although the jury is still very much out on their reliability. A blown gas 4 cyl I can see really not living up to MPG expectations/ratings due to the poor aerodynamics at higher speeds, not to mention how annoying it could be offroad in terms of engine response to small/fine inputs off road.

    I agree with Hummer that a 5.7L Hemi variant from the factory would be a slam dunk for sales and profits.

    • 0 avatar
      cdotson

      Reliability? I’m still waiting on word of their legality. There was much noise of VW-like issues with the EcoDiesel amid much sweater-clad denials but since then it’s been crickets with nary a mention of EcoDiesel. There are no 1500 diesels in Ram inventory searches within the limits of the Ram website tool. Very few remaining mentions of Ram EcoDoesel on the website. Building one with a diesel shows “late availability” for 2017 models.

      Agreed lack of factory Hemi Wrangler is a huge fail.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    A hybrid would make sense in this model (even with a slo-po I4). The zero rpm torque might be attractive to rock crawlers but I feel like an EV would become a trailer queen because of limited range.

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      AC motors don’t make peak torque at 0 rpm, they make it at 10% slip. the whole “peak torque” at 0 rpm” thing is only true of brushed DC motors (whether permanent magnet or series wound.)

    • 0 avatar
      gtemnykh

      A Hybrid would be genuinely interesting IMO, especially for the range-extending aspects. And once gas prices shoot back up, Wranglers would be sitting pretty. I wonder though, has anyone made a serious Hybrid 4wd that retains the full capability of a traditional 4wd system?

    • 0 avatar
      MrIcky

      I agree, a diesel hybrid could be excellent and regenerative braking would likely make an excellent form of ‘hill control’ and would make up for diesel’s lack of engine braking. If you set it up right, you could get close to one pedal off-roading.

  • avatar
    ajla

    I’ll +1 on putting a V8 in at least the Wrangler Unlimited. They could charge $4000 for the option and easily get it.

  • avatar
    deanst

    I don’t think many non-luxury cars are being planned with V8s.

  • avatar
    KOKing

    Screw the 5.7 HEMI. Go directly to Hellcat.
    As for a 4-pot, I suspect the CJ3 purists would insist that a proper Jeep has a 4cyl.

    • 0 avatar
      Hummer

      Using the hellcat engine would make it a “special” product. The V8 should be an affordable family friendly option.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        The HellCat in a Jeep Wrangler would be a warranty and liability nightmare.

        • 0 avatar
          87 Morgan

          Yeah, but how much fun would it be to set up a lawn chair with a cooler on a Saturday and watch as the HC Wranglers leave the lot after purchase. New owner would invariably use the key that unlocks the full 707 and roll the thing in first 400 feet.

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