A Jeep Wrangler Rubicon takes on a tank in an off-road test that hardly seems fair.
The Jeep Wrangler is a legendary off-roader. We’ve seen it defeat G-Wagons, Jimnys, and other less noteworthy vehicles. But we’ve never seen it take on a tank in knee-high mud.
Because the video takes place in the British countryside, this Wrangler is one of those 2.0-L turbocharged 4-cylinder models with 270 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. The 3.5-L Pentastar V6 is sadly not available across the pond, but we’ve only heard good things about the 2.0-L turbo 4-banger. It’s even got a bit more torque for hauling its carcass through mud and sand.
Meanwhile, the competition (driven by former F1 Le Mans racing driver Tiff Needell) is a tank. And not just any tank--it’s actually a Russian built 2S1 Gvozdika self-propelled artillery piece. In service from 1971 to 1991, the Gvozdika (or “Carnation” in English--leave it to the Russians to name a tank after a flower) is armed with a 122 mm howitzer that can fire shells up to 17 miles.
Under the hood is a YaMZ-238N diesel engine with an out-the-front exhaust and 300 hp. Top speed is a blistering 37 mph, but that’s on the road and in decent conditions. In the sort of mud that we see at this testing grounds, that top speed is significantly reduced. But then again, so is the Wrangler’s.
The real advantage for the Gvozdika is in its treads, which means that the tank is essentially carrying a road around with it anywhere it goes. Sure, it weighs over 35,000 lbs, but that’s the price you pay for being armed and armored.
Normally, the tank is crewed by four people, but Needell occupies the driver’s seat without the assistance of a gunner, loader, or tank captain. After all, he’s just sprinting around a muddy course.
Off the like, the Gvozdika takes the early lead as the course is beyond muddy. At times it seems like the Wrangler is completely stuck and can’t go on, but then it’s 4-Lo range kicks in and it starts moving again.
The loser of the race has to clean the winner’s vehicle. See who that is in the video above.