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Into the Jeep Wrangler Four…

by David Zatz on

Last week, Automotive News wrote that the 2018 Jeep Wrangler “JL” would have a 300 horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder; Allpar had noted the possibility, but with less certainty, in 2014.

Yesterday, spy photographer Brian Williams shot a photo of a Wrangler being tested with a dual-cam four-cylinder under the hood.

Hurricane engine

Many people have been vociferous in their dislike of this option; while the Jeep CJ series used four cylinders, including one named Hurricane, the CJ was much lighter than the Wrangler.

Modern four cylinder engines, especially those with twin turbochargers, are far different from those of, say, the 1980s. They tend to make a great deal of torque at low revolutions, often are designed for regular gasoline, and can have controls to prevent turbocharger overspeeding. For off-road use, turbocharged gasoline engines are no longer an insane idea.

While a diesel engine would still be desirable, especially in the Rubicon, the Hurricane Four would cost less and be easier for many Americans to live with. A Hurricane would also have more peak horsepower than the current V6, along with lower weight and, most likely, better gas mileage due to lower friction losses (2/3 as many cylinders).

Holdouts can still be reassured by the existence of other engines — a gasoline V6 is all but certain, and a diesel is possible. Insiders wrote that a six speed manual and eight speed automatic would be used.

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