By on October 10, 2017

2016 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited, Image: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles

Last week brought quite a flurry of excitement for eager Jeep Wrangler aficionados. The long-awaited next-generation JL model has steadily revealed its secrets in dribs and drabs, but last week’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration filing appeared to reveal one of the biggest nuggets to date — a horsepower figure for the model’s 2.0-liter turbocharged “Hurricane” four-cylinder.

368 horsepower. Even from a unit expected to arrive with power in the neighborhood of 300 hp, this figure came as a shock. 368 hp isn’t “in the neighborhood” — it’s eight blocks over, past the train tracks, and in a better part of town.

Well, to all of you anticipating a real screamer of a Jeep, it’s time to hold your breath once again. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has updated its NHTSA filing.

Drumroll please. According to the new filing, the 2.0-liter four-banger in uplevel 2018 Wranglers is… not rated. That’s right. The rest of the information on the data sheet stays the same — the 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 soldiers on in the JL and older JK Wrangler with 285 hp, the diesel options remains absent for now — but the Hurricane is now downgraded to a tropical disturbance of unknown ferocity.

NHTSA FCA filing

It’s quite possible FCA simply inputted the wrong number by mistake. Speaking to Road & Track, an FCA source recently claimed the 368 figure is “dead wrong.”

Certainly, 368 hp from two liters of displacement doesn’t ring true for a brand like Jeep. Such an engine would out-muscle all but the hottest European four-cylinders. Still, the document was an official NHTSA filing.

If the original rumors bears out, JL Wrangler buyers won’t have to worry about a lack of propulsive force. 300 hp, or thereabouts, and an unknown torque figure will surely give the Wrangler enough in the giddy-up department, as well as providing it with an EPA-placating fuel economy rating. We know already that 2.0-liter buyers won’t have a choice of transmission besides an eight-speed automatic.

Pentastar-powered Wranglers, in two-door and Unlimited guise, will still be available with a six-speed manual.

[Images: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, NHTSA]

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20 Comments on “Waiting for a Turbo Jeep Wrangler With Insane Horsepower? No so Fast…...”

  • avatar

    Just make the base 2.0 T available automatic only and AWD only. You’ll have the sorority girl and soccer mom demographic locked up for the foreseeable future.

    • 0 avatar

      Isn’t that the only audience for the Jeep? Except maybe “country girls”.

      Certainly never see males driving them.

      • 0 avatar

        Here in the NE for Wrangler it’s about 60% women of pretty much all ages and hardcore jeep guys. Most of the male driven ones will feature at least 35″ tall tires and a winch. Also a surprising number of auto journos own one or have owned one.

    • 0 avatar

      This “AWD=bad” take continues to be silly and lazy.

      In the last 4 years I’ve test driven and decided against Wrangler Unlimiteds twice. Both times I bought SUV’s with high/low/awd/2wd transfer cases instead. They are immeasurably better in bad weather on road, and offer no disadvantage off-road.

      Jeep has had 4-mode transfer cases since the 80’s. To not offer them in Wrangler Unlimiteds is costing them sales. I can’t imagine that I’m totally alone in knowing what works. I’d pay real dollars for an AWD capable transfer case in a Wrangler.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    I really can’t see a turbo four being fitted to a Wrangler.

    Maybe the 368hp figure was accurate. Could there be a turbo six?

    I did read a little about the Phoenix Projet (Pentastar), the joint project between Chrysler and Daimlier. There are more than a few similarities between the Chrysler V6 and the MB V6.

    Anyways, the engine was initially designed for a 2.7-3.0 litre turbo variant, along with a V8 based on the Phoenix design. Chrysler opted to keep the Hemi going.

    Fiat with Maserati built a 3.0 litre turbo V6 based on the Pentastar. The block was strengthened and the cylinder heads using MultiAir tech.

    Here’s an excerpt from a link;

    “A twin turbo and single-turbocharger 3.0 V6 were originally planned for 2014, producing 420 and 370 horsepower respectively (these numbers were targets); it appears to now be waiting for 2017-2020. Still, Ferrari/Maserati have created a 404 horsepower twin-turbo V6, using a modified Pentastar block; buyers can get them in the 300C-derived Maserati Ghibli.”

    The link;

    • 0 avatar

      “I really can’t see a turbo four being fitted to a Wrangler.”
      —- Why not? Fours were the default engine in the CJs for decades.

      As for the turbo six, not a bad idea but maybe a bit of overkill. The Wrangler’s biggest problem is wind resistance on the highway, where a smaller engine and multiple gears would at least somewhat reduce its thirst. The high horsepower would let it still be capable on the trails, albeit winding up a lot tighter to provide the needed torque.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        That’s the idea, an overkill, as FCA normally does. FCA isn’t going to produce what you want, it will produce what will sell.

        Also, there was talk a while back about the demise of the 5.7 Hemi. What if a turbo V6 based on the Pentastar is the outcome?

        Why not trial a single turbo V6 in the relatively small Wrangler?

        Jeep and Ram could use a V6 turbo in the near future.

        • 0 avatar

          First off, BAO, I didn’t say I wanted either of them, so such a statement out of the blue means literally nothing.

          Secondly, you’re right; FCA will make what they think will sell. While the idea of a near-400hp I-4 sounds need for the Wrangler, I really don’t expect to see it. Rather, we’ll probably see something in the 200-245hp range with the Pentastar taking it closer to 300hp. If you notice the 3.0L turbo I-4 in the Promaster (chart above), we’re only talking about 174 horses; I wouldn’t be surprised if the 2.0L turbo is only marginally higher since it’s not going to need the same amount of torque to get that 3500# body moving around compared to a loaded high-cube van. If 200 horses worked for the Wrangler before, it will work again and probably get better mileage.

          Will we eventually see a turbo six? Maybe. I almost expect to see a hybrid before that, if not a full BEV version. That turbo six will probably be an aftermarket mod.

    • 0 avatar

      Yes, it’s a 2.0T that will be available.

  • avatar

    Maybe a typo happened, and it was supposed to be 308.

  • avatar

    Real simple. The 368 is probably the horsepower for the Turbo 4, but NOT in a Wrangler. Figure that HP rating in a CUV like a Cherokee, etc. Wrangler needs torque, not high HP. Probably will be detuned below 300hp

    • 0 avatar

      Take a look at the EcoBoost in Ford F-150s, Pd. The EcoBoost six out-pulls an NA 5.0 V8. The EcoBoost 4 out-pulls the NA 3.7 V6, or did until Ford brought out the 2.7. V6. Small engines with turbo, especially twin-turbo, can put out lots of torque but the gearing has to let the engine get to that torque point before loading it. You get some fuel economy improvements from the smaller engine but when that torque is put to work, you get the same fuel economy as the NA engine putting out the same torque.

  • avatar

    Gee, anyone would think that a moment’s reflection would lead to a reasonable answer, instead of guessing from out in left field. But hey, here on compartmentalized TTAC where truck buyers show they haven’t a clue about cars or the industry as a whole, we get a silly article and comments.

    That very same turbo I4 is in the Alfa Romeo Giulia. What is it rated at? 280 hhp. Now applying one’s whole brainpower,instead of none at all, what would a sane person think the engine would be rated at for a Wrangler?

    Here’s a way-out crazy guess: less than 280 hp because it’ll be tuned for regular gas. What do Honda Accord, BMW 3, Mercedes C and Audi A4 usually get out of a 2.0t? About 241 to 252 hp.

    The Jeep’ll likely be in there somewhere, maybe with a Marchionne bump of oversold FCA engineering excellence and braggadocio stretching the point for the faithful. 268 hp? Yeah sounds about the right exaggeration. Happy turbo lag!

    • 0 avatar
      Tommy James

      Re Happy turbo lag!

      Unless that Belt Start Generator rumour is for real, which would mean additional torque will be available for acceleration.

    • 0 avatar

      @conundrum: While your comment makes sense, that isn’t the only answer. Yes, I can see it tuned to 280 or so–with regular gas. It could put out more with mid-or premium, something FCA has not been adverse to recommending for “best performance and fuel economy.” I’d guess the NA version of that engine would be just below 200 horses, which is what the pre-Pentastar Wranglers did quite well with. 250-300 horses with a turbo four might be just what the Wrangler needs to mix better highway economy with good off-road power.

  • avatar

    Why do they have to file that information with the NHTSA, anyway? Is it for crash testing purposes?

  • avatar

    As the proud owner of a pre pentastar 2.5 I-4 (1995 model year to be exact) I can attest that the I-4 NEEDS more power. 75 mph is possible on the highway but it’s about all the lil Wrangler wants. now something closer to an old chevy 5.0 (302, 305, 307) in power and torque numbers would be amazing especially with the Wrangler getting a little fat. Now I just have to wait to see one in the junkyard so I can steal err… acquire said turbo 4 and figure out how to mate it to an AX15 mwahahahahaha!!!

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