Jeep has just made it official: buyers looking for more fuel efficiency from their Wrangler have a new choice. The 3.0L EcoDiesel engine from the Ram truck will be seen behind the seven-slat grille very soon.
The engine headed to the Wrangler is the new third-generation of FCA's 3.0L EcoDiesel V6, which means it gets the same engine that debuted in the new Ram 1500 earlier this year. It has modified cylinder heads with more flow for better performance, a new EGR system for fuel economy, and it's been extensively altered to make it quieter.
That means 260 hp for the engine, which will be offered only on four-door Wranglers to start, backed by 442 lb-ft of torque. The engine is connected to a new eight-speed automatic transmission that Jeep says is calibrated to handle both the low-speed torque of the diesel and the off-road rigour expected of Jeep. The company says there are more than 40 different shift maps to keep everything happy in as many situations as possible.
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Every EcoDiesel Wrangler, and it's available on Sport, Sahara, and Rubicon models, will come with Dana 44 axles front and rear. That's an upgrade over the standard axles for Sport and Sahara buyers, giving them the tougher axles that come with the more off-road focused Rubicon in gas form as well. Rubicon models get a Rock-Trac two-speed transfer case with a 4.0:1 low range and the others get a less aggressive 2.71:1 part-time Command-Trac system.
Jeep hasn't said yet what this diesel will manage for fuel economy, but the suggested strongly it would beat the 11.8 L/100 combined of the Wrangler Unlimited eTorque gas V6 mild hybrid system. Jeep boss Jim Morrison said that it would have "best-ever Wrangler fuel economy and incredible driving range."
Jeep says the EcoDiesel will arrive as a 2020 model year vehicle and will go on sale in the fourth quarter of this year. So you should probably expect to see it at dealers very soon.