2011 Jeep Wrangler (© Chrysler Group LLC)Click to enlarge picture

2011 Jeep Wrangler

Hot off the tips wire: Jeep may be planning a Hemi 392-powered version of its legendary Wrangler.

The engine could be the same Hemi found in the Dodge Challenger SRT8 392. In that car, it produces 470 horsepower and 470 lb-ft of torque, along with a suitably snarly, obnoxious exhaust note. No current production Wrangler is offered with a V8.

According to our well-placed and trustworthy tipster, a special Wrangler was built for Michael Manley, Jeep's current president and CEO. It was assembled by American Expedition Vehicles (AEV) in Montana, an aftermarket Jeep firm with strong ties to the industry and long history of Wrangler Hemi conversions. AEV has constructed concept vehicles and tested other ideas for Chrysler in the past. The Wrangler is rumored to have been built for executive evaluation, meaning we may be looking at an early iteration of a future model.

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The current Wrangler derives its power from Chrysler's corporate 3.8-liter, 202-horsepower V6. It's capable, though coarse, offering decent power and economy. Its sole handicap is character — the 3.8 has nowhere near as much charm as Chrysler's long-dead, Francois-Castaing-designed 4.0-liter straight six.

A drive note on the 392 Wrangler from our tipster: "Six-speed manual with an active intake runner. Will go sideways in third if you mat the throttle."

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That sounds like the best thing since ever. All you Jeep guys, start writing letters. Somebody must make this happen.

Compare: Jeep Wrangler vs. Toyota FJ Cruiser vs. Ford Escape