Video: Extreme Terrain Talks Through The JL’s Engine Options

The Jeep experts at Extreme Terrain have a robust YouTube channel that’s really taking off. More and more of their videos have centered around builds, installations, and opinion pieces. And with the release of the Wrangler JL, there’s more than ever to talk about.

One of the more recent videos was the one we have here. It discusses the various drivetrain options set for the JL, including engines, transmissions, and transfer cases.

The new JL Wrangler retains the 3.6-liter Pentastar V6, but brings some more variety with diesel, turbocharged, and eventually hybrid engines.

Starting with engines, it comes as no surprise that the 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 has returned. It’s been in use since 2012 and has proven itself as a stout workhorse over the years. It makes 285 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque, exactly as much as it did on the JK.

Next up is the 2.0-liter inline-four, part of the forthcoming FCA Global Medium engine family. It goes by “Chrysler Hurricane” in some circles and achieves 270 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque. This will be an interesting addition to the engine stable, since it marks the first time a turbo-four has gone under the hood of a Wrangler. Also, it makes more torque than the Pentastar, but not an appreciable amount. The real test will be seeing which of the two gas engines has the best fuel economy; our money’s on the turbo-four.

Last but certainly not least, there’s the diesel option. This will be the 3.0-liter EcoDiesel already found in Ram 1500s and Jeep Grand Cherokees. The EcoDiesel has become a fan favorite for the Mopar crowd, and inspired Ford and GM to make similar inroads developing small-displacement diesels for best-selling trucks. Now that it’s coming for the Wrangler – and packing 260 hp and 442 lb-ft of torque with it – there’s nothing stopping the JL.

However, in the immortal words of Billy Mays: “But wait, there’s more!” Jeep has confirmed that they have a plug-in hybrid drivetrain in the works, which will come out in 2020. All-electric on a dedicated off-roader, in less than two years? These are strange times, indeed.

Transmission options for the JL are a six-speed manual and eight-speed automatic, which are fairly straightforward. Lastly, there are the transfer cases – Command-Trac will be the standard, and feature 2H, 4H, N, and 4L. On Sahara models, the optional Selec-Trac has 2H, 4H Auto, 4H Part Time, N, and 4L. Auto and Part Time will send power to the front driveshaft when the computer detects lost traction or when driving on slippery road surfaces, respectively. Rock-Trac is the Rubicon-only transfer case, and touts an 84:1 crawl ratio. Pairing it with the EcoDiesel, as Extreme Terrains Ryan Huck points out, will make for a “monster” when it comes to rockcrawling.

Variety is the spice of life, as they say, and that makes the JL a veritable beef bourguignon. Which version of the JL will you be picking up? Let us know in the comments below, and be sure to check out more from Extreme Terrain.

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About the author

David Chick

David Chick comes to us ready for adventure. With passions that span clean and fast Corvettes all the way to down and dirty off-road vehicles (just ask him about his dream Jurassic Park Explorer), David's eclectic tastes lend well to his multiple automotive writing passions.
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