The 2022 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon doesn’t come with any crazy new powertrains or 40-inch tires. Of course, it can be optioned with 35-inch BF Goodrich K02s, but we’re here to focus on one thing: its available 4.88 axle ratio. That’s low for any road car, and it’s lower than the Ford Bronco’s 4.70 axle ratio with the Sasquatch pack. You’ve just gotta spec the Wrangler a specific way to get it.
It almost pains me to say that the Wrangler’s 3.0-liter EcoDiesel engine isn’t available with the 4.88 axle; neither is the 2.0-liter turbo four. Instead, it’s exclusively an option with the 3.6-liter Pentastar V6, which makes 285 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. I’ll explain why that’s alright, though.
The EcoDiesel makes plenty of torque low in the rev range as-is. It hits its peak output of 442 pound-feet at just 1,400 rpm, meaning the engine doesn’t have to spin too hard to get the wheels turning. The 3.6-liter gas V6, meanwhile, has to hit 4,800 rpm before peak torque is achieved. That’s a big difference, and one that’s noticeable on the trails if you don’t have the proper gearing.
By making the Pentastar engine available with this 4.88 ratio, it should make a night and day difference on the trails. What’s more, you can pair it with either the eight-speed automatic or the six-speed manual, giving you total control. It ultimately results in a crawl ratio of 100:1, which is also lower than the Bronco Sasquatch’s 94.75:1.
Let it be said that you can purchase 5.13 and 5.38 axle upgrades for the Bronco, but only from aftermarket parts catalogs. You can’t get one that way from the factory, which is why I hadn’t mentioned it until now. Okay? All clear?
Now, this news likely won’t mean much to most of Jeep’s customers, but for those who buy Wranglers to go off-road, it’s a welcomed addition. The Pentastar V6 is more reliable than people give it credit for and it’s also fairly simple, which is all the reason traditional off-roaders need to go that route. Now that it can be had with 4.88s, the base Wrangler engine is even more attractive.
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