According to The Toledo Blade, citing ordering guides sourced from Chrysler dealerships, the Jeep Wrangler will finally get the automaker's 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 for the 2012 model year. Since 2007, the Wrangler has been fitted with a 3.8-liter V6 engine (which replaced the venerable 4.0-liter inline six) that has met with less than stellar reviews. The new engine may have been a foregone conclusion, but it's a welcome one nonetheless.
Equally as important is news that the Jurassic-age four-speed automatic will be replaced with a five-speed unit. That's nice and all... but why go with a five-speeder when six (or more) is the current standard?
In any case, the report claims that the 2012 Wrangler's powertrain will be identical to the units in the 2011 Grand Cherokee. That means we should expect 290 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. Those are much-needed improvements of the old 3.8, which offered up 202 horses and 237 lb-ft. Fuel mileage will reportedly improve to 16 city, 23 highway from 15/19.
In other Jeep news, Allpar.com reports that the 2012 Grand Cherokee will get a six-speed automatic to replace the five-speed unit in the 2011 model. (Guess we know where those older gearboxes are headed, eh?) In a further bid to improve fuel economy, the Pentastar-equipped Grand Cherokee will also be getting electrically driven power steering in place of the current hydraulic unit.