'Nice Little Bronco You Got There…' - Jeep Fights Newfound Competition With Muscle

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
8216 nice little bronco you got there 8230 jeep fights newfound competition

Having watched The Hunt for Red October last night, your author knows all too well what can happen when two superpowers engage in a game of brinkmanship. He’d also like to see Montana.

Having enjoyed years of nearly complete dominance in the true off-road SUV market in America, Jeep now finds itself in a battle against a vehicle no consumer has yet laid eyes on: the Ford Bronco, due for a public unveiling on Monday. On Saturday morning, Jeep decided to crank that newfound rivalry up to “11”, teasing a future product with a monster engine.

Via a wordless Facebook post, Jeep let a number do all the talking.


The badge adorning the Wrangler’s (or Gladiator’s) newly power-bulged hood marks the all-American displacement of Fiat Chrysler’s 6.4-liter Hemi V8, a naturally aspirated big boy slotted between the automaker’s 5.7-liter Hemi and supercharged 6.2-liter Hellcat engines. A fun toy in the Dodge Charger and Challenger, the 6.4L also serves as the base engine in Ram’s HD pickups.

In a Wrangler or Wrangler-based vehicle, the 6.4L, which generates 485 horsepower and 475 lb-ft of torque in Dodge’s SRT products, would make for a swift machine indeed. When placed under the hood of a Challenger, the 392 can rocket the portly coupe to 60 mph in 4.4 seconds.

The Bronco hasn’t even has a chance to bare its secrets and already Jeep is fighting it with what one can only assume is upcoming product. This didn’t go unnoticed at the Blue Oval.

*whisper voice* (someone is nervous) pic.twitter.com/fltgqDNdac

— Mike Levine (@mrlevine) July 11, 2020

Nervous? Perhaps, though Jeep’s Wrangler boasts heritage and name recognition that even the Bronco can’t match. And unless Ford decides to Raptor-ize its upcoming body-on-frame two-and four-door SUV, the Jeep will handily beat it in terms of available power.

The question, of course, is — does the addition of a larger available engine really sweeten the overall pot all that much? A vehicle aimed at rock crawlers and other off-road adventurers doesn’t really seem like a great fit for a honking muscle car motor. All that extra weight and power would do nothing for someone inching along in low range, brow beaded with sweat as jagged boulders threaten their undercarriage. If it’s low-end pull you’re looking for, the Wrangler — and now the Gladiator — offers a 3.0-liter diesel.

It’s entirely superfluous. Yet Jeep saw fit to add the 6.2L Hellcat engine to its Grand Cherokee line, transforming the SUV into the Grand Cherokee Trackhawk. Bragging rights and ostentatiousness still counts for something in the truck/SUV realm, especially in the sector that waves the stars and strips proudly above its head.

And it’s not like owners weren’t already outfitting their Wranglers with V8 power via the aftermarket. Jeep isn’t talking about the Facebook post, of course, presumably preferring to its powder dry until the time is right to touch off the pan.

[Image: Jeep/Facebook]

Join the conversation
2 of 64 comments
  • Nrd515 I bought an '88 S10 Blazer with the 4.3. We had it 4 years and put just about 48K on it with a bunch of trips to Nebraska and S. Dakota to see relatives. It had a couple of minor issues when new, a piece of trim fell off the first day, and it had a seriously big oil leak soon after we got it. The amazinly tiny starter failed at about 40K, it was fixed under some sort of secret warranty and we got a new Silverado as a loaner. Other than that, and a couple of tires that blew when I ran over some junk on the road, it was a rock. I hated the dash instrumentation, and being built like a gorilla, it was about an inch and a half too narrow for my giant shoulders, but it drove fine, and was my second most trouble free vehicle ever, only beaten by my '82 K5 Blazer, which had zero issues for nearly 50K miles. We sold the S10 to a friend, who had it over 20 years and over 400,000 miles on the original short block! It had a couple of transmissions, a couple of valve jobs, a rear end rebuild at 300K, was stolen and vandalized twice, cut open like a tin can when a diabetic truck driver passed out(We were all impressed at the lack of rust inside the rear quarters at almost 10 years old, and it just went on and on. Ziebart did a good job on that Blazer. All three of his sons learned to drive in it, and it was only sent to the boneyard when the area above the windshield had rusted to the point it was like taking a shower when it rained. He now has a Jeep that he's put a ton of money into. He says he misses the S10's reliablity a lot these days, the Jeep is in the shop a lot.
  • Jeff S Most densely populated areas have emission testing and removing catalytic converters and altering pollution devices will cause your vehicle to fail emission testing which could effect renewing license plates. In less populated areas where emission testing is not done there would probably not be any legal consequences and the converter could either be removed or gutted both without having to buy specific parts for bypassing emissions. Tampering with emission systems would make it harder to resell a vehicle but if you plan on keeping the vehicle and literally running it till the wheels fall off there is not much that can be done if there is no emission testing. I did have a cat removed on a car long before mandatory emission testing and it did get better mpgs and it ran better. Also had a cat gutted on my S-10 which was close to 20 years old which increased performance and efficiency but that was in a state that did not require emission testing just that reformulated gas be sold during the Summer months. I would probably not do it again because after market converters are not that expensive on older S-10s compared to many of the newer vehicles. On newer vehicles it can effect other systems that are related to the operating and the running of the vehicle. A little harder to defeat pollution devices on newer vehicles with all the systems run by microprocessors but if someone wants to do it they can. This law could be addressing the modified diesels that are made into coal rollers just as much as the gasoline powered vehicles with cats. You probably will still be able to buy equipment that would modify the performance of a vehicles as long as the emission equipment is not altered.
  • ToolGuy I wonder if Vin Diesel requires DEF.(Does he have issues with Sulfur in concentrations above 15ppm?)
  • ToolGuy Presented for discussion: https://xroads.virginia.edu/~Hyper2/thoreau/civil.html
  • Kevin Ford can do what it's always done. Offer buyouts to retirement age employees, and transfers to operating facilities to those who aren't retirement age. Plus, the transition to electric isn't going to be a finger snap one time event. It's going to occur over a few model years. What's a more interesting question is: Where will today's youth find jobs in the auto industry given the lower employment levels?