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Does the FCA EcoDiesel Investigation Affect the Upcoming Wrangler Diesel?

2017 Jeep® Wrangler Unlimited Sahara

Shortly before Donald Trump became President of the United States, the EPA launched an investigation into FCA’s line of EcoDiesel engines. These are the 3.0L V6 turbo diesel engines in the Jeep Grand Cherokee and the Ram 1500. It does NOT include the straight-6 Cummins diesels in the Ram 2500 and 3500. But what about the upcoming Jeep Wrangler diesel?

We know a new Jeep Wrangler is coming. We know there’ll eventually be a pickup truck version of the Wrangler. What we don’t know for sure are the engines that’ll be available. There’s been a long-standing rumor that a diesel will be offered.

To wonder if the diesel Wrangler would be affected, we have to assume that the engine that Jeep would use would be a 3.0L EcoDiesel, and not another engine out of their global portfolio. There’s no evidence at this point — and FCA isn’t making any announcements yet — that that engine would be the one used.

Sure, 420 lb-ft of torque in a Wrangler would be pretty epic, but a small engine might make more sense. For reference, the Chevrolet Colorado diesel is smaller in displacement and still makes 369 lb-ft of twist. There isn’t a really a need for more grunt than that in a vehicle like the Wrangler.

Any future diesel offering from FCA would need to meet EPA certification requirements. If this currently snafu with FCA is just over some software that wasn’t disclosed — and not a VW-esque cheating scheme across the board — certification of other diesels should be pretty straight-forward and simple.

The 2017 EcoDiesel models are being held up until they can be certified by the EPA, but at this point there is not stop-sale order or current EcoDiesels, or a compelled recall from the FCA for ones that are currently in customers’ driveways.

We don’t currently expect any hangups or delays on a Wrangler diesel. Of course, if it doesn’t exist as a product then it’ll never happen, but it won’t be because of this issue.

Chad Kirchner
the authorChad Kirchner
In addition to Chad Kirchner's work here, he's a freelance automotive journalist for outlets around the world.

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