The 2020 Jeep Wrangler EcoDiesel will go on sale Stateside before the end of the year, marking the first time a diesel-powered Wrangler is offered in North America.
Interestingly, the 3.0-liter EcoDiesel engine will only be available on the four-door Unlimited model, something fans of the two-door version might not appreciate. According to Jeep, the Italian-built V6 is the most fuel-efficient engine ever used in its SUV, enabling “the highest driving range on one tank of fuel ever for Wrangler.”
Jeep expects its range to exceed 500 miles (805 km), despite the fact that the Wrangler EcoDiesel’s fuel tank is smaller (18.3 gallons versus 21.5 gallons). While we’ll have to wait a little longer for the EPA fuel economy ratings, it’s good to know that engine stop-start (ESS) technology comes as standard. The new power plant is also the highest torque-rated unit ever fitted to the iconic off-roader, offering up to 442 lb-ft (599 Nm) of torque and 260 HP (264 PS) of maximum power.
The turbodiesel unit is mated to a TorqueFlite 8HP75 eight-speed automatic transmission, calibrated for low rpm shifts “and the on- and off-road rigors of Jeep Wrangler duty.” According to the carmaker, there are more than 40 individual maps to optimize shift points for fuel economy, performance and 4×4 capability. Speaking of which, all Wrangler EcoDiesel models are equipped with third-generation Dana 44 front and rear heavy-duty axles, as well as a 3.73 axle ratio.
As with gas-powered Wranglers, two transfer cases are offered. The range-topping Rubicon gets a Rock-Trac two-speed transfer case with a 4.0:1 low-range gear ratio while Sport and Sahara models pack the Command-Trac part-time two-speed transfer case with a 2.72:1 low-range gear ratio.
The 2020 Jeep Wrangler EcoDiesel goes on sale in the fourth quarter of 2019 (the exact date remains unknown) with a starting price of $39,290 for the base Sport trim, including a $1,495 destination charge. That makes it $4,000 more expensive than the Sport model powered by the 3.6-liter gasoline V6.