These Special Jeep Wrangler Rubicons Remind Us Why The Offroader Is Awesome

Ethel Walsh

It has been 20 years since the first Rubicon took on mountains, giant rocks, and seas of sand. Rest assured, Jeep knows how to celebrate! A new 20th Anniversary edition Rubicon was revealed at the 2023 Chicago Auto Show. These are the most capable Wranglers yet and are sure to light the skies with fireworks across the Off-road community.

The anniversary edition Rubicons are available on both the 2023 Wrangler Rubicon 4xe and the 2023 Wrangler Rubicon 392. There is a gap in features, power, and cosmetics, but not for the off-roading potential between the two SUVs. Make no mistake, they both have unbeatable go-anywhere capabilities, possessed by a spirit of adventure.

Related: Here’s How Much It Costs To Transform A Ford Bronco To This Badass Offroader

Jeep’s 20th Anniversary Gives Us The Most Capable Rubicons Yet

Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 4xe 20th Anniversary edition model side view

Eco-conscious adventure-seekers better get ready to rev up their engines. The 2023 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 4xe 20th Anniversary is coming in hot with its cutting-edge plug-in hybrid powertrain that delivers 375 horses and 470 lb-ft of torque. The special Wrangler delivers 21 miles of all-electric range, 49 MPGe, and a whisper-quiet off-road performance.

The Rubicon 4xe 20th Anniversary also boats 33-inch tires, 17 x 7.5-inch Beadlock wheels, and a half-inch suspension lift, improving water fording and ground clearance. There is nothing to miss about the old hood, as buyers get the 20th Anniversary hood decals in an electric blue theme.

Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 20th Anniversary edition includes a 4xe and 392 models

And for those who want extra horses to drag them through the dirt, the 2023 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392 20th Anniversary will not disappoint. With its 470-horsepower V-8 engine and 470 lb-ft of torque, off-roaders will blast from 0-60 mph in just 4.5 seconds and tackle the quarter mile in a lightning-fast 13.0 seconds.

Buyers also get the Xtreme Recon Package, 35-inch BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A KO2 tires, and 392 bronze 20th Anniversary hood decals. As Jeep said it themselves, this is the quickest, fastest, and most powerful Wrangler yet.

Jeep has dropped the bombshell with its Anniversary edition Jeep Wrangler Rubicons. Those who grab it on time better get ready to swerve off the roads in style.

Story Before The Jeep Wrangler Rubicon

1987 Jeep Wrangler front third quarter view

The first generation of Wranglers, dubbed YJ, had rectangular headlamps, 4WD with rigid axles on leaf springs, a wide track, and excellent handling capabilities. Most of the specifications were identical to the earlier CJ-7. Why fix something that isn’t broken?

The YJ was amongst the best offroaders of its time for more than one reason. The Wrangler’s comfortable interior was a planet on its own. The cabin was completely shielded from the harsh environments the Jeep drove through. It was an off-roader that you could comfortably plow through a scorching desert in.

Despite its debut at the end of the year, the Jeep Wrangler YJ sold about 17,000 units in 1986. Sales would remain stable as the flame for off-roading didn’t die down in the 80s and 90s. In 1996, Jeep took a leap forward and released the second generation of Wranglers, the TJ.

Related:10 Unstoppable Off-Roaders To Buy For 2023

Jeep Rubicon Almost Never Happened

2003 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon in red with mountains in the backdrop side view

Less than 1% of the engineering team at Chrysler called themselves off-roaders during the 1990s. The numbers were even lower for employees who owned a modified offroad-capable Wrangler. While the company steered towards pleasing a wider audience, the 1% that were radical off-roaders took matters into their own hands.

There was little time to convince the management team to create a hardcore off-roader. Adding to their misery, their opinions were written off as gibberish by off-road fanatics. The small team of engineers devised a plan any reasonable grease monkey would: build first, convince later. Getting others on the bandwagon would be easier when everyone gets to try the majestic four-wheeled beast.

Their plan worked flawlessly. In a short time, the new “Rubicon” package project had the blessings of the management team and received the funding it deserves. The next few years were spent developing the Wrangler Rubicon with all its unique parts.

Red 2023 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon Hood

The Rubicon had front and rear heavy-duty axles and unique front-rear lockers for better off-road traction. They had no trouble conquering obstacles thanks to their lower gear ratio. This is all backed by 31-inch tires and 190 horses produced by the 4.0L 6-cylinder engine.

The Rubicon made its debut in 2003 as a high-level trim for the Wrangler, answering every desire off-roaders have. The power-hungry Jeep quickly amassed a large fan base, with orders exceeding 4000 before the first one rolled off production. The Rubicon single-handedly brought sales up for Jeep from a two-year decline.

The name “Rubicon” translates to having the ability to off-road with confidence. Years after its debut, the Rubicon managed to hold high sales figures with each new release. The Wrangler Rubicon retains its title as the most capable off-roader Jeep has ever produced and has sold over 700,000 units worldwide.

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