Jeep wants you to stop looking at the new Ford Bronco now, thank you very much. After announcing a V8 version of the Wrangler on the same day Ford revealed its funky-faced rival for 2021, the V8 Jeep has now been spotted testing in the wild.
Various aspects of the largely traditional concept remain in place, like the bonnet-sited air intake and beadlock wheels. The 6.4-litre, 450bhp engine would sit at the top of a range that already spans a turbocharged four, a V6 and a diesel, not to mention the hybrid 4xe version coming soon.
If Jeep, which officially just says it’s gauging interest – a useful get-out clause in case no one likes the idea after all – does put the V8 model into production it will be the first time the long Wrangler line has had eight cylinders since the CJ-7 model of 1981. That one used a 5.0-litre AMC V8.
As for styling, it’s very much as-you-were for the V8 test mule. There’s a cheeky hint at the increased performance in the shape of quad exhausts, but otherwise the sub-5.0-second 0-60mph capability is well hidden. Production will be scheduled for 2021 if Jeep is confident enough of hitting sales targets. For now it’s just content as long as you’re looking at this and not that other 4x4.