The V8 engine looks to be on borrowed time at Jeep, and it’s already about to disappear from Australia.
“If you want a V8 Jeep, I’d get one sooner rather than later,” said Mark Allen, head of Jeep Exterior Design, though he declined to offer any future product information.
The remark comes shortly after Jeep revealed a new twin-turbocharged inline six-cylinder engine, which will initially be available only as an optional powertrain in the range-topping Grand Wagoneer over the standard 6.4-litre V8.
But Jeep is releasing both standard- and high-output versions of the engine plus a plug-in hybrid version, and odds are the new Hurricane six will be rolled out to further Jeep model lines.
It may potentially serve as a replacement for the venerable 5.7-litre and 6.4-litre Hemi V8s in models like the Wagoneer and Grand Cherokee.
You can still buy a WK2-series Grand Cherokee in V8-powered S-Limited guise at Jeep dealerships in Australia, while stocks last, but the new three-row WL Grand Cherokee L is launching here with a V6-only engine line-up.
Jeep Australia has yet to release local price and specs for its two-row Grand Cherokee counterpart, but government approval documents list only a V6 engine for it, too, despite the availability of the 5.7-litre V8 in North America.
The hot, V8-powered SRT and supercharged V8 Trackhawk models of the WK2 series have left production, and successors have yet to be revealed.
Mopar Insiders reported word from unnamed sources last year that there would be no supercharged V8-powered Trackhawk version of the WL Grand Cherokee.
We’ve seen six-cylinder SRT models before (see: Chrysler Crossfire SRT-6), but it remains to be seen whether Jeep would use the Trackhawk name – its equivalent to Dodge’s Hellcat models – on anything with fewer than eight cylinders.
Jeep Australia has previously confirmed the V8-powered Wrangler Rubicon 392, revealed in 2020, is left-hand drive-only but said it wants to bring it here should a right-hand drive version become available.
The Ram 1500-derived, V8-powered Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer are also left-hand drive-only.
That leaves the outgoing WK2 Grand Cherokee as the only V8-powered Jeep in Australia, and it’s departing this year.
The death of the V8-powered Jeep in Australia comes after the American brand has dramatically whittled down its diesel range locally.
The brand’s 3.0-litre turbo-diesel V6 has never been offered in the Wrangler and Gladiator locally, and will disappear from the Grand Cherokee with the changeover to the WL.
That’ll leave the Compass Trailhawk as the sole diesel-powered Jeep in Australia.